3 Key Components of a Successful B2B Partner Strategy

Marketing | 5 minutes to read

24th Feb, 2022

Explore how B2B companies can leverage partner marketing to the fullest with a clearly laid out go-to-market strategy and learn about the three most important factors that organizations need to make a successful partner go-to-market plan.

Snapshot:

    • B2B businesses can utilize partnership marketing initiatives for new growth and expansion

    • A partner go-to-market strategy is necessary for the success of such partnerships as it provides a clear blueprint

    • This blog shares the three crucial components of any successful B2B partner go-to-market strategy

    Partnership marketing, or alliance marketing, is an effective method to reach new customer audiences and drive up demand generation. Partnering with other organizations can help B2B companies to tap into new customer segments and scale business growth. Related, supplementary, value-added products and services can be promoted as joint partnerships and can help reap mutual benefits through collaborative efforts. To do this in an effective manner, choosing the right partner and taking the association forward successfully as it evolves over time is essential. This article will dive into how companies can go about B2B partnership marketing and some key elements of a successful partner go-to-market strategy.

    Go-to-market strategies in the B2B world

    Go-to-market strategies are detailed and clearly laid out plans that outline how a product or service will be launched in a given market for maximum success. The goals are typically focused on increasing market share, increasing revenue, engaging customers, or entering new markets. These strategies are usually not as detailed or broad as a business plan—since they do not dive into details of the overall business process or model but simply focus on customer acquisition. A go-to-market strategy concentrates explicitly on the product or service and how to launch it seamlessly or increase its market share.

    Some core components of a go-to-market plan include:

    (i) accurate identification of the market,

    (ii) customer segmentation,

    (iii) market distribution,

    (iv) messaging that goes along with the product or service, and finally,

    (v) pricing.

    Go-to-market strategies provide a clearly laid out blueprint and a timeline for different stakeholders involved in bringing the offering to the market. This helps create an actionable roadmap towards achieving marketing success.

    Go-to-market strategies in partner marketing

    Go-to-market strategies are critical for the success of partner marketing, particularly if the launch of a new product or service is involved. Partner, or alliance, marketing is when two businesses collaborate to develop a unified marketing strategy to engage the same set of customers and provide benefits on their unified offerings. Having a clear go-to-marketing plan in place helps maximize the benefits of the joint partnership and also achieve the objectives of the association quickly and efficiently. Depending upon the specific partnership context, these may include increased digital demand generation, online lead generation, market expansion, product development, among other goals.

    Here are three key considerations that B2B businesses have to make for a successful B2B partner go-to-market strategy:

    #1 Clear alignment on the joint offering and partnership goals

    For any partnership go-to-market strategy to be successful, there has to be clear communication and strong alignment between the two partnering organizations working together. Before entering into a partnership marketing program, it’s imperative that B2B businesses clearly indicate what they expect from the partnership. This includes the mutual benefits, the costs involved, how the responsibilities will be distributed, performance metrics that will be tracked, reporting systems and workflows to develop, and so on.

    Apart from gauging business synergy or fit, there has to be a firm understanding of what the final joint messaging will look like apart from the business goals that can be achieved through the bulk offering. Therefore, for a partner’s go-to-market plan to work effectively, there needs to be a clear perspective on the final value proposition made to end customers. This includes what the partnership offers to the buyer, what it doesn’t, and how a given partnership can differentiate itself from other alliances out there in the market.

    #2 Develop core content material around the partnership go-to-market plan

    Marketing content is a crucial element of the B2B demand generation matrix. Companies that operate in the B2B space recognize that creating content like blog posts, podcasts, videos, whitepapers, thought leadership articles, roundtable discussions, and webinars are all ways to nurture leads at the awareness and consideration stages of the B2B marketing funnel.

    Whether it is a digital marketing agency facilitating a partnership marketing program or simply a B2B business looking to collaborate with like-minded companies, developing common core content assets surrounding the go-to-market strategy is an important first step before the launch of the campaign. During the go-to-market planning phases, sharing any public-facing material with the partner sales and marketing teams can also help them understand partner products and services better. This, in turn, translates to better content assets for buyers who might be interested in the partnership.

    Companies can provide sales scripts, marketing briefs, share common databases, and use the same set of tools to make the joint content development process more efficient. It is also crucial for B2B firms to note that partnership content needs to be consistent in its tone, visual language, messaging, and CTAs.

    #3 Create out a detailed distribution plan

    After having the required go-to-market content assets in place, B2B businesses have to think about how to distribute it in a way that reaches their combined audience. A proper distribution strategy consists of several different aspects. For instance, partners have to figure out where the central repository of the partnership content will be for the purpose of discoverability. This is to ensure that if buyers want to view content around the partnership, they should be able to do so with ease.

    Then comes the personalization aspect—wherein content has to be made such that it’s relevant and customized for all types of common customers. Since decision-makers in businesses are usually flooded with a lot of promotional content, making it tailor-made and bespoke and highlighting the mutual benefits can go a long way towards achieving success. Lastly, the content strategy also has to incorporate consistency and organization so that buyers know where each information and content type is located. Mapping out a detailed distribution plan for content that takes into account these three aspects is a vital part of any successful partner go-to-market strategy.

    Ensuring go-to-market success in B2B partner marketing 

    Building a partner marketing ecosystem is a great way to fast-track expansion into newer market segments and increase revenue. But it’s important to leverage partnership programs to the fullest and create a strong foundation of collaboration. A go-to-market strategy for a partnership marketing project clearly outlines what the joint offering will be, the value proposition attached to it, and how it can gain an edge over its competition. Adopting common go-to-marketing strategies and frameworks as a core tenet of B2B partner marketing collaborations can increase the clarity for both the parties involved and enhance the scope of the joint exercise.

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