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Imagine adding an established organization’s sales and marketing power to your arsenal — you could reach many more prospects and convert leads faster. Through-channel marketing automation is a powerful way to leverage your channel’s audience and connect with a broad spectrum of potential customers. 

Through-channel marketing automation is valuable for both you and your partner. You benefit from reaching your partner’s expanded audience, while your partner benefits from ready-made content and being associated with your brand. In light of an increasingly crowded SaaS marketplace, automated marketing tactics are critical for any organization looking to grow revenue in 2023.

What is Through-Channel Marketing Automation & Why is it Valuable?

Through-channel marketing automation (TCMA)  is a strategy where you market “through” your partner. Typically, you create a set of marketing resources and campaign assets housed within a PRM that your partner can then leverage and execute independently. Through strategically deployed automation, you can tailor the resource library and accessible portal features to the individual user and provide targeted recommendations for next steps based on their real-time needs.

Additionally, through-channel marketing is critical to achieving scale within your evolving ecosystem. After creating a single asset or campaign, your partners can leverage it dozens of times to drive greater results than you could achieve on your own.

In 2023, TCMA is critical to staying competitive in the market. Your competitors are likely already collaborating with partners to further their reach and improve conversion rates.

How to Effectively Measure Through-Channel Marketing Automation

Implementing a PRM will make all the difference in leveraging through-channel marketing automation. With the right PRM in place, you can take the following steps toward getting started with TCMA.

Develop Partner Segments

Building partner segments is vital to effective through-channel marketing. First, determine how you’ll segment your partners — by size, location, type, etc. Then, you can begin building custom content for each segment. For example, resources for partners in a specific country should be in the native language of that country. Meanwhile, any resources developed for reseller partners should be specific to resellers. Creating segmented content increases the likelihood of partners adopting and sharing the information with prospects.

Allbound lets you broaden partner access to content and features based on achievements, such as completing training or registering a deal.

Empower Partners Through Your PRM

Within your PRM, set up automation to deploy targeted content based on recent activities. For example, when a partner registers a new deal, you can build a trigger to send out a sales sheet that will help them push the prospect to close with the Partner Journey Automation tool.

Co-branding is another critical aspect of through-channel marketing automation and one made easy by most PRMs. Co-branding is a great way to ensure partners are getting your message across since what they can and cannot edit is predetermined.

Within Allbound, co-branding can become automatically available to specific partners, determined by tier, company, or other factors you select. Based on predetermined settings, the tool also determines who can brand which materials based on predetermined settings.

Train Your Partners on Your PRM

You may have a library full of incredible content, but your partners will never know if you haven’t trained them on where to find and how to leverage it. So ensure you provide thorough training with partner onboarding and consider sending out reminders anytime you launch new content. 

A first-rate PRM will automatically guide users through multi-step training courses, making suggestions for which lessons to complete next based on their past actions. If they pause for a prolonged period, the portal will automatically send an email reminding them of pending to-dos.

Provide MDF Access in the Same Platform

Within your PRM, make it easy for your partners to request and be approved for MDF. Often, budgets are a strict limitation for your partners, so providing MDF can be a powerful way to enable your partners further. Tools like Allbound enable you to control which partner segments have access to this feature, as well as to build in-portal forms with mandatory and optional fields. By housing everything within your PRM, you can streamline request approvals, fund management, and analytics monitoring.

Dig into the Results

When you connect with your partners, collaboratively review the results of your joint marketing efforts. Ideally, campaign stats should always be visible in the PRM dashboard, making it easy for everyone to stay on the same page about recent activity.

Analyze which campaigns work well for your partners, and which don’t. You can then use that data to develop even better campaigns and determine which resources you’ll recommend to other partners.

Common Through-Channel Marketing Automation Pitfalls to Avoid

Whether you’re new to through-channel marketing automation or a seasoned expert, there are a few common pitfalls you should be mindful to avoid.

Not Prioritizing Segmentation

By segmenting your partners, you can ensure you deliver content with the most possible value. Be sure to segment partners within your PRM by type, size, and audience, as well as provide customized content for each group. In order to be impactful, you should create a plan for keeping your segments up-to-date. Ensure your PRM data doesn’t get stale by cleaning it regularly.

Additionally, you should regularly analyze your content by segment and adjust strategies accordingly. Each segment will have different needs, so it’s critical to analyze what works well for different segments. Over time, you’ll be able to determine a baseline for content results, so any resources that don’t perform up to par can be flagged for revisions.

Forgetting to Refresh Content

Stale marketing content won’t help you or your partners. Instead, build a plan to keep materials up-to-date in your PRM. Consider setting up a quarterly or bi-annual reminder to refresh top content pieces within your PRM.

Anytime you refresh a resource or launch new assets, send out an announcement to all impacted partners via a PRM push notification and email. This will help to keep your partners engaged and active in your content library.

Ignoring Partner Feedback

Your partners know their audience better than anyone else. They also know which types of content work well when they publish and which don’t. Take advantage of any opportunity to improve your through-channel marketing content by leveraging partner feedback. Check in with your partners regularly to see what’s working well for them and what they wish they had more of.

Overcomplicating Campaigns

Through-channel marketing automation should simplify your partners’ efforts by enabling them to get campaigns up and running easily. When you overcomplicate campaigns, you risk scaring your partners off and discouraging engagement.

Take Your Partner Marketing Efforts to the Next Level 

Marketing with and through partners is critical for reaching a broader audience and scaling revenue. Through-channel marketing automation is essential for staying competitive in today’s landscape. Leverage your PRM to fully harness the power of through-channel marketing automation.

Discover additional strategies for enhancing your partner marketing efforts.

How to Perform a Channel Content Library Audit — Keeping your partner content fresh is critical. One strategy for staying on top of your assets is performing regular channel content library audits. Discover the key questions you should ask, along with the data points to consider for each piece of content in your library.

Co-Marketing Activities & Ideas for Joint Promotion — Co-marketing doesn’t always have to revolve around co-branding existing marketing assets. Instead, consider getting creative for your next campaign with partners. Explore the unique strategies you should consider implementing with your partners, along with best practices for getting started.

The Guide to SaaS and B2B Influencer Marketing — Influencer marketing is another powerful partner marketing strategy where you benefit from a thought leader’s established brand. It can be challenging to know where to start, and which influencers to approach in the SaaS and B2B spaces. Discover best practices along with the industry influencers you may want to reach out to.

Of All Reseller Marketing Strategies, This One Is Most Important: Co-Marketing — In this article, we dive deeper into how co-marketing is a particular powerful through-partner promotinal strategy for reseller programs.

Ali Spiric

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