Sales of through-channel marketing automation (TCMA) technology, a key component of partner relationship management (PRM) platforms, are expected to rise significantly over the next half decade.
According to a recent Forrester report, the market for TCMA solutions will grow to $1.18 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 25.2%. Channel technology companies will generate another $1.3 billion in related services. In addition, thousands of digital marketing agencies will grow to generate $2 billion in related TMCA services over the same period.
The increasing adoption of TMCA technology is the “third stage” for sales and marketing leaders, blogged Jay McBain, Forrester’s Principal Analyst – Global Channels, described. The first stage was the wide spread adoption of customer relationship management technology. The implementation of marketing automation solutions followed in the second stage.
TCMA software, the third stage, says McBain, “represents the next big opportunity to drive demand, to generate leads, and to basically embolden a large set of external sellers in a way that channel marketers have never done in the past.”
Having “exhausted most of the direct tactics by now,” McBain told CMR, demand generation professionals are recognizing the opportunity to amplify marketing messages through partner networks. With 75% of world trade going through third parties, marketing teams that have historically focused on building brands to support direct sales are shifting more or their attention to channel partner programs.
SiriusDecisions has observed similar transitions. “One of the things that we’re seeing is, as CMOs start to craft their strategy and resource their initiatives to reach new buyers, channel areas are percolating up higher on their radar and on their priority list,” said SiriusDecisions’ Maria Chien, service director, channel marketing strategies.
According to a SiriusDecision survey, just under a third of CMOs said they would be investing in partner relationship management solutions over the next two years. When asked about which specific skillset they plan to enable or enhance within the next two years, partner enablement was ranked as the top skill set for channel marketers.
“Partner enablement is going to be a competitive differentiator for organizations,” Chein insists. Channel programs that prioritize best-practice partner enablement will “not only drive preference for their offering but more mindshare and wallet share with those partners effectively outperforming their peer set.”
Adoption of TCMA solutions is already significant, Forrester reports. It is already serving indirect channel in 27 industries. Technology/telco, retail/franchising, automotive, manufacturing, and healthcare/pharma companies are the top users. More than 6 million end users currently log into TCMA solutions.