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Co-Op Marketing Best Practices for Tech Manufacturers

Co-op marketing thrives when both parties work together to drive demand for the solutions. Here are some best practices.

Co-Op Marketing Best Practices for Tech Manufacturers
Sarah Beggs

For every co-op marketing campaign, the ultimate goal is to create lead generation and strum up interest from potential customers. By working together, tech manufacturers and integrators can partner to refine messaging, reach broader audiences, and generate more awareness.

Co-op marketing thrives when both parties work together to drive demand for the solutions provided by the manufacturer and by accentuating the services and support provided by the integrator.

In turn, these campaigns should drive leads up the channel and provide new opportunities to the systems integrator.

Related: Tools to Use: Customer Profiling & Segmentation

The role of the manufacturer in these cases is to guide dealers and act as a trusted advisor.

The manufacturer should provide guidance to get the best reach, increase traffic, and ultimately get the best return on investment.

In order to accomplish these goals, there a few best practices that manufacturers should follow, and integrators should look for as support from their partners.

1. Build a Rapport

Building a rapport with an individual or an organization is fundamental when nurturing a co-op marketing program. At an introduction stage, this allows you to understand the persona of their business, as well as their wants and needs.

While a manufacturer may be able to help integrators with sales figures, and lead generation, if we don’t truly understand the people themselves and the business, we can’t actively help guide them to achieve successful co-marketing campaigns.

This deeper understanding will be fundamental to foster a strong relationship and develop valuable initiatives.

As your relationship develops, having regular touchpoints allows for discussing new initiatives, checking in during campaigns, and evaluating performance. This helps both parties stay on track and focused on their goals with bi-weekly or monthly calls.

2. Develop Tools and Resources

Your partners will appreciate having one central spot for them to find what they need and to pull the proper assets from. This empowers integrators to access branded content, contact information, and co-marketing guides all on their own.

Co-marketing guides are an important first step in explaining what is available to your partners and educating them how to use your brand to represent both parties properly.

Empowering your systems integrators to find resources that they can tailor on their own time and on-demand will yield the best results. While you may deliver branded content that can be repurposed by your partners, the real value can lie within collateral developed individually by the integrator.

This allows them to extract information provided by the technology manufacturer to develop with their own brand template and unique content that sets them apart from the competition.

Integrators should be cautious in creating look-a-like campaigns, as these will not drive the individual lead generation they are seeking.

3. Measure Your Success

Analytics provide key insights into what works and what doesn’t. Taking the time to track the performance of your campaigns will not only indicate whether it was successful, but it will also help guide future endeavors.

This data offers opportunities to learn trends and insights while also having measures for success to assess the campaign.

Co-op marketing covers every aspect of marketing, including e-mail, events, social media, and so much more to reach customers at all possible points of contact. Successfully putting together such a program is important because it enables you to maximize the chances of finding new potential customers and engaging them in a wide variety of ways.

Analytics will help guide which of these areas perform best for your business, as well as demonstrate where strengths and weaknesses may lie within each arm of the campaign.

Each integrator is different, and their needs will vary on a case-by-case basis. Building a successful co-op marketing program will recognize where these variations lie and address them accordingly to best support each partner.

Each initiative should involve discussions around key strategies and trends that both parties would like to take advantage of together, and then develop a marketing campaign to address those needs.

Co-op marketing should involve a win-win for both the integrator and the tech manufacturer. Both partners collaborate together to reach end users and generate customers who are comfortable with the products and the brands.

This helps drive demand back through the channel and both parties are able to grow their businesses together while reaching a common goal.

Sarah Beggs is the Director of Channel Marketing at Crestron.