Marketing technology plays a crucial role in the growing partnerships industry, creating better business relationships towards attaining common marketing and economic objectives and greater revenue.
The partnerships industry is not new. It has been a practice for businesses to tie up and benefit from each other’s target audience, marketing techniques, and technologies to accomplish common sales and marketing objectives. As the number of businesses in the Asia Pacific (APAC) grows, the opportunities for building partnerships have evolved, utilising marketing technology to help companies become more data-driven, innovative, and competitive.
Heather Cook, Seismic Vice President, Asia Pacific, explained, “B2B organisations often have indirect sales channels to take their products and services to market. For the technology sector, they work with distributors and resellers (such as system integrators). In the Financial Services sector, banks or investment firms would work with brokers”.
As Cook pointed out, Marketing technology is widely used in the partnership industry, particularly in the business-to-business (B2B) sector. The business-to-customer (B2C) sector can learn a lot about how B2B businesses engage in partnerships.
Cook said that these partnerships are important sources of revenue for B2B businesses. They are effectively the extended sales and marketing teams of the business. It is therefore crucial to enable these partners with resources and tools to help them engage buyers effectively to resell and add value to the principal’s products and services.
One of the emerging marketing technology solutions in APAC is gamification. “We have seen a lot of success with this approach in the high tech industry,” Cook stated. “Citrix is a great example of a tech company that consolidated 4,000 content assets and sales resources into a single portal. As a result, they saw a whopping 98.5% adoption across 200,000 channel partners and 2,000 sellers globally. Rackspace got really creative and used the content hub model to gamify the experience for their channel partner community.”
She explained that building upon a unified system for content and resources, partners earn points for various activities, such as downloading and sharing content with prospective customers, watching a self-paced training or onboarding video, completing certification or registering a lead.
Points accumulated can be used to redeem merchandise like shirts and mugs. This gamification model is a great way to deepen partner relationships but also provides visibility to how partners are engaging the business customers.
Machine Translation and CMS Integration Tools to reach global partners
With machine translation, businesses with different languages can now communicate fast and easily. While human translation services are still paramount, machine translation cuts off the time and effort in translating basic programme data.
With content management system (CMS) integration tools, APAC companies can develop more strategic partnerships. Businesses can reach their global partners through their websites, for a greater chance to create better portfolio strategies, capital planning, and relationship management.
Co-Promoted Webinars to highlight both companies
Two companies can create webinars together to highlight their expertise. Webinars can help generate leads, in which the conversion rate can even achieve a higher boost with co-promoted.
One good example of a co-promoted webinar is the ‘The Impact of Covid-19 on Australian Businesses Across ASEAN.’ This webinar was co-hosted by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and the Australia-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce (AustCham). The webinar discussed strategic ways to build resilient supply chains and the importance of multilateral trading systems and regional economic integration across Asia.
Collaboration and Influencer Marketing
As an example of how APAC brands embrace partnership for growth, the Singapore Tourism Board and Mattel, a toy company conducted a joint marketing push that featured Barbie, a highly influential toy icon, to boost brand experience. In addition, social media influencers are also at their peak of receiving partnership offers, promoting collaborative marketing campaigns across brands.
Greg Paull, the Co Founder and Principal of R3 said that brands should look for common ground with companies outside their categories. In this way, they can develop solutions to enhance the overall consumer journey.
Marketing Technology as a Partnership Strategy
According to Aniket Singh, CEO & Founder at NetworkEx, “While it depends on the firm, most tech startups and companies tend to have engineering-centric cultures that are hyper-focused on developing new products, features and technology to outperform the competition—with very little input from marketing or external insight on what target customers actually need”.
Companies are willing to use technology to transform their business, but are hesitant to make the leap. Hence, a company that is less-tech savvy needs to find the right partner to become more data-driven. On the other hand, a data-driven company can share its expertise and collaborate with another company that can provide similar benefits to them, such as endorsing their products and services to a broader customer base.
With marketing technology, businesses are more motivated and successful in articulating their message and value to customers. Companies embracing marketing technology tend to gain better revenue results and partnership win-win outcomes.