Year in Review: Top 10 Channel Marketing Blog Posts of 2021

By: Ellen Linkenhoker
collage of top channel partner marketing articles from 2021
What a year it’s been. The past 12 months have seen existing trends accelerate years ahead as many brands sped up their digital transformation and OEMs and distributors were faced with supply chain and inflation disruptions.
While it’s exciting to look forward to all the channel partner potential in 2022, we also want to look back over the year at the best articles that remain relevant moving into the new year. These 10 articles rose to the top, so we feel compelled to share again.

1. How to Create Relevance & Personalization in Channel Partner Programs

A personalized and seamless partner experience will improve the end-customer experience by eliminating the friction that prevents partners from meeting the needs of the end customer. When organizations make working in their channel simple and engaging, partners can focus on what they do best: sell. Learn more about creating relevance and personalization in channel partner programs.

2. [Audio Insight] Why Channel Partner Experience Matters & Where to Start

How do you define “partner experience”? Why is it important? What’s included in the partner experience? Where can you start improving today? What is the value of personalization? And how you can measure partner experience? While companies may not have direct control over partners, brand owners have the opportunity to influence partner organizations to provide a better customer experience. Hear the answers to all these questions and more in this audio Insight

3. Focus Incentives on Rewarding Channel Behavior, Not Sales

Smart vendors are moving away from rewarding partner reps solely for finish line results. Instead, they’re rewarding desired actions taken at different stages in the buyer’s journey where a change in partner behavior is desired. Learn how to influence channel behaviors earlier in the relationship, which leads to better participation, higher engagement and more profitable partner relationships.

4. Advice for Communicating During the 3 Stages of To-Partner Channel Marketing

Good partnerships are transparent and built upon the understanding that the success of one partner contributes to the success of the other. To ensure successful program engagement, develop a strategy that attracts, activates and accelerates your program partners.

5. 6 Strategies for Channel Partner Engagement & Onboarding Success

A plan designed to engage participants is critical—where they’re at, in their own time, within the journey—across the three As (Attract, Activate, Accelerate). Recognizing participant uniqueness should inform your design process to ensure that you put these phases on a self-paced timeline, prompting different roles with personalized behaviors. Learn how to ensure partner engagement and onboarding success.

6. Best Practices for Claims Program Management

Successful claims program management involves continuous improvement. Making connections amongst systems, suppliers, strategies and partners is the key. Look at best practices for lowering the burden of managing a claim-based program while simultaneously reducing the risk.

7. 7 Steps to a Successful Referral Program

Why not turn customer relationships into formal referral partnerships? Learn the essential steps to create a successful referral program including who referral partners are and how they compare with other types of channel partnerships.

8. Best Channel Partner Performance Metrics to Monitor

What you measure depends on what makes sense for you and your partners. Look at some performance metrics that can be measured, monitored and optimized to help achieve your core business goals. (Plus, some tips about simplifying your data picture at the end, too.)

9. How to Implement Skills Development Training Programs for Employees & Partners: Upskilling, Cross-Skilling, Reskilling

Many organizations know that they need to pursue skills development efforts, but are quickly overwhelmed. Not anymore. Learn the four key phases for a successful skills development strategy, including practical examples of how we’ve partnered with organizations to execute on their skills development program.

10. Best Practices for Hosting a Channel Partner Summit & Other Partner Events

Channel partner events can provide invaluable opportunities for understanding the latest industry trends, networking with other professionals and honing expertise. But planning, executing and measuring the impact can be complicated. Read the event best practices we wrap into every partner event we design.
Looking for more insights to prepare for the year ahead? With a partner landscape in a constant state of evolution, stay up to date and focused on relevant trends.

Ellen Linkenhoker
Ellen Linkenhoker

Ellen Linkenhoker is the Channel Partner Solutions Lead for ITA Group. She drives the insights, strategy and evolution of the organization’s channel solution while offering advisement for client engagement and incentive programs. She’s worked as a practitioner in technology, software and service companies as part of the channel and as a vendor. She is an award-winning marketer and navigates all things channel, marketing, incentives and engagement, including pioneering thought leadership on channel partner ecosystems and the partner experience.