How do you promote a partner program among ISV audiences? Partnering has become increasingly important in keeping up with customer demands; partner ecosystems are playing a crucial role.  

Our ways of communication are changing continuously and marketing tactics, techniques, and strategies are changing alongside them. It is easy to get lost in the complexity of this modern marketing jungle and forget that the more things change, the more some things stay the same. One underlying principle that will never change is the fact that partnering is about helping one another.  Creating a partnership is supposed to provide value for both parties, so working together to create a win-win should be at the forefront of your marketing communications strategy. 

However, we know that while many software players have excellent partner programs in place, they often still struggle to communicate the benefits to their potential partners. When promoting your partner program, it is crucial to demonstrate the value you offer and make sure your message is delivered to the right ISV audience.  

Understanding your target ISVs 

When promoting your partner program it is key that you focus your message on how you intend to serve the ISV.  What is it about your program that will help them? Try to understand your ideal ISV partner by putting yourself in their shoes. What are the challenges they are facing? How can your offer support them and improve the way they do business? What benefits will their end-user customers get from the OEM relationship? By answering these questions you will be able to determine the exact value your partner program brings to an ISV and create messaging that will resonate with them. 

Never underestimate the importance of clear communication 

We find that information about OEM programs is often lost on company websites; in fact, sometimes it is impossible to find information about OEM partner programs at all! Most corporate websites focus on end-user audiences and neglect the ISV segment entirely.  Oftentimes this happens simply because the marketers responsible for website content have difficulty wrapping their heads around the topic of OEM partnerships.  They see it as being overly technical, when in fact, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Clearly communicating the business value your partnership brings to the ISV and not getting caught up in confusing or overly-technical details will provide more value for your audience.  When ISVs realize how you can help, they will be more likely to want to explore partnership opportunities with you.   

When promoting your partner program, keep it brief and communicate the fundamentals.  Your content should answer these questions:  

– What type of partners are you looking for? 

– How will partners benefit from the relationship? 

– How does the program work?   

The key messages that you highlight to ISVs are very different from the ones you use to promote your solution to an end-user audience. The content you promote should also speak directly to your niche so that they understand the value of partnering with you and are prompted to further engage.  Making sure your call-to-action is also clear should help improve conversation rates and drive prospects down the funnel. 

How to reach your target audience 

Besides creating specific messages that speak to your target audience, it is also important that your messages are both seen and heard. In order to do that, you will need to find out where your audience is present. What websites do they visit? Which social networks are they using? Which communication channels do they prefer? These questions are critical to answer to enhance visibility for your partner program both on and offline to get yourself seen and stand out from the crowd. 

A great way to increase your engagement levels with ISVs is by creating a highly tailored landing page so that your ISV audience can access valuable content about partnership benefits. Using landing pages as part of your content marketing strategy is essential to increasing the prominence of your partner program and building a pipeline of viable opportunities over time. 

Final thoughts 

Instead of overcomplicating marketing it sometimes is better to take a step back and focus on what is really important: understanding the needs of your ISV target audience. Marketing tactics and techniques are powerful tools for getting your message across but are never a goal in themselves.  Don’t ever lose sight of the fundamentals—your partnership program should seek to give something valuable to ISVs and create a win-win for you and for them. 

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