So you’ve made the commitment to utilize technology solutions to fully empower your ecosystem to increase engagement, maximize content utilization and drive stronger partner results accountability.  What do you do next to ensure you are optimizing your Marketing return on investment (ROI)? Successful marketing tactics today are more digitally focused and tied to metrics than ever before. At the same time market and competitive shifts have never been more dynamic, creating a need for highly adaptive teams using change as a catalyst for continuing improvement.   It’s not just enough to deploy enabling technology, Marketers within ecosystems need to adhere to following tenets to positively impact business results:

Master the Metrics

Justifying your Marketing spend through measuring activity levels alone no longer cuts it.   True fiscal responsibility means needing to seeing measurable results of Marketing tactics that contribute directly to ecosystem and overall company performance.   Proactively participating in the formation of annual company objectives, then linking Marketing objectives that are tightly aligned will not only better focus the efforts of Marketing team resources internally but also help cascade similar aligned objectives across the partner ecosystem.   Creating a Marketing culture that craves numbers accountability (tracked consistently through easy to understand scorecards with no more than 3-5 priority measures) enables a faster, deeper understanding of what tactics work best, what tactics need adjustment or need to be dropped altogether.  This sets the tone as a great example for partners throughout your ecosystem.

Go all in on “Go to Market”

There’s no room for traditional Marketing and Sales silos in today’s highly successful companies.   Creating tighter alignment through the formation of virtual Go to Market cross-functional teams where Marketing and Sales partner together in the definition of what is a quality lead and qualification criteria builds greater trust and speed in following up on sales inquiries. Establishing a defined cadence for reviewing together post “top of the funnel” sales follow up activity (ideally through fully implemented CRM systems) is a great start.   Establishing not less than monthly interactive leadership calls reviewing demand generation tactics and sales follow up will over time turn the natural tension that often exists between Marketing and Sales organizations into a “we’re all in this together” mindset.   Sharing best practices and sound approaches to funnel management across partners in your ecosystem is a huge plus.

Commit to a Process

While a metrics focus and Go to Market team alignment are critical to ecosystem success, to really pay off they must be part of a well-defined Go to Market process that ensures consistency in delivery, tone and message across all instances of customer touch. Unlike traditional sales processes that focus only on sales representative responsibilities at various stages from prospecting to close, a robust Go to Market process actively involves Marketing to incorporate a deeper understanding of discovered customer needs in top of funnel awareness, interest-building and PR influencer campaigns.   These deeper customer insights are made possible by committing to researching target prospect needs, pain points and business objectives. Taking the time to profile decision makers and influencers, demonstrating great “listening” capabilities with confident playback of your understanding of needs that resonate not only accelerates sales but gives Marketing a much better opportunity to demonstrate measurable impact.

Today’s competitive and rapidly changing markets presents unique challenges for all ecosystem sellers and marketers.  Investing in a higher accountability metrics culture, fostering better Marketing-Sales alignment by creating Go to Market virtual teams plus building consistent discipline into a well-defined process will more fully empower ecosystems, maximize ROI and ensure sustainable success.

 

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