The Channel Meet Up (CMU) is an exclusive event for channel marketers. CR Worldwide was a sponsor of the most recent event, which most recently took place at the end of October in California, and I had the opportunity to attend and chair a discussion.
Here are my key takeaways from attending the event.
Solving pain points and discussing wish lists
The CMU is heavily geared toward an informal networking approach, with content driven by the audience. As our customer decision makers are channel marketing managers, the event is of particular interest to us, to not only meet with customers and prospects, but to immerse ourselves in their world and better understand and solve their pain points.
At the event, I chaired an Incentive roundtable, where the discussion centered around the typical wish lists for incentive program features. Here is what was found to be most important to participants:
- Structure – Having a program that has a foundation that they can easily grow with and pivot when needed
- Cost – Being able to add features and functions when needed, and not pay for them if they’re superfluous
- Communications – Having advice on what is too much communication versus not enough
- Keeping it fresh – Having the ability to make changes to a program without lag time
Such factors are important for not just helping a business get the most from its channel partners, but maintaining the momentum of those teams. You can find out more about this in our blog, Maintaining momentum with a loyalty program.
Sharing ideas, insight and challenges
There were several great presentations at the event, from several US multinational software companies and corporations. These covered topics such as:
- Marketing concierge programs – Software producer Splunk went through their new Positive Partner Experience and Concierge Services, and how to fast track demand creation through partners. They shared details on how they set up their program, including insights on goals and success factors, content and activities, and partner enablement and onboarding. They also shared specifics on outcomes, including marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs). Their key takeaways included to:
- Make it easy
- Align funding
- Prep campaigns end-to-end, including customization
- Guarantee leads
- Set deadlines
- Targeted partner communications – Software maker Autodesk focused on the challenges associated with distribution channels news and effective channel communication. This included:
- Too many manual steps
- Content overload
- Resource availability
- Processes and scalability
They also discussed the need for data automation, mobile apps, an integrated partner portal, and triggered, automated communications in order to be more effective.
- Market Development Funds (MDF) – Software provider Red Hat shared a case study on a small and medium-sized business (SMB), mid-market engagement and promotion. They also discussed the importance of integrating MDF usage with a campaign, syndication, and building a “marketplace,” including marketing concierge services to execute or follow up on results. Key takeaways included to:
- Determine ideal outcome and goals
- Engage the right vendors
- Allow time for change and meeting goals
CR Worldwide’s incentive platform for channel partners offers the final solution to this set of partner tools, which make the sales process slicker, more effective and trackable.
Working together to help you get better at helping your channel
The US CMU event provided an intimate and focused environment to meet with, and hear from, industry colleagues. It enforced the message that no one is alone in their channel marketing challenges. If we work together, we can continually get better.
At CR Worldwide, we work hard to create channel loyalty programs that help you get better at getting the most from your channel partners. We can quickly design, launch and optimise effective programs that engage your channel partners and inspire them to work harder for you. Our channel loyalty programs are:
Easy to implement — Our turnkey MyRewards platform can be tailored to suit your business and your partners’ needs, meaning you can be ready to implement a scheme fast.
Easy to use — Our platforms are made to be quick to launch and easy to understand, so your sales channel teams can meet their targets, view potential rewards, and chart their progress.
Easy to manage — Our programs offer real-time reporting in participation with ROI and budget management. This makes managing, organising, tracking performance and assessing the value of your channel loyalty scheme simple.
We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your sales channel partners with our channel loyalty schemes. To speak to a member of our award-winning team: