4 ways strategic partner programs can improve native marketing platforms
By Andy Gladwin, head of partnerships at Marigold
The primary ambition of any vendor is to provide the most compelling value proposition to customers.
The most successful vendors accomplish this not only by fielding the best product possible, but also by enhancing their native services with a compelling ecosystem of complementary partners.
Simply put, strategic alliances drive improved awareness, confidence, results, and ultimately satisfaction for customers. Building a robust ecosystem acts as a catalyst for delivering value and prevents customers from having to compromise or fall short of their needs. Collaborative partner programs can lower the time it takes to sign new customers, and reduce customer churn, which increases value and customer satisfaction.
Here are four ways a strategic partner ecosystem can benefit your native platform.
1. Complement it
With deep expertise in verticals, solutions and sectors, partners can create maximum value against specific needs in ways no single company can do alone. This is particularly true for relationship marketing platforms, which require meeting customers where they live and interacting with them on their terms, formats, and schedules.
Establishing an open and connected portfolio of services and outputs that marketers can flexibly provide to meet any scenario ultimately strengthens your individual link in that chain.
2. Enhance it
Driving growth for customers through continuous innovation is something every marketing technology platform should strive for. Connecting your technology/platform to that of strategic partners with core competencies that perform additional capabilities not natively available plays a critical role in delivering great experiences.
This could include integrating POS solutions to close the loop on a loyalty program, or simply having an SMS partner deliver with immediacy and reliability to any customer handset globally.
3. Scale it
Your partner ecosystem is not a one-way street. The partners you align with have customers of their own, meaning you’ll likely gain as many referrals as you provide. This is where partnerships can cast the “value proposition net” further with their geographical reach and their own network of relationships.
4. De-risk it
Providing a diversity of services creates a more holistic management approach, as well as an agnostic view on how to leverage value. Each partner option strengthens the other by either filling in gaps in the solution chain, or offering redundancies of overlap. Either way, so long as each solution in the mix is pulling its weight, then these consultancy/strategic relationships will work in both the customer's and vendor's favor.
A critical component of winning strategic alliances is the ability to work together and to the fully integrated technology and expertise that customers need. This is particularly important today when the pace of global change is accelerating daily. Rigid solutions that lock customers into walled garden environments lack the flexibility needed to navigate this constantly evolving landscape.
If these benefits appeal to you, then perhaps a partner program is something you should explore. Pro tip—an essential part of this effort is education. Offering training, onboarding, and solution certification programs that ensure your partners know how to fully integrate and take advantage of the solution you’re offering enables greater collaboration and leads to more success. Creating experiences that build relationships while addressing unique business needs enables a much wider breadth of opportunities within partner ecosystems.
The result is a scalable, structured environment that our customers and partners can incorporate into their respective solutions and apply in whatever way is required for them to succeed. It opens up new regions, solutions and verticals for partners to mutually benefit.
Think of it as a force multiplier — the easier it is for partners to connect and integrate into a full-solution portfolio of services, the more valuable and applicable those solutions can be, either individually or in combination with each other. This allows customers to create new routes to market across segments, industries and regions.
It’s an exciting time that’s getting more exciting by the day. Working with an ecosystem of strategic solutions, agencies, and technology partners will expand our individual capabilities and better address specific client needs worldwide.
Interested in joining Marigold’s partner ecosystem? Read more about it and connect with us today.