Even though the partnership team is the loud voice in the room pushing for a marketplace solution, the marketing team is ultimately the group responsible for making it happen.
The problem is that building a partner marketplace is uncharted territory for most marketing teams. When you search "how to build a partner marketplace" in Google, it feels like you've found the internet's black hole; there are very few guides or resources for best practices. Marketing teams are forced to wing it using the tools they have at their fingertips, and the results are all over the map.
On top of that, building a marketplace in house is incredibly time-consuming. It's true that you could get a partner logo page up and running in a day, but if the goal is to create a consumer-grade B2B shopping experience that drives partner adoption, you're usually looking at a multi-quarter project, and oftentimes you're forced to get engineers involved as well. Because of this, many marketing leaders will take one look at the project scope and politely tell their partnership team they can't swing it.
Productized marketplaces like Partner Fleet bring structure, efficiency, and best practices to partner marketing. Marketers who have caught on to the “marketplace-in-a-box” concept are pumped, and here are 6 reasons why.
1. Launch in weeks rather than quarters
By definition, turnkey marketplaces such as Partner Fleet are pre-built and pre-packaged. Simply work through the configuration and design checklist and invite partners into their portal to upload their content, and you’re ready to go live.
2. Eliminate distractions
Instead of having to intake every minor modification requested by partners, you’re putting the onus on them. All marketers have to do is set the rails (permissions) and occasionally QA the partner listings.
Additionally, turnkey marketplace companies are all-in on creating the best product for that niche, so marketers don’t have to worry about fixing bugs and upgrading the marketplace over time.
The less time marketers spend building and maintaining a marketplace and launching co-marketing campaigns, the more time they have to optimize their other channels.
Turnkey marketplaces eliminate a major distraction.
3. Scale co-marketing
Co-marketing is an involved and time consuming process. It would be impossible for the marketing team to run thorough co-marketing campaigns with dozens or hundreds of partners each year, and customers would be over it.
At the same time, every partner expects to get value from the partnership, and the partnership team constantly presses on marketing to do more.
The problem is that standard co-marketing practices don’t scale beyond a dozen partners or so.
Marketing teams with consumer-grade marketplaces have cracked the code on this through a completely different and complementary approach. They promote and drive customers to their marketplace all year long, which makes customers hyper aware of the marketplace and exposes them to the company’s partners.
From there, the customer experience mimics the consumer shopping experience; customers drill into the product category that’s relevant to them at the time, self-educate on the partners they’re interested in, and ultimately take action by submitting their interest or enabling an integration.
This is an evergreen, infinitely scalable approach to partner adoption that makes all stakeholders happier and more successful.
4. Effectiveness of co-marketing campaigns
Co-marketing campaigns have a short shelf life, and content created with partners tends to die quickly.
Companies with a marketplace will house all relevant content created with a partner on the partner’s marketplace listing, so the content lives on and continues to add value to the partnership.
This becomes useful during co-marketing campaigns as well. Instead of creating a lead capture landing page for each campaign, marketers are able to direct customers to the partner’s listing in their marketplace, which is optimized to convert.
Ultimately, this increases conversion and adoption rates.
5. Drive new logo leads
Marketplaces boost new logo lead generation indirectly through these three avenues:
- Reciprocity from happy partners. When you generate leads for your partners, they will feel a duty to return the favor.
- Prospects checking their “ecosystem compatibility” boxes. By showcasing your ecosystem, you’ll move forward in your prospect’s digital validation process before you even know they’re considering you.
- Customer evangelism
By helping customers find partners who can solve their needs, they'll get more value from your product and will be more likely to give you a glowing review on G2 or recommend you to their peers.
Lead gen is the benefit that no one expects to get from a marketplace.
6. Simplify partner marketing operations
It can be challenging or impossible to connect a DIY marketplace with the rest of the tech stack, which means marketers end up committing to a host of manual processes.
A purpose-built, SaaS enabled partner marketplace like Partner Fleet helps you avoid this through native integrations to your existing tech stack (and access to APIs for custom data flow).
This makes it easy for marketers to ensure leads are going to the right place, and allows them to track analytics like any other channel they monitor.
Marketers understand the value partners can provide and want to support the initiatives.
The days of having to drop everything to help the partnership team are coming to an end. Those who are aware of and leaning into the modern partnership tech stack are finding huge success and making their lives easier.
If you are looking to build a partner marketplace or improve your co-marketing strategy, let’s talk and see if a turnkey marketplace is right for you.