Six Steps to Building a Clear Digital Partner Journey
The recent Coterie Community First Friday event featured Tom Wycks, a Digital Marketing expert, who delved into navigating the digital landscape within the partner ecosystem. This blog presents key takeaways and discussions that highlight the importance of data-driven insights, social selling, and creating a clear digital journey.
1. Balancing Digital and Personal Interactions
“The right balance between digital and personal interactions is crucial for delivering a seamless partner experience“, Tom Wycks.
The ongoing shift towards digital channels in partner marketing is undeniable. According to Gartner, an estimated 80% of sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will happen through digital channels by 2025(1). This shift signifies that more B2B buying journeys are now conducted online, encompassing activities like Internet searches, virtual meetings, and demos. For instance, HubSpot operates as a 100% digital platform with no physical interactions.
As the partner marketing landscape reshapes due to this digital shift, businesses must adopt data-driven insights and optimize digital touchpoints to remain competitive. It’s crucial to strike a balance between digital and personal interactions, tailoring strategies to each partner’s unique preferences and needs.
2. The Significance of a Strong Digital Experience
“A good digital experience is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have for partners in today’s digital age”, Tom Wycks.
A seamless digital experience is paramount for partners, significantly influencing their content consumption and engagement. As is the need for user-friendly and accessible digital touchpoints that empower partners to access valuable content and information. In fact, research shows that 88% of customers expect brands to offer a seamless experience across all channels(2).
Companies need to provide user-friendly and easily accessible digital resources to enhance partner engagement and collaboration. Failing to do so can drive partners away. Providing partners with a seamless digital journey is a smart long-term strategy.
3. Social Selling: Building Authentic Relationships
“Social selling is not just about posting content; it’s about authentic engagement and building rapport with prospects”, Tom Wycks.
There are four key pillars of social selling:
highlighting the importance of creating a professional brand
targeting the right prospects
engaging with insights
building trusted relationships.
Social selling is essential for engaging prospects and building meaningful connections. According to LinkedIn, social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities and are 51% more likely to achieve quota(3).
Failing to embrace social selling can limit a company’s ability to engage with partner prospects and build authentic relationships. Convincing the partner sales team about the value and effectiveness of digital marketing and social selling is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed by partner marketers.
4. Creating Consistent Customer Journeys in Joint Campaigns
“Joint campaigns are powerful, but they require meticulous planning and communication. We must present a consistent message to customers to build trust and loyalty“, Community Member.
Joint campaigns with partners offer exciting opportunities but also challenges in maintaining consistent customer journeys. Clear communication and coordination between partners are essential to prevent customer confusion. A unified customer journey across various touchpoints is vital for guiding prospects effectively.
5. Optimizing Data-Driven Insights
“Data-driven insights are the backbone of successful partner marketing. Without understanding our audience and their needs, we risk wasting resources on ineffective campaigns”, Community Member.
Leveraging data-driven insights is crucial. Data analysis provides valuable information about target partner personas, market trends, and content preferences, enabling businesses to build more targeted and successful partner marketing strategies. For instance, companies that leverage customer data for marketing decisions are 6 times more likely to be profitable year-over-year (4).
6. Not Overlooking the Basics
“Getting the basics right is the first step towards success. Often, businesses focus on complex strategies while overlooking simple yet crucial elements“, Tom Wycks.
Neglecting fundamental elements, like up-to-date joint value propositions and relevant joint search terms, can undermine partner marketing success. Getting the basics right is the first step towards success, often overlooked amidst complex strategies.
In conclusion, addressing these points enhances partner marketing strategies and drives better results. Embracing digital transformation, leveraging data-driven insights, fostering collaboration between marketing and sales teams, providing a seamless digital experience, and incorporating social selling into marketing efforts are all critical steps.
As partner marketing evolves, learning from mistakes and implementing best practices will be crucial for businesses to remain competitive and thrive in the digital age.
(1) Gartner, “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2021”, October 2020.
(2) Salesforce, “State of the Connected Customer”, 3rd Edition, 2019.
(3) LinkedIn, “The State of Sales 2020”, 2019.
(4) McKinsey & Company, “Analytics Comes of Age”, 2017.