Partner engagement with brand-provided marketing platforms remains relatively low, according to a study conducted earlier this year by Forrester Consulting. Of the 50 different channel partners included in the study, only 12% use the through-channel marketing (TCM) platforms provided by vendors. More encouraging news is that 35% of the partners are piloting solutions. Another 20% are evaluating them.
The study, which was commissioned by OneAffiniti, a TCM solution provider, pointed to oft-mentioned barriers to partner adoption of marketing technology. For example, nearly a quarter of the channel partners (22%) cited a lack of their own marketing resources as a key barrier to engaging with vendor provided tools.
Channel partners that engage service providers to help support the execution of marketing activities typically show a higher inclination to use through channel marketing automation (TCMA) solutions. Almost a third of the channel partners that use third-party services on at least a weekly basis are already using and planning to expand usage of brand-provided TCMA tools. The remaining 69% are piloting the use of brand-provided TCMA platforms.
To drive effective execution of TCM campaigns and improve value realization from investments in TCMA platforms, brands must take a service-led approach to through-channel marketing, the study noted.
Email marketing, online and social advertising, and search engine optimization/search engine marketing showed the highest percentage of brand-provided marketing activities that channel partners intend to execute going forward.
“Clearly, brands need to do more to help partners use their platforms,” said OneAffiniti CEO Joel Montgomery. “SMB channel partners are already severely time-constrained, so anything brands can do to help them integrate and navigate the platform more quickly can make a big difference in terms of engagement.”
The report can be downloaded here.