Partner marketing – what is it and glossary.


There are lots of different names for partner marketers – channel, eco-system alliances, and partner marketing.
As you will discover working in this space there are many varied terms used for companies working together depending on how they work together. But as you will see below, they all overlap and at the crux is multiple companies working together. Let’s look at them:
Continue elevating your partner and ecosystem marketing skills with Coterie Community’s CIM recognised & CPD accredited “Practitioner in Partner & Ecosystem Marketing” online training course ! Gain expert-led training, industry best practices, templates & hands-on exercises.
 CPD certificate included upon completion!
  • Ecosystem marketing – Ecosystem marketing is the process of positioning your idea, message, or product in the right ecosystems to gain visibility, engage prospects, capture attention, and create customers. (Kotler, 2019)
  • Ingredient-branding – Complementary brands without conflict working together. They product goes inside the main product e.g. eggs in a cake or a processor in a PC and even though you cannot see them their quality message carries over to the brand they are inside. (Kestenbaum, 2018: online)
  • Partnership marketing – Collaborating with a person or business because they have a relationship with an area of a market you are interested in selling to. (, 2020).
  • Channel marketing – Finding partners to distribute products around different markets and grow the customer base. (DeMetas, 2020: online).
  • Co-marketing – Two companies collaborate on promotional efforts for a co-branded offer. (Hubspot 2020: online)
A summary of the common terms used in partner marketing.
Partner and ecosystem marketing has its own language, and it can be quite daunting to someone new entering this field of work.
Below is a quick reference glossary. We will continue to add to this and feel free to drop us any useful terms.
The diagram above is a useful example of the supply chain in the IT industry – the vendors need to ensure the marketing of their components/product to the end customer and the reseller needs to tell the joint story of all the components.
A partner is a member in a partnership, an entity in which both the profits or losses of a business or other venture are shared between all members.
In a supply chain, a vendor, supplier, provider, or seller, is an enterprise that contributes goods or services. Generally, a supply chain vendor manufactures inventory/stock items and sells them to the next link in the chain. Today, these terms refer to a supplier of any goods or service. LINK
Partner Onboarding
Partner onboarding is the process of signing up new partners with your company. It’s not just getting them to sign a form though, it’s about solidifying early engagement, initiating training, and helping them get the most out of working with you. LINK
Market development funds (MDF)
Market development funds or MDF are used in an indirect sales channel where funds are made available by a manufacturer or brand to help affiliates, channel partners, resellers, VARs, distributors, etc. sell its products and create local awareness about the national brand. LINK
Market to
This is marketing to one or more partners to convince them to sell your product/solution to their end customers.
Market with
Market with is working with a partner on a joint campaign to their end customer.
Market through
Market through is where the partner resells your solution but does not add much extra value around it.
RACE model
A tool used for go to market plans created by Dave Chaffey: Reach, Act, Convert and Engage. More info
Go to market plan
A plan to deliver an organisations unique value proposition to customers. It has clear objectives and strategies to reach the target customer .
This list is continually updated – feel free to drop us any useful terms at [email protected]

Recent News