Imagine you’re attending your first channel meeting, and it seems everyone is speaking a different language. Most of us who have been in the channel for years don’t realize how many times we use acronyms and terms other people aren’t familiar with.
We’re not trying to alienate anyone or impress people; it has just become part of our vocabulary. This guide to eight common channel terms and acronyms should familiarize you with the language of the channel—so you’re more empowered for success.
1. Channel Strategy
This is a vendor plan that directs the decisions and management of marketing and sales through a partner network. It’s a uniquely designed channel set created to maximize sales and profits for a vendor’s products and/or services.
A channel strategy includes choosing the types, locations, expertise, market segment and number of channel partners. It also determines the structure and role of the network, which may include sales and IT consultants, value-added resellers (VARs), managed service providers (MSPs), systems integrators (SIs), online retailers, hosters, distributors and telcos.
2. Born in the Cloud
This term describes a company focused on delivering cloud solutions from the start. The company did not “convert” from a hardware or software company to a cloud solutions vendor. In fact, most of these companies have built their businesses on a recurring revenue model.
3. Channel Partner
This identifies a reseller of a vendor’s products and services that expands vendor sales opportunities—by utilizing the location, expertise and additional services partners can provide.
Partners typically receive access to training, tools, marketing collateral and campaigns. A “channel partner” can range from being a sales or IT consultant, value-added reseller (VAR), systems integrator (SI) or managed service provider (MSP) to a distributor or telco.
4. Channel Marketing
In channel marketing, a vendor invests in programs by partnering with various types of resellers to advertise their brand, drive end-user value, reduce marketing costs and increase sales for both them and the partner.
5. Through-Partner Marketing
This is the act of establishing co-marketing programs and tactics with partners. These programs involve co-branding marketing assets, and help your partners adapt to the increasing share of vendor sales through channel networks. This is a collaborative marketing approach, and the level of involvement can vary.
6. To-Partner Marketing
If you are new to the channel, partners may not know who you are. As a result, you’ll need to dedicate time and resources to increasing your brand awareness with a potential partner. This approach involves communicating the unique value of a joint business relationship to partner prospects and the benefits to their end users.
7. Co-Branded Marketing
Co-branded marketing is when two or more brand names, vendors or partners collaborate on collateral, a product/service or an event to increase awareness, drive value, reduce costs and lower risk.
Automated channel marketing solutions can reduce the expense and complexity of marketing tactics by giving channel partners the opportunity to co-brand with their vendor more easily, efficiently and effectively.
8. Partner Enablement
In terms of the channel, partner enablement represents the strategy and provision of application-based tools, content, training, market development funds (MDFs), partner adoption programs and other activities a vendor can sponsor. This serves to accelerate sales and add value to the vendor-partner relationship.
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