The concept of a Campaign-in-a-Box has become a popular component of vendor through-channel marketing programmes in recent years. However, what’s in the box isn’t always a source of delight for expectant partners; sometimes it can result in disappointment and frustration.
So what is a Campaign-in-a-Box, why have they become so popular and how do you ensure that yours hit the mark?
In summary, the idea of a Campaign-in-a-Box (CiaB) is to provide partners with all of the resources and material they need to run a campaign packaged up into an easy-to-use toolkit. Done well, it offers an accessible way for partners to access vendor-created content and promotional materials that they can use to build awareness and generate demand.
Why are they popular:
The popularity of Campaign-in-a-Box(es) has been driven by multiple factors, including:
- vendors are looking to their partner channels to be growth engines. In one survey, 91% of B2B leaders said they expected to increase revenue directly attributed to their partner ecosystems in 2021 
- vendors can achieve better returns on their marketing investment by leveraging channel partners’ relationships – according to Forrester through-channel marketing (TCM) has been shown to deliver up to 7x higher conversion rates than direct marketing 
- vendors need to work hard to retain partner loyalty – it’s not sufficient to just have a great product or attractive margins; in many categories, partners are spoilt for choice of vendors. To retain partners’ focus vendors need to show how they’re making it easier for partners to generate demand and leads
- effective digital content is vital for attracting prospects - B2B buyers do most of their research online before deciding whether to engage a potential supplier - a staggering 92% say they are fully informed about a business before making contact - but partners often lack the resources to create high-quality content themselves 
Why do they fail?
While many channel partners rely strongly on GTM support from vendors, the resources that are provided to them often fall short and don’t have much impact on the partner’s business growth. Common failures included lack of clarity around the partner opportunity, excessive focus on the vendor proposition with no room for the partner value-add, poor-quality content, lack of execution guidance and just making them too hard to understand and use.
Many partners are also getting more sophisticated in their own marketing, looking to build their brands and investing in their own MarTech tools. Campaign resources which don’t allow them to leverage those investments are likely to fail.
What makes a successful CiaB?
OneGTM have built successful through-channel campaigns for a wide range of market-leading vendors and service providers. Based on our experiences, we’ve outlined some top tips below:
- Communicating the opportunity
To engage partners, its’ vital that you can clearly articulate the opportunity that the campaign creates - not just the opportunity for your offering but for the partner themselves. This should be backed up with good market insight, that adds something to the partners’ own understanding. Take time upfront to engage with your stakeholders and partners to ensure that this opportunity story is compelling.
- Less about you, more about the problem you’re jointly solving
Content that just focuses on how great your solution is won’t attract B2B decision-makers in the early stages of their buying journey, who will be more focused on the problems and opportunities they need to address. It will also be of little value to your partners who are looking for ways to engage new prospective customers in a conversation that enables them to bring out their own value.
- Highlight the partner added value
Campaign assets need to be designed to make it easy for partners to highlight their own value, not just promote yours. For example, provide sections with editable placeholder copy for partners to edit with their own value-add offerings. Shine light on the joint proposition (or create one). Each partner offers a unique way for your solution to be marketed, so capitalise on this.
- Looks matter
Allow your partners to use your content as a means of building their brand, alongside yours. Channel partners typically don’t have large marketing departments or budgets so being able to easily co-brand is appealing and makes your assets far more valuable. Sharing vendor-branded content has limited appeal to many partners – sharing co-branded content creates value for them.
- Listen, enable, empower
Build engagement upfront by having constructive conversations with your partners; to understand what content formats they use, what tactics are most relevant and where they need help. Giving them what they need rather than what you happen to already have lying around will drive much greater engagement. Where possible, provide Marketing Development Funds (MDFs) or subsidise agency support for things like media planning, social targeted ads, landing page development and martech set-up.
- Clear guidance not just a bunch of assets
Just giving partners a collection of marketing assets without helping them understand how to best use those assets to execute a campaign is likely to lead to poor results, or worse, inaction. A strong CiaB will provide a good enablement guide for partners explaining the market opportunity, the target audience and their pain points, re-usable messaging, execution plans and other tips for successfully implementing the campaign.
- Keep it simple, stupid
The more difficult you make it to use your CiaBs – whether that’s due to confusing instructions, difficult-to-navigate partner portals, or inflexible Through Channel Marketing Automation (TCMA) tools - the less uptake you’ll get. You need to build enthusiasm with channel partners, and the best way to do that is by providing simple, easy-to-follow plans, assets and platforms that can offer partners maximum impact with quick turnaround and minimum effort.
Where we come in
At OneGTM, we work with global leaders in the communications and technology sectors to support their through-channel marketing programmes. With a wealth of experience and expertise, we’ve created award-winning, through-channel strategies and campaigns that help our clients succeed faster. We’ve provided links below to some examples of successful projects.
CiaBs in action
- Samsung Mobile Verticals
Samsung wanted to help partners shift to selling vertically-focused business solutions. The campaign toolkits we created resulted in increased reach, more sales and improved partner engagement
- Zen Internet ‘Better for Business’
Zen needed to rollout their new offering on a national level, but also in a way that enabled very localised targeting. The campaign enabled Zen’s partners around the UK to achieve significant sales uplift.
- Equinix Verticals
Equinix wanted to make it easier for both in-country marketing teams and partners to target key verticals, so we created a series of insight-led campaigns that helped strengthen Equinix’s position in those sectors.
- Broadsoft Cloud Communications
BroadSoft wanted to drive greater demand for its cloud communications platforms within SMBs. We equipped their Service Provider partners with the insights, strategy, content and enablement tools to target the end-to-end buying journey.
Are you ready for success?
Overall Campaign(s)-in-a-Box aren’t rocket science, but they do need careful planning and creativity to ensure you’re delivering campaigns that deliver results for your partners and a good return on investment for you.
Download our new eGuide, Driving Growth Through the Channel, to learn more about how we've helped the likes of Equinix, Fujitsu and Broadsoft (now Cisco) exceed their TCM expectations.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how OneGTM could help you build more effective through-channel marketing programmes contact us.
- Channel/Partner Marketing Benchmark Survey, Channel Marketer Report, Demand Gen Report, 2021
- Empower Your Channel Partners with a Service-Led Approach to Through-Channel Marketing, OneAffiniti/Forrester, 2019
- Google Marketing Livestream 2021