When you're looking to make the biggest impact on channel revenue, it's a great idea to think beyond your own company. There are probably a handful of strategic allies in the B2B space whose offering complements your own; teaming up with them to put on awesome digital events will maximize reach — and potential revenue — for both of you!
Even if you're already engaged with partners, you may be interested in learning how to improve the way you run partner events. Adding more people to the decision-making process can lead to some challenges—but things don't have to be stressful! By being proactive and planning ahead, you can minimize any speed bumps along the way.
Whether you're new to partnerships or a seasoned team player, there's something for you here!
For our recent Rock Your Funnel series, Goldcast co-founder Kishore Kothandaraman hosted the webinar Using Digital Events to Drive Partner Engagement and Activate Channel Revenue and spoke with:
These seasoned partner marketing experts discussed how their companies handle to-partner and through-partner events. They shared examples of successful events and walked us through the finer details of each type of partner event, as well as how they measure partnership success.
And, yes, we talked about how to tell if people are just there for the free drinks or swag! Check out the full session below to catch up. ⤵️
All of our panelists talked about the power of to-partner events, which are events designed to gather your partners together in the same space and build a community together. Maybe you're talking about industry best practices, or perhaps you're thanking your trusted partners for their service.
Whatever your intent with to-partner events, these are very different from through-partner events, when you work with your partners to put on an event for a target audience.
Here at Goldcast, our focus has primarily been on through-partner events, so that's what we'll hone in on here with our advice. However, if you're interested in learning more about to-partner events, definitely check out the full webinar!
Before we start, let's make sure we're all on the same page when it comes to partnerships and channel sales.
Channel sales refers to "selling through partners" and, according to Salesforce, represents 75% of the world's commerce.
That's right: the majority of the world's purchases come through channel sales. Think about it: When you buy something from Amazon, that's a channel sale. You're not purchasing directly from the manufacturer of the product itself; you're buying through Amazon.
As a B2B business, your goal with channel sales is to collaborate with companies who can help you unlock new (but highly relevant) audiences—while you're doing the same for them. Channel sales is a broad term, but our focus today is on how to use digital events as part of your strategy.
Here’s why virtual event partnerships work so well:
As a B2B business, your goal with channel sales is to collaborate with companies who can help you unlock new (but highly relevant) audiences—while you're doing the same for them.”
Setting goals for your partner events will be similar to the way you set goals for your other events, with an important caveat: Your goals should align with those of your partner. Be clear in communicating each of your goals upfront so that you design your event with those in mind.
Your goals will also vary, depending on which partner you're working with. For example, you might set a higher goal for event registrations if you're working with a well-known name in the industry versus if you're partnering with a newer-to-market brand.
Alex recommends asking these four questions:
Then, use these metrics as starting points for goal-setting:
Remember: Your ultimate goal is to boost revenue for both you and your partner. Skim the goals above with that in mind. Do the benchmarks you set make sense with that revenue-generating destination in mind?
In our years of working with other companies to amplify our brand awareness, we've learned a few things. Here are five of our best tips for maintaining smooth partnerships and making sure your events meet your goals!
There are many companies out there, but only a few will be the right fit for you.
Remember: Your goals must align with your partner's. Have those discussions early on, and pay attention to any signs or red flags that you're not on the same page.
Other things to pay close attention to are your partner's competency, work ethic, and consistency. Are they showing up on time and prepared for meetings? Are they following up on items they say they will? Do you feel good about the work they're doing?
You want to feel comfortable giving some of the control to your partner, and you'll only be able to do that if you trust them.
Here are some things to look for in your partnerships:
When it comes to partnerships, quality is better than quality! Going deep with a few meaningful partnerships will likely yield better results than casting a wide net and running with whatever you can get.
If you want your partnerships to thrive, a great tip is to make things super easy for them!
Staying on top of these things shows your partner that you're a solid company to work with. By being proactive, you're demonstrating you're equally committed to their success and making it easy to track the value of your partnership over time.
If you want your partnerships to thrive, a great tip is to make things super easy for them!”
To minimize confusion and frustration, set expectations about who will do what before the partnership begins. This should cover everything from how you share information to the ways you want to follow up with attendees after the event.
Being honest with each other at the beginning of the partnership is so important." - Philip Grotto, Global Head of Partner Marketing, Bloomreach
Lead sharing is a big one here. How do you want to handle this information after the event? You can share the entire list with your partner, in exchange for a sponsorship fee. Or you can set up a lead sharing system that sends the list only after your partner brings a certain number of leads to the event.
Maybe you'd rather agree to share one lead in exchange for every new attendee that registers for your event. Or, you want to only share the leads who attended a specific partner-led or sponsored session.
If none of these suggestions sound good, you can also work out your own way of doing it!
Beyond lead sharing, you'll also need to think about these event marketing tasks:
It might seem like a lot to delegate tasks out in advance of your event, but this will be more efficient for everyone in the long run. Being prepared means you're respecting everyone's time and cuts out any potential for frustration after the event. Not only that, but you're making sure that promo materials are taken care of, leads are nurtured, and important metrics are analyzed!
Even though you're working with a partner company, you want things to be seamless. Here are three major things to consider doing:
You didn't think we could write a post about digital events without talking about data, did you?
Every B2B marketer knows that powerful data matters—and partnered events are no different! You'll want to gather crucial data around your event goals, as well as deep account-level insights, at every stage of the event marketing journey. This will help you see what worked well (and what didn't), which you can use to inform future partnerships.
Here are a few key metrics to track:
Once you organize your data and get clear on what insights it's offering you, it's time to huddle with your partners and talk about everything. You already know who's going to follow up (remember Step 3?), so identifying next steps will be super straightforward!
At this point, it almost goes without saying that a thoughtful, robust partnership marketing strategy will make everyone's lives easier—and, hopefully, boost everyone's revenue!
From setting expectations early on in the partnership process to analyzing post-event data in meaningful ways, there are many ways you can provide value to your partner and ensure your future success.
And if you're looking for a B2B-specific digital event platform to help you create and host customizable, engaging events, Goldcast is here for you! Our true-to-you event branding will help you and your partners create a unique, dazzling digital event experience. After the event, you'll get all the data you need, right in the systems you already use.
Ready to learn more? Schedule your personalized demo today to see how we can improve your future partnership events!