Manufacturers Are Underinvesting in Marketing Tools for Channel Partners
Suppliers provide a variety of content to their channel partners to support growth efforts. However, not all content is created equal. Content that speaks more directly to value (e.g., customer case studies) is more effective at generating leads than content that focuses on technical specifications (e.g., spec sheets, product catalogs). According to recent research by MAPI and Zift Solutions, however, manufacturers are far more likely to provide content that deals with features and specifications than product value. Further, they’re even less likely to provide content that directly supports channel partners’ marketing efforts (e.g., email or web templates). Why the disconnect? There are a few reasons. Inertia is typically a factor; it can be challenging to overcome the statement “this is the way we’ve always done it.” Another common challenge is a lack of resources to produce compelling content. Finally, numerous companies lack a cohesive content strategy.
Those few companies that do offer content that more directly supports channel marketing efforts share two traits:
- They have a higher level of digital marketing sophistication.
- They’re less likely to cite strategic misalignment, poor co-marketing, and lack of mindshare as problems.
The bottom line is this: most manufacturers aren’t providing distributors with the types of content they need to drive demand. The ones that are enjoy a competitive advantage. What can manufacturers do? Don’t let your content be a broken record. Create content that highlights your unique value and then arm your channel partners with tools that make it as easy as possible to sell your solutions. Put another way, help them show you the money.