Starting out in Partner Marketing - What to expect?
Pamela Attieh-Durrant, Partner Marketing Manager, Equinix
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In this blog, I, Pamela Attieh-Durrant, Partner Marketing Manager at Equinix, want to share my insights with those considering a move into partner marketing. A year ago, I took the leap into this unfamiliar territory, and it has been quite the journey. Despite my solid background in running up to 15+ global events annually, transitioning to partner marketing was a game-changer, offering me numerous valuable lessons and experiences.
So, what can you expect if you’re thinking of diving into Partner Marketing?
Building Confidence: Initially, like many people, I questioned myself when partners didn’t seem eager to engage. It was easy to assume it was personal and that they weren’t interested in collaborating with me. However, I quickly learned that partner marketing involves many variables that can impact engagement. At its core, it’s all about nurturing relationships, and understanding this made a significant difference.
Independence and Speed: Over time, I became comfortable handling partner interactions independently, but I acknowledge that it takes time to build this confidence. It’s crucial to align with sales and support their overarching objectives. You don’t want to disrupt relationships that sales may have spent years building. Today, I feel confident in independently driving these conversations and taking swift action when there’s a plan in place.
Experience Matters: While I’m not one to bluff my way through tasks, I’ve gained substantial experience. Each campaign has provided a valuable reference point. I’ve learned that knowledge is power, and this has allowed me to secure a seat at the decision-making table.
Now, let’s dive into the key differences I’ve encountered in partner marketing compared to my previous role:
Big Differences in Partner Marketing:
Plan Flexibility: Unlike my previous role, partner marketing often involves uncertainties and changing plans. Factors like shifting stakeholders, structural changes, and partner organization shifts can disrupt well-laid plans.
Constant Adaptability: Maintaining momentum can be challenging, as partners may have other priorities. Agile thinking and quick responses are crucial in partner marketing.
Proactive Advocacy: I’ve realized that being vocal and ensuring partner success often require active advocacy and occasionally pushing back when necessary. It’s essential to hold partners accountable and be a driving force for the collaboration’s success.
In terms of skills, this first year has been a learning curve, helping me develop several crucial abilities:
Agility: Adapting to ever-changing circumstances.
Relationship Building: Nurturing strong partner relationships.
Project Management: Juggling multiple campaigns and projects.
Resilience: Dealing with setbacks and challenges.
Drive and Accountability: Taking ownership of my work.
As a bridge between marketing and sales, effective communication is key. Collaborating seamlessly with sales teams, and not being confined by hierarchies or silos, is crucial.
Now, let’s talk about what makes partner marketing rewarding:
What’s Most Rewarding About Partner Marketing:
Project-Driven: I thrive on project-based work and the satisfaction of seeing campaigns go live.
Successful Collaborations: Building effective partnerships and watching them flourish is immensely rewarding.
Innovation Potential: The job offers exciting opportunities for creativity and innovation in collaboration with partners.