Company A has the audience and company B has the product. By working together more product is sold, and on a larger scope than would be possible by working alone.
This is especially true when large companies have partnered with other large companies. Each parallel department knows the drill, the requisite online/offline collateral, and the urgency that comes with getting your message to market and with the familiar voice that will attract the right buyers.
However, what happens when a large company isn’t necessarily partnering directly with large companies? What happens when these partnerships follow the long tail, with multitudes of midsize and smaller ‘mom and pop’ sized partners who as a whole make up just as large of a value of the partnership of many of the big guys?
Will the needed resources multiply? How many languages are needed to make this a success globally? How can we get these smaller partnerships to get our content live on their site on the proper dates, along with any resulting updates? Do these small partners even have webmasters and means to make these timely updates quickly?
These were the issues facing Siemens Enterprise Communications. Working with over 2000 active partners globally, the Director of Marketing needed to get Siemens’s core messaging, such as new product information and promotions, out in a reliable, trustworthy and consistent manner to partners who are often understaffed, and also sell the competing products. There was frequent inconsistent use of brand materials including mocked-up graphics with missing content. Partners would take technical content and paste it on their site, but it would be out of date very quickly and add little value.
Getting the right message out through the sales channel is a common struggle, especially when companies rely on working closely with partners that have limited bandwidth. Siemens felt that it was not in control of the content its partners were using, nor how often, or if it was on message. Additionally, large numbers of partners featured no Siemens content on their site, even though it was their predominant vendor partnership. The program needed a single source of information to be pushed easily to all partners, in a multitude of ways – a solution with more than enough flexibility to meet internal and partner needs.
Siemens deployed a content syndication platform rolled out with a partner centric subscription program designed to make it easy for partners to enroll and receive only the Siemens content that the partners requested. That, coupled with the an email marketing tool that allows companies to push dynamically co-branded marketing email campaigns ‘through’ their partners to send out to their customers and relations, gave Siemens the toolset it needed to organize and unify its message to the channel.
Content syndication became a marketing department substitute for the smaller partners within the Siemens global program. Since implementation, the Siemens Digital Channel partner program is now enrolled in 33 countries and in 11 languages. There is no problem getting Siemens product information and promotions across various channels and languages, which helps make the most of the marketing budget.
Brian Tervo has more than 15 years of business leadership and operational experience in strategic areas including business development, strategic partnerships, reseller relations, product sales, and mergers and acquisitions for both startup and established software and managed service companies. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of TIE Kinetix North American Operations.