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Making sense of a channel first strategy

Making sense of a channel first strategy

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Pramod Sharda, CEO, IceWarp India and Middle East highlights the growing importance of channel first strategy that is key to build a successful, long-term brand in a highly competitive technology industry

Leveraging channel marketing strategies is an expeditious and efficient way to take your products or services to market. Compared to other development models, it can generate more productive outcomes for companies of all sizes across diverse sectors. When it comes to enterprise technology, the channel-first approach is an invaluable strategy for acquiring more customers with improved distribution of products. However, if you choose this path, be sure you’re ready to tackle any potential challenges head-on so your efforts can pay off and bear fruit. With every channel providing the opportunity to engage with a variety of audiences, expand reach, and overcome obstacles, constructing an effective strategy is well worth investing in for long-term success. Moreover, by having a better grip on analytics and data, it is simpler to determine your return on investment quickly. Additionally, you can comfortably avoid any potential issues arising from third-party promises or misrepresentations made in your brand’s name. If done right, you can reap substantial rewards!

The tech buyer landscape is evolving exponentially; more and more stakeholders are influencing technology investments in organizations worldwide. This trend shows no sign of slowing down, so it’s imperative to stay ahead of the curve when understanding these roles. More is needed to reach the desired results than focusing solely on IT decision-makers. This means that as these key stakeholders look for technological solutions, their purchasing scope is broadened and includes peers, experts, and external sources of research and reviews. Another challenge is that it can be incredibly difficult for new vendors to even make their way onto a tech buyer’s list of potential companies from which they may purchase. Only about a fourth of buyers are willing to consider a vendor who is not already on the radar when making such decisions; however, channel partners have cultivated strong ties with buyers and can thus inspire assurance in testing out your solution. In order to gain success with Channel partners, it is crucial that you take control of your initiatives and enable partners to use marketing tools that can be handy to put forth your proposition to their customers. As an added benefit, when these methods are used, it ensures brand consistency throughout all promotional efforts.

Developing a channel-first strategy can significantly influence your brand’s growth, and it is notably more cost-effective than keep on adding more manpower. By utilizing the power of channels and marketing through them, you can achieve greater reach with fewer resources.  Propel your brand to success by leveraging the power of partners and industry luminaries to amplify your message. Think of channels as an endorsement – it presents your product with immediate trustworthiness, propelling you towards higher recognition levels than ever before. Take your campaigns to the next level by creating greater variety and volume – work closely with channel partners who have their own marketing teams. You can test different tactics with them for a successful third-party outreach campaign, reaching an entirely new set of viewers. Companies that emphasize a channel-first strategy can scale rapidly, acquire new customers, and boost sales due to their extended reach across a broad target audience.

A successful channel partner strategy should be easy to understand, transparent in lead management and account allocation, and offer fairness through spiffs and incentive programs for sales teams. Every partner must feel that their interests are protected at all times to ensure success. Leveraging a channel-first strategy can be an incredibly profitable approach; however, OEMs must cultivate strong and lasting relationships with their channel partners to avoid miscommunication, prevent low sales figures, and ensure that their objectives are realized. A successful way to sustain your channels is through a channel incentive program that can be bolstered through effective communication methods, eLearning tools and gamification. At IceWarp, for instance, these components collectively aid in cultivating long-term relationships that are instrumental for our future success.

 

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