Early stage ISVs can find themselves competing against systems integrators who may be prospects for channel partner relationships. It takes no more than a couple of bruising experiences to sour a potential partner. Joint marketing opportunities can present a more favorable channel partner introduction option. Product marketing should pursue joint marketing opportunities with complementary businesses that already have a distribution channel in place.
One of our clients recently landed an opportunity like this one. During the meeting, the other party expressed some interest in actually reselling our client’s products. It makes sense to keep the two conversations separate. Blurry lines between topics in this type of discussion can lead to lost opportunity and lost revenue.
How best to handle a Joint Marketing discussion with channel building potential?
If your business lacks expertise managing channel partners, you should defer to your joint marketing partner on how best to introduce your product to their channel partners. They have already gone through all of the turf wars associated with migrating competitive relationships with integrators into complementary ones. They will know far better how to handle this opportunity for you.
But what about the syndication opportunity?
Keep in mind that syndication is a completely separate subject from joint marketing, or how to use someone else’s sales channel to get wider distribution for your product. Your joint marketing partner may be introducing the topic to try to blur the lines, to establish a favorable negotiating position. We think the best response to a syndication opportunity is to address it only after the actual joint marketing opportunity has been thoroughly discussed and assessed for its value.
In the next post to this blog we will talk further about syndication opportunities.
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