Concierge marketing has been around for a long time in B2B, especially by large vendors to support their Mid Size and SMB partners.
The idea behind concierge marketing is simple. For a relatively small fee you can provide or give Partners that may lack the resources and financial strength needed access to marketing tools and content they need to run a successful campaign.
You can see why this model is often used as part of a company-wide channel marketing strategy, however, Partners tend to have a love-hate relationship with it, often debating its benefits and pitfalls.
Every channel manager and executive knows their industry suffers from small margins, economic downturn, and strong competition.
Concierge marketing is now back in fashion and is a way of providing marketing support to channel partners in a more cost effective and controlled way.
But do you really get the return on your investment?
Yet if you speak to the channel organisation they will probably highlight the model’s pitfalls, the limitation in content and creativity, and possibility the difficulty in differentiating themselves from competition through templated content where originality is only added through the partner’s name.
Most importantly leads delivered by Vendors to the channel organisation are often indicated as ineffective and for this reason not properly followed-up.
“I don’t believe these leads are any good, why should I waste my time following them up?”
This is what you often hear and in fact statistically only 5-10% of identified leads are converted due to ineffective nurturing. So, they’re not exactly far off.
However, there is no single way to implement a concierge marketing program and success and failure is often not linked directly to the model but to the way it is implemented.
When a company plans to implement such a model as part of its channel strategy it should concentrate on the benefits offered to both the vendor and the partners while trying to minimise its limitations.
Our 5-step rule
- Select the right channel partners, the ones that will benefit the most, that are engaged and collaborative, that need marketing support, are not working on a niche market and that can follow-up promptly (remember concierge marketing does not allow for high level of customisation).
- Select the right messages, product and solutions to position in the market. Not all of them will be suitable.
- Deliver what the partner wants: real workable opportunities. The key objective of the program should not be simply a brand awareness operation for the vendor, but a cost effective and easy way to give the partner real opportunities to work on so that its business can grow together with the vendor.
- Make it simple. All partners – no matter their size – do not like complex admin work and the smaller they are the less time and resource they will have to dedicate to the activity.
- Work with the right partner agency to create a program that takes all the above in consideration, has clear stepping stones in place, measurable targets and results and makes all party accountable for the success of the program. A partner agency that works for the benefits of both parties vendor and partners and its seen as a value add and not as a mere implementer. An agency that puts performance and results as main driver.
If you want to deliver real results to your channel partners find out how Expandi works with the world largest technology vendors to implement their concierge programs delivering real opportunities to thousands of partners across Europe.