For some vendors, partner marketing goes no further than handing channel partners the same tired corporate collateral material (like data sheets and white papers) and advertisements those vendors have already used. Oh, and allowing the channel partners to “customize” those materials with their logos, of course.
The benefits to this approach are simple and obvious: reduced cost tool development and providing brand materials that channel partners “pay” to extend. However, this does nothing to improve the partner’s brand recognition. In worst-case scenarios, this marketing tactic could even harm their brand. Frankly, this is a lazy and cheap way for vendors to get out of their real marketing responsibility in the partner chain.
A better alternative is for vendors to create a mini-marketing group, or partner marketing, within the company. By working as an extension of the channel partner business, vendors can actually help channel partners grow and develop better market penetration without investing dollars in outside marketing. As it is, vendors pay for channel partners to develop the market on the vendors’ behalf; with partner marketing, each side can help the other—and, thus, the bottom line.