Making the move to an “almost” 100% Digital and Partner Marketing Strategy

Making the move to an “almost” 100% Digital and Partner Marketing Strategy

8 lessons learned by Ruth Oakey, Global Marketing Director, Eckoh
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In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, companies must adapt to stay competitive, and that’s precisely what Ruth Oakey has done. With limited marketing resources, she’s taken her company, Eckoh, on a journey towards a nearly 100% digital and partner marketing strategy. This approach has resulted in impressive results, with marketing-generated opportunities exceeding their annual target in just over six months.

At the latest Coterie Community virtual gathering, Ruth shared 8 key lessons for partner marketers to consider.


The first crucial step in Ruth’s strategy was to understand her company’s total addressable market. She utilised the 6Sense tool to gain insights into where her audience was concentrated. It turned out that a large proportion of her business was outside the UK. This digital-driven marketing insight allowed Ruth and her marketing team to instigate a strategic shift towards targeting overseas markets more aggressively, while also exploring opportunities with strategic partners.
Question: How well do you understand your company’s total addressable market, and are you leveraging digital tools to gain insights into market concentration and trends?


Ruth’s team took its strategic approach to marketing a step further by analysing its business mix and found that a significant portion of its revenue came from existing customers. With high retention rates and an expanded product range, they refocused their efforts on cross-selling and upselling to their loyal customer base, with the support of their partner network.
Question: Have you analysed your business mix to identify the revenue sources from existing customers, and are you maximising opportunities for cross-selling and upselling with the support of partners?


To maximise their efforts, Ruth’s team implemented Account-Based Marketing (ABM) for the first time. This approach allowed them to personalise their marketing efforts and tailor content to specific accounts, including those in their partner network. A strong emphasis was placed on digital channels due to their cost-effectiveness, focus, and clear ROI tracking, also enabling them to align their marketing strategies with partner activities.
Question: Are you implementing Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to personalise your marketing efforts and align them with partner activities, and are you capitalising on digital channels for precision and ROI tracking?


A growing area of interest is partner marketplaces and Ruth shared the issues, particularly in getting their brand onto these platforms. Challenges included the difficulty of managing inbound referrals and other Community members highlighted the potential for deals to slow down due to added steps in the marketplace buying process. Having said that, Ruth recognised the need to streamline customer interactions within these marketplaces to ensure seamless collaboration and capitalise on the marketplace’s potential for reaching a broader audience. She very much looked at it as “another customer touchpoint” and needed to be embedded in the digital strategy.
Question: How do you navigate the complexities of working with partner marketplaces, and have you streamlined interactions to ensure seamless collaboration on these platforms? Are you adding them to your digital channel mix?


With data showing that 95% of buyers(1) aren’t actively looking to purchase at any given time, Ruth’s team understood the importance of diversifying their digital channels. They used a mix of digital and offline tactics to reach potential customers in various stages of the buyer’s journey, with a particular focus on online research through marketplaces and partner networks.
Question: Are you diversifying your digital channels to reach potential customers in various stages of the buyer’s journey, and how are you leveraging online research through marketplaces and partner networks?


A key driving ROI for Ruth’s marketing strategy is to be heavily data-driven. They use tools to identify accounts in the decision-making phase and alert their sales team, enabling them to reach out promptly.
Question: How heavily do you rely on data-driven decision-making in your marketing strategy, and are you leveraging real-time analytics to identify accounts in the decision-making phase?


Ruth emphasised the importance of content standardisation within the organisation, including marketplaces. Without consistent standards, creating and managing content becomes challenging. Ruth talked about the need to have 2 or more pieces at each stage of the buying journey to fulfill the B2B buyers’ requirements – which results in needing 12 pieces per campaign.
Question: Do you have a standardised approach to content creation and distribution within your organisation and partner network, and how can standardisation improve your marketing efficiency?


Looking ahead, Ruth’s team is exploring low-cost digital partner channels like IP address-based campaigns to further expand their reach, both independently and in partnership with their network. These efforts aim to tap into potential customers who haven’t yet filled out forms on the website but have shown intent by visiting the website.
Question: How can you leverage low-cost digital partner channels to expand your reach, and how might these efforts tap into potential customers showing intent within your partner ecosystem?
Ruth’s journey towards a 100% digital and partner marketing strategy reflects the evolving landscape of business and marketing. Embracing digital tools, data-driven decision-making, and a multi-channel approach, including partner marketing, are essential elements in achieving marketing success in today’s competitive environment.

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