The Case for a Co-Marketing-First Approach

The Case for a Co-Marketing-First Approach

Zoe Kelly 7 min
By Zoe Kelly

Effective co-marketing can be difficult. According to our Tech Ecosystem Maturity Diagnostic, only 10% of respondents said that the marketing department is the most impacted by partnerships. Only 13% said that partner data is incorporated in marketing KPIs around attribution and lead generation.

Not prioritizing collaboration with your marketing department can be a missed opportunity for partnership professionals looking to expand their ecosystem. Josh Jagdfeld is the Senior Director of Alliances at Jamf, a mobile device management company. He attributes the expansion of the Jamf partner ecosystem to their strong co-marketing motions, something the team prioritized from the start of the partner program. 

Because of Jamf’s reputation as being invested in co-marketing, Jagdfeld says that he has unsolicited partner requests coming in weekly. As a result, his team can get selective about who they partner with and focus their efforts on projects outside of recruiting new partners. 

Jagdfeld also emphasized that the relationship between the partnership and marketing teams is a symbiotic one. By combining efforts, both teams can hit their goals more quickly and efficiently. He shared with us how:

Strong co-marketing can attract new partners

When your marketing and partnership teams are working together, current partners can benefit from assets created or supported by your marketing team: webinars, access to marketing email lists, e-book creation, blog content, events, webinars, and case studies. 

Partners who are impressed by the quality, efficiency, and consistency of your team’s co-marketing support mention this to their partners. Who mention it to their partners. Developing a reputation of strong co-marketing can get new partners interested in working with you without needing to seek them out. 

Jagdfeld has seen this in action with the Jamf partner program. “What [our commitment to co-marketing] conveys to the partner community is that there’s an active partner dialogue going on at Jamf,” he told us. “[Partners say] Do I want to participate with Jamf and going to market or telling our story? Of course, I do because they are a very outwardly partner-focused organization.” 

Having already created co-marketing materials is also a good selling point for new partners who aren’t familiar with: “We have tons of partners who are reaching out every week who are brand new to Jamf and want to create an integration. And what better way for us to be able to say, ‘Yeah, this is gonna be worthwhile than to just say look at the body of work. It speaks for itself.” he told us. 

Partnerships can help the marketing team hit KPIs

Good partnerships are reciprocal. The relationship between your partnership and marketing teams should be no different. In order to get your marketing team bought into partnership/marketing collaboration, show how it’s beneficial to them. 

One very tangible way to do this is by showing how co-marketing motions help the marketing team hit their KPIs. “We had to tie the types of partner activities that we were doing to the output that the marketing team would expect. We had to articulate for them what the end result of what we were working on was… and how it will affect the marketing team KPIs.”

Before doing anything else, it’s therefore important to get familiar with your marketing team’s KPIs. Not only can this help you choose how you want to present your co-marketing asks, but it can also signal to your marketing team that you are leading with their needs in mind. Starting your relationship with this kind of respect at the foundation can make asking for assistance easier down the line. 

Some examples of marketing KPIs and complimentary co-marketing motions:

For KPIs such as…

  • Increased blog traffic
  • Contact/lead capture
  • Increased actions on CTAs within blog posts

Try: hosting partners as guest writers on your blog. 

Ask your tech partners to guest write an article for your website that specifically addresses their niche audience. Then, have them cross-promote it on their website, newsletter, and socials. 

Asking partners to guest-write for the company blog is a tactic that Jagdfeld used at Jamf. His team reached out to partners who offered Jamf integrations for a unique part of the market. The goal was to show how building an integration with Jamf could be beneficial for partnership programs outside of their standard audience. According to Jagdfeld, this presents an opportunity to “broaden your [partnership] audience” while “expanding your marketing reach.” 

Things to emphasize to your marketing team when making this ask:

  • It’s a light lift for the marketing team because the writing is being done by someone else. 
  • The cross-promotion of the article can increase website traffic, blog readership, etc. 
  • Because the blog is for a niche audience, actions taken on CTAs will most likely be from that underutilized market segment. This can give the marketing team a unique lead list.

Things to emphasize to your partners when making this ask: 

  • Being featured on an external blog can help that partner get exposure to a new audience, including potential new partners. 
  • The partner can link their website, integration marketplace, etc. in the blog, potentially increasing traffic as blog-readers click around. 
  • Offer to share the lead list generated from the CTAs. This can give the partner an email list to take back to their marketing team.

For KPIs such as… 

  • Increased webinar attendance 
  • Increased leads for a specific market segment 

Try: co-hosting webinars with your partners.

Co-hosting a webinar gives you and your partner the opportunity to talk specifically about your “better together” story and your integration. Have your partner cross-promote it on their website, newsletter, and socials. 

Courtesy of Jamf

Jagdfeld suggests cohosting webinars that include insight from three distinct perspectives: 

  1. Your team.
  2. A tech partner with whom you’ve built an integration targeting a unique customer segment. Not only can this help you reach a niche audience, but it can also frame your partner program as versatile. The more applicable your partner program is to a wide audience, the more potential partners you can attract. 
  3. A customer who can validate the integration you’ve built and discuss how it’s changed their workflows.

According to Jagdfeld, these kinds of webinars have brought in new partners also with unique audiences who maybe wouldn’t have otherwise been reached. 

Things to emphasize to your marketing team when making this ask:

  • The cross-promotion of the webinar can increase attendance.
  • Clips of a customer validating an integration provide testimony material that can be re-purposed by the marketing team. 

Things to emphasize to your partners when making this ask: 

  • Your partner will get to promote their partner program to your audience, including potential new partners.
  • Clips of a customer validating an integration provide testimony material that can be re-purposed by their marketing team. 

For KPIs such as…

  • Launching targeted marketing campaigns

Try: getting your partner’s data into Crossbeam.

PEPs such as Crossbeam can help you identify account overlap with your partners and track their impact throughout your pipeline. Not only does this help your partner program identify existing and potentially successful partnerships, but it also empowers your marketing team to launch target marketing campaigns

“If we’re gonna do a marketing initiative around a particular integration, [Crossbeam] shows the cross-section of types of accounts and uncover key consistent themes across them,” said Jagdfeld. “Then the marketing team is able to say, ‘Okay, we’re gonna do a campaign around this topic. This is exactly the type of persona we should target and the types of companies in our database’.”

Things to emphasize to your marketing team when making this ask:

  • Crossbeam will surface account overlap with partners, identifying leads that could be targeted with “better together” messaging. This lets the marketing team get hyper-specific with their campaigns.

Things to emphasize to your partners when making this ask: 

  • Crossbeam provides easy and secure account mapping. Your partner only needs to share the specific information necessary rather than sending over entire spreadsheets of sensitive information. 
  • Crossbeam will surface account overlap with partners, identifying leads that could be targeted with “better together” messaging. This will make co-marketing efforts hyper-specific.
Zoe Kelly 7 min

The Case for a Co-Marketing-First Approach

When done well, co-marketing can be used to expand the reach of and grow a partner ecosystem. Getting buy-in from your marketing department, however, can be a hurdle. This post highlights how co-marketing can be used to grow your Ecosystem, gain long-term customers, and help your marketing team hit their KPIs.

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