A B2B co-op marketing campaign — especially one which involves tech integration firms — is, ideally, just a method for organizations to scale their marketing program by sharing assets and costs with other affiliations. So how do manufacturers know if this method is right for them, and what are some first steps they can take?
Ultimately, the number one priority should be to create a program that works for both channel partners.
According to Caroline Lee, Marketing director and co-founder at CocoSign, business organizations typically find it challenging to create a marketing program for themselves.
“That is why it is recommended to adopt a co-op marketing program by creating a set of rules for the channel partners to use company funds for the marketing,” Lee says.
According to Lee, creating a successful B2B co-op marketing program revolves around the following steps:
- Consider the requirements of your company. How many parts of your marketing plan could this stand to effect? What ultra-specific goals does your marketing department have but cannot fulfill without a channel partner?
- Create the set of rules that governs the use of funds by channel partners. This must benefit both parties on a fairly even basis. They should be as simply-phrased as possible so that there are no holes in the language.
- Prioritize your products and services to channelize funds. Set up an automated system for using/reimbursing funds and create templates for advertisements. It’s important to clearly define some metrics which measure ROI.
Rob Freedman is the VP of Marketing at Fourlane, a business & accounting consulting firm and value-added reseller of Quickbooks. They’ve created a network of partners by providing programs of marketing solutions they can use to leverage their own local market.
He says leveraging better economies of scale for your network should be an important goal if you’re considering a co-op marketing campaign.
“You’ll get much more mileage out of your marketing budget and dealing with consistency in messaging. We wanted our messaging to be consistent no matter which partner was talking about us. It helps with our omnichannel approach to marketing,” he says.
“Some manufacturers are clients of ours — we give them greater productivity because they’re not spending time building out content and marketing campaigns. It frees them up to focus on lead generation and followups on-the-ground.”
Freedman says one of the toughest parts of beginning a co-op marketing campaign is communicating the “why.”
“Many don’t like to give up control, but if you present the ‘why’ to stakeholders in a compelling, data-backed way, they’ll see an immediate economic benefit and will be more willing to bite.”
Some more quick tips from Freedman include:
- Keep content fresh and updated.
- Measure engagements on social media, the social profile of your users and click-through rates
- Measure pay-per-click campaigns to determine cost-per-lead and communicate this with channel partners.
If your process leaves more work for your partners, that’s when it isn’t working. Is it truly “turn-key?” You have to be able to communicate results efficiently.