A channel marketer’s dream… a detailed quarterly partner marketing plan you can believe in, complete with goals and strategies, budget, lead and revenue forecast, and an ROI calculated in 10-20 minutes. With channel planning and modelling tools available today, this is not only possible but strongly recommended. In fact, if you are a channel marketer responsible for supporting, funding and approving marketing programs from your partner community, you should be using tools like this to review and approve partner marketing plans that are more likely to generate a strong return on your channel marketing investment.
How quarterly marketing planning and calculating tools can be deployed:
These 10-20 minute quarterly partner marketing planning tools can be deployed in two different methods
- As part of a 10-20 minute annual / quarterly business planning process:This option allows a partner to create a comprehensive 36 month business plan including a revenue forecast (units and $), set business goals, strategies, and a full profitability forecast for their business. This is followed by the option to create individual quarterly marketing plans, budgets and forecasts that support the achievement of the partner business plan.
- As a separate quarterly marketing planning process only:
This option allows partners to easily create quarterly marketing plans as needed without having to create detailed business plans. They can go directly to the marketing planning process and select the fiscal quarter, define activities and tactic details, and model different marketing program options to yield a customized plan, budget, and forecast for the selected quarter.
Channel Marketing Dilemma – How to Allocate Limited Funds to the Partners Most Likely to Succeed:
Partners for most mid-sized to larger technology companies are eligible for some level of marketing and incentive co-funding through various programs (e.g., MDF, Coop, BDF, discretionary programs, incentive programs, etc.). These programs generally take three different forms:
- Accrual Based:Earned marketing monies on a straight percentage of license sales. Few vendors offer this type of program because it is not performance-based.
- Proposal-Based MDF:Monies allocated based on the merits of the partner proposal and their track record with generating growth.
- Coop / proposal based MDF:Monies allocated on a joint (vendor / partner) funding model based on the partner proposal & track record.
The larger percentage of channel funds being allocated use methods 2 and 3, so channel executives must have a scalable, efficient and effective process to evaluate the merits of hundreds or thousands of partner funding requests. These scalable partner marketing calculator tools allow partners to create strong and confident plans that accurately estimate the impact an investment in marketing will have in generating new sales opportunities and revenue for the brand.
How Quarterly Partner Marketing Calculators Work to Streamline This Process:
If a channel organization has both the 10 minute business planning and marketing calculator deployed, they can enable all of the following steps efficiently and effectively across their entire channel network:
- 10 Minute Business Plan: Create a 36 month plan and start simulation of alternatives
- 10 Minute Marketing Plan: Create quarterly activities, tactics, budget, lead & revenue forecast and ROI and simulate alternatives
- Submission to the MDF / BDF System: Streamlined quarterly plan submission process
- Execute the Marketing Program: Support with executing the plan
- Measure Program Performance: An integrated performance management process as programs are completed
Ten minute marketing calculators make it easy for partners to quickly create marketing plans like experts. They guide a partner though a simple process of refining the list size, defining the type and quantity of tactics and automatically calculating a lead “waterfall” forecast. The waterfall forecast starts with responders from the marketing activities that convert to leads, to sales accepted leads, to proposals, to closes sales and ROI. Partners can simulate many different combinations of plans instantly to create one that fits both their budget and their desired return on investment.
These calculators allow partners to develop realistic forecasts for what they can expect from different marketing plans. Ultimately, partners and vendors are looking to gain more confidence in their marketing investments by building more reliable and predictable forecasts. Vendors also have a much more objective and predictable process to evaluate and select which partner marketing investments to fund.
Vendors can generate a much better return on investment and prioritize where to allocate their precious channel marketing dollars to generate the best outcomes.