Almost six out of ten marketing executives say that local marketing is essential to business growth and profitability, according to the CMO Council. With that in mind, it is little wonder that marketing leaders are paying attention to the importance of local partners.

A new ebook from Aprimo called “Guide to Going Local” examines these issues, and particularly the steps marketers can take to support their channel.

As the authors note people are inundated with marketing in today’s digitally disruptive world, “They (partners) tend to pay attention to items that break through this clutter. One-size-fits-all advertising no longer engages customers. To truly captivate your audience, the message must be relevant, relatable, and timely.”

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Going local with your messaging via your partner channel ensures that it aligns to the way consumers want to shop and spend.

Studies, such as one called “Understand Consumers’ Local Search Behavior” by Google, have found that people who search locally are ready to complete purchases at a higher rate than people who do non-local searches.

Having identified these local leads, partners can create more localised and relevant messages while maintaining brand standards.

Brands that empower their partner channel with easily accessible content — and the ability to tailor it with minimal effort — will benefit from this interplay between engaged local consumers and well-equipped and well-supported local partners.

Mindshare

Executing your marketing programs is not your partners’ top priority. Partners don’t see themselves as a marketing arm of your organisation — they are busy running their businesses and their own brands. Furthermore, partners’ capabilities may range from the expert, with a dedicated marketing team, to the novice who lacks their own marketing resources.

That is why modern marketers understand the value of providing partners with real support — tools, content, leads, and communication — to keep them engaged.

The authors of Aprimo’s Guide to Going Local describe the types of tools marketers can provide to their partners:

  • Integrated marketing campaigns with consistent messaging that span channels to reach customers where they spend their time;
  • Co-branded marketing elements so your partners can promote their own businesses along with your brand;
  • Easy-to-use marketing platforms that let partners execute campaigns for their area at the right time, based on their own expertise;
  • On-the-go marketing tools so local partners can launch/monitor their marketing whenever and wherever it fits into their busy schedules;
  • Access to marketing funds that can be used to run their campaigns;
  • Lead-generation tools so partners can do more than get the word out — they can generate leads and close sales;
  • Metrics and reports that are easy to understand and automatically visible.

Strong systems

Rather than relying on outdated systems such as email and simple content portals to manage these critical relationships, brands must provide easy-to-use solutions with ready-to-run marketing content and built-in lead collection capabilities. Brands must service the largest to the smallest partners to avoid leaving potential revenue on the table.

And it is important to recognise that each partner is unique and brings different levels of marketing capability to the partnership. As such, you need to have a simple to use, and easily accessible solution which provides partners with brand compliant campaign offerings that fit into their existing marketing efforts.

Empowerment

For your less-savvy partners, it is useful to provide professional, co-branded campaigns that can be easily launched without marketing expertise. If you’d like to get your more difficult-to-engage partners executing regularly, look for a leading platform that provides your partners with an easy way to opt-in for campaigns to run on their behalf, that provides easy access to marketing funds, that provides a place to collect, access, and track leads, and finally one that provides easy to understand reports and metrics to measure your shared success.

Remember: partners are key to a brand’s success. Empowered and engaged channel partners who feel that the brands have their best interest in mind and have shared success models are more likely to find their partner relationships improving — and their partner channel revenue rising.

About the authors

Sean Campbell is a solutions consultant for Aprimo. He has worked with leading brands in the US, Europe, and APAC, helping them to transform their marketing operations. Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit, of which Aprimo is a Corporate Member. Our members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.

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