The level of communication and how well you compile marketing collateral for your partners to use is equally as important as the quality of your physical construction product is. You take pride in your products and you should take pride in how you prepare and present marketing collateral showcasing your products.
Improving your team's process and systems for digital asset management on behalf of partners is a critical next step in improving partner relationships and revenues from your indirect distribution channels. Even though most of these assets for your partners are digital files, this marketing support and communication to your distribution network contributes directly to the overall buying experience you're managing.
Choose to Invest Now Versus Pay Later
If only 1 in 10 manufacturers has an adequate asset library for partners, it's no wonder why channel distribution networks are so broken these days. Your channel management teams may not feel like they have the time to keep product photos and partner resources up to date. This is merely an excuse that is holding your channel marketing efforts back. It's not a time savings to not manage an asset directory on behalf of your partners.
Instead, think of this as, do you want to invest the time now into paying for employee time, photoshoots, asset creation and asset upkeep or do you want to invest the time later into sales enablement consulting and services to figure out why your partner channels are not improving your bottom line. Either you invest now to yield returns or you pay later to fix the problem.
With better partner asset sites, your indirect sales representatives are better equipped to do the selling for you, and truth be told, without asset sites to pull from, you're unlikely to be a brand that they readily promote. Humans are likely to take the path of least resistance, so you need to make it easy for partners to promote your products and materials through their digital marketing channels and sales interactions. It's what distributor's marketing teams want from manufacturers.
Successful Partner Asset Portals
Okay, so you know it's better to invest now rather than pay later, now what are the components of a successful partner asset portal?
At the very least, you need to have an area of their website or partner portal with your current logos, brand guidelines, and any other information about your building materials manufacturing company that your distributors may need. Include logo files in vector format and with transparent backgrounds to equip your partners properly.
Without this critical piece, many of your dealer sites are liable to not even have the appropriate logo. Starting your asset library curation process by making some basic branding resources and branding guidelines available in one well-organized location will be a game changer for your channel. Your partners will definitely thank you.
Easy to Navigate
Successful partner asset libraries are easy to navigate.
You need to be thinking about user experience in addition to the resources. You may have great content, high quality photos, properly sized branding, and other files in there, but how easily can your partners navigate through the assets?
If folder and file naming conventions don't make sense to a partner, they're going to struggle to find anything and the effect to your partner relationship and indirect sales will be about the same as not having an asset library.
Consider creating a short tutorial video that shows partners around the asset library and explains the methodology behind file locations and naming conventions. This might make all the difference in partners utilizing the portal or not.
Kept Up To Date and Organized
Like all digital platforms, you need to set aside time regularly to sort through old assets and assess what materials are still relevant, which could be updated to become relevant and what should be removed altogether. By staying on top of asset freshness, you ensure your current partners are not using outdated content and you remove the risk of overwhelming and confusing new partners during onboarding.
Updating old pieces like this is also really standard graphic design intern work, so if a company is ever concerned about resources/man labor they could always consider hiring a summer intern
Lays the Foundation for Campaigns-in-a-Box
Once you have a strong asset library with high quality, professional product photos, product use case information, customer testimonials, and end user focused messaging, you have all of the foundational components necessary for then developing campaigns-in-a-box for your partners. Investing the energy into writing blog articles, social media posts, email templates, and lead capture content that enables through-channel-marketing automation is a foundational way to generate revenue from your indirect sales partners.
You, the manufacturer, should care about providing your partners with quality assets to use in their marketing efforts. If you do not take on the responsibility of creating, curating, writing, photographing, and designing end-use targeted marketing campaigns and communicating the use of those content pieces to your partners, you are not reaping anywhere near the revenue potential from your channel distribution strategy.
Get a step-by-step look at how to implement a solid TCMA distribution strategy when you download the Ultimate Guide to Channel Marketing.