TCMA Functionality You Need to Improve Your Channel Partner ExperiencePosted on April 26th, 2022 by Cameron Schulz
- Be proactive rather than reactive – be aware of the potential challenges to PX and take steps to resolve them pre-emptively.
- Consult current & potential partners – identify real pain points from their point of view and seek input on potential solutions.
- Implement the right tools – secure the right through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) software with the right features and functionality to deliver benefits for both you and your partners.
The next big question then is, what are the ‘right’ features and functionality? Truthfully, much of what’s right will be dependent on your partners—what type of partner they are, how they operate, their skill level, etc. However, there are several TCMA features and functions that will impact the all-important “ease of doing business” that partners are seeking and help you efficiently gather insights to make further improvements that optimize the PX.
Through-channel marketing automation features & functionality that can improve your PX
Asset Repository: the simplest and most natural way for partners to represent your brand to their audience is with digitally downloadable content and/or easily ordered physical marketing elements such as samples, merchandise and printed materials provided through your TCMA platform. Such assets are absolutely vital to partner success, without them you’ll struggle to engage partners in your strategy and reach their audiences.
On-demand/Software-as-a-service: this core feature is the foundation of ease. It eliminates barriers to content and assets by delivering the TCMA platform through common web browsers without any additional hardware or devices. With this delivery method partners can access the platform—and the sales and marketing materials it houses—from anywhere with an internet connection.
Customizable Content & Campaigns: customization functionality empowers partners to modify content and campaigns with co-branding, personalized messaging, and varied delivery, to easily tailor how they sell your offering to their local audience without misrepresenting your brand. Altogether, this functionality makes it easier for partners to introduce and sell your products or services on a local level.
Integration: your TCMA platform should be integrated with your sales force automation (SFA) or customer relationship management (CRM) platform to capture and deliver active and engaged leads that will (hopefully) be easier for distributed sales partners to convert to closed deals. Integration functionality will also be critical for you to track the progress of these leads and determine whether your lead criteria is adequate or should be reevaluated to improve their viability.
Data, Analytics, & Reporting: your platform should have the functionality to track partnership key performance indicators (KPIs)—partner activities, channel revenue, program ROI, etc.—and factors impacting PX, such as user logins, content utilization, campaign performance, content customization, etc. Tracking, along with intelligent analysis and reporting, will be crucial for identifying friction in the partner experiences. Actionable insights will yield more viable solutions and effective improvements.
Bonus: Co-Op Management: Although co-op marketing funds or marketing development funds (MDF) aren’t necessarily appropriate for all stages and types of partnerships, having a platform with the features and functionality to support a prospective co-op strategy will be essential to creating an easy and streamlined process that partners are compelled to participate in. Whether you have a co-op strategy or are considering the functionality proactively, ensuring it’s available will prevent you from having to purchase an additional platform in the future—eliminating a potentially frustrating process for partners.
The List Goes On
There’s plenty more features and functionality that can contribute to a better partner experience, but what’s actually going to work will vary. The list we’ve put together only touches on the basics of ease and effectiveness—features and functionality that will increase the ease of doing business with you and enhance the impact of any improvements you implement to maintain a positive partner experience.
A more general ‘feature’ you should consider for not only partner experience, but also overall program success, is flexibility. Working with a TCMA vendor that can build custom features and functionality to fit with your partner and program needs can contribute to creating a positive partner experience and supporting the success of a growing partner program.
For a more extensive list of ‘standard’ TCMA features and functionality, and to see how the Triptych platform measures up, click the button below to download our new HOW TRIPTYCH MEASURES UP: Through-Channel Marketing Automation Standard Features & Functionality infographic.