Throughout my professional career in the IT industry, I’ve always been closely linked to channel. From day one it made sense to me – channel partners are an extension arm of a company, representing us and our products to a wider audience – so we, in turn, must treat them like fellow colleagues.
Communication is crucial within a business to drive motivation and success, so the same principle should apply to our channel partners.
There are many elements to a successful partnership:
- Creating a strategy
- Agreeing and executing upon business plans
- Driving growth that benefits the two companies
- Delivering solutions to a customer that resolves their problem
For a successful partnership intertwined through all the above is communication!
A quote I found from former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams sums up the importance of communication within a business/partnership - “Bad human communication leave us less room to grow”. Rightly said!
Just as you and your colleagues are, partners are busy! We want to keep them informed, but also be mindful of the fact that they have many meetings to attend, emails to read and phone calls to make; so any marketing emails, invites or social media posts should contain important and useful information for your partners.
We’ve learnt it’s important to stop and think:
- Why are we communicating?
- What is our messaging/what do we need to communicate?
- Who is our target audience?
- What platform should we use to communicate?
From that, we’re able to put together a communication plan which is essential for any business and partnership to a) ensure communications that are sent are relevant to them and b) partners are neither ill-informed nor inundated with unnecessary emails.
Social media brings us another platform to communicate – at a high level it’s great for condensing information into snippets perfectly suited for those on the go!
We try and use a mix of communication platforms when updating our partner base. We want the communications to be concise, but also enable interaction where possible; so the type of messaging determines the platform we use – such as:
There isn’t a perfect recipe for how to communicate or the frequency in which to communicate, it’s unique to your audience.
What is key, is listening to your audience and using their feedback and responses to work out the right balance to create a partner communication plan that works well for both parties.