Infographic: 6 steps for marketers to work more effectively with partners

What does it take to be a great marketer when working in a partner led business? Check out our infographic for six steps to develop a winning routine

In a traditional corporate structure you might have just one or two bosses to satisfy. In a partner-led organisation you could have hundreds – each with their own slightly different take on the wider company objectives and how they plan to deliver them.

In this environment, it’s up to marketers to navigate this complex web – and to satisfy the partners’ needs, client’s demands and business’ goals. Many partners may have competing priorities or objectives, so convincing them ‘no man is an island’ may be a challenge.

In most organisations, commands flow down from the top, yet even junior marketers in a partnership will often find themselves pitching ideas to a group of senior stakeholders above them. They know they’ll need to work with their seniors to execute their ideas.

Partners are experts in their own subject areas, but they are often well-versed in marketing too. To become a partner you need to prove your ability to generate revenue by convincing clients to buy from you and buy into your ideas. While they might not have the technical marketing background and experience you possess, they’ll understand what it takes to develop propositions and go to market.

The nature of the services many partnerships provide – such as professional/legal advice or consultancy – means having to react quickly to market, regulatory or political changes. This means marketing needs the same quick thinking, and must keep up-to-date with market developments.

The pace of this change can lead to a short-term outlook among some partners, so another marketing challenge is to convince them of the benefits of a long-term approach.

How to identify partners to work with

If you work in a multinational organisation, there could potentially be hundreds of partners for you to interact with. You’re not going to convince every one to be an active partner – and nor should you try. Concentrate on developing a marketing mindset within your organisation, so that even if some partners are not engaging with the marketing team, they’re still actively marketing the firm in the best way possible.

It may be frustrating not to be directly involved in a partners’ efforts, especially if you’re keen to elevate internal recognition of marketing, or haven’t worked in a partnership before. Yet, your efforts here are highly valuable. Internal communications will be crucial in engaging partners in marketing and business development. You’ll already have some idea of the most receptive people as they’ll be generating demand and asking for things from you. They should become your champions, cascading that mindset throughout the wider business. Much like trying to improve a Net Promoter Score, there’ll be supporters, passives and detractors. You must focus on energising the supporters and converting the detractors.

Finding your perfect partner

How to be a great marketer in a partner-led organisation

Download this free guide to learn how to navigate the unique challenges of working as a marketer in a partnership business, such as a professional services or law firm

Learn the essential skills needed

How to be a great marketer in a partner-led organisation