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  • Larry Gregory

Educating Breadth Partners

In my Communicate with Breadth Partners post, the net message was: deliver targeted, relevant communications to sustain your partner base (newsletters, websites, etc.) and engage potential recruits (via 3rd party channels). The call to action built into this breadth outreach is to get educated on your product and program offerings.

If you’re a platform player, you want err on the side of openness, posing little to no friction between your audience and your product/program info.  In particular, don’t hide information behind portals requiring partner ID sign-in or extensive profiling.

Let’s consider an example process for breadth partner engagement:

  1. Send a targeted email to the ecosystem of a competitor that is undergoing a platform-breaking shift, describing your differentiation and partner value proposition.  The call to action might be to learn about your latest product capability and explore your partner program.  Measures of success include reach such as mail click-throughs and hits to a landing page.

  2. Host your training content (webinars, product demos) and product documentation/knowledgebase on a site that requires no profiling.  Measures of success include engagement metrics such as number of people “trained” (initiated or completed training videos).

  3. Nurture partner solutions through lightweight (online) project tracking and support.  In exchange for core profile data about the company and the solution, offer development support, quality validation (testing), and go-to-market opportunities.  KPIs include number of solutions profiled (we’ll talk about activating and marketing the solutions next).

The systems challenge is to design a flexible infrastructure and UI that can accommodate subsequent product releases (and potential acquisitions).

Be sure to retain data for use in subsequent partner marketing & adoption incentives.  In this way you can enable long term, programmatic relationships with the breadth partner ecosystem (e.g., “thank you for using version n-1, we’d like to offer you an opportunity to be an early adopter for version n“).

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