You get to generate and leverage more data to make better decisions. You also get to make the lives of channel managers and partners easier. Most vendors play with some sort of through-channel marketing automation platform. Most channel partners never use them. Most vendors offer incentives to their partners for doing desired behaviours. Most channel partners like it, but many are challenged to just collect the reward. Mostly, partners end-up getting rewarded for doing the same behaviours that they were already doing.
We have done our fair share of incentive programs and we have a good grasp on what works and what doesn’t. Same for through-channel marketing automation tools. It looks like Mark Herbert CEO of Incentive Solutions and CEO of OneAffiniti, Joel Montgomery may be onto a better solution.They recently merged their companies but plan to operate separately to continue building out their technology stacks and connecting mostly through API type integrations. Combining the two platforms with seamless integration and data-sharing could make a significant difference.
Many PRMs have baked in some form of through-channel marketing automation into their platforms, but if you ask channel partners, you may discover that usage is low. Most partners are already challenged to switch between the 30+ vendor partner portals to do business or register deals. As the channel automation market converges further, the number of platforms will decrease to hopefully do more for less. That said, there is room for disruption to come from start ups as new vendors enter the market.
We will see how this all pans out, but for vendors who need to get stuff done now, they will need to think carefully about how they build out the channel partner automation infrastructure. Failure here could put them at a competitive disadvantage. Choose wisely.