I read with great interest Sue Troy's article titled, "Channel partner loyalty: You're being watched."
The article was about an interesting new report from consulting company The Spur Group that enables vendor monitoring of partners. The report, called "Partner InSite," provides info on partner loyalty to and affiliation with particular vendors, technologies or products by measuring and evaluating website language, messaging and any potential presence of a competitor's content.
As a channel marketer, I am uncomfortable receiving a grade by vendors on how well my company uses its messaging and applies vendor-affiliated terms to my content. In my opinion, solution providers that rip and replace, syndicate, repackage and throw their logo on the sales sheet are losing ground and will ultimately win the race to the bottom. Which is exactly why, at eGroup, we've taken a more strategic approach to marketing the company and the incredible talent who deliver successful outcomes for our customers.
If every solution provider served as only the mouthpiece of the vendor's content and messaging, how are we to show differentiation, intellectual property excellence and uniqueness of our offerings and brand to the customer? As channel partners, our value is in the ability to create net-new solutions based on our manufacturers' products with the customer's specific environment in mind.
I would also hope the report analyzes many sources other than just the partner website.
For example, a sign of loyalty is a partner's tech consultant or engineer speaking to a vendor user group (local, regional or national) or a partner's tech consultant or engineer commenting in the press about the vendor's new launch. I hope The Spur Group will score and report on these types of publically facing communications as well.
My customers receive enough vendor marketing; they certainly don't want to hear it verbatim from their channel partners.
If you think otherwise, please reach out and let me know.
Rich Young is marketing and corporate communications manager at eGroup Inc.
This was first published in November 2013