How to Create Great Partner Marketing Messaging

msg_blogYou’ve got partners eager to sell your latest offering. Before they head out the door to talk to their customers on your behalf, make sure you arm them with the foundation to speak intelligently (and on message!) about your solution. The best way to accomplish this? Give your partner some purpose-built, clear, and concise partner messaging and copy blocks.

Follow these tips:

Ensure your company messaging is up to date. Your partner messaging should be a twist on your messaging to your own customers—so make sure the latter is up to date and approved by all critical stakeholders within your company.

Identify what should change. Identify essential changes in your messaging, now that it will be delivered by a partner. Maybe you should emphasize different content, for example, by bringing up front any competitive differentiators. Or maybe the message needs to be simplified, using formatting such as bullets, so that busy partners can quickly glance at the messaging and glean key talking points.

Customize the message. Messaging can and should be customized for each partner. A typical messaging exercise starts with a brief description of the business situation or background. Why should the partner care about this solution? How is it relevant to the partner’s business? How does the solution work with the partner’s other offerings to benefit its customers? Once you’ve addressed these issues, you can move on to the messaging staples around features, functionality, benefits, and competitive differentiation.

Simplify the process. Be very clear about your messaging boundaries. What content is in, and what’s out? What do your partners care about? If they’re focused on a single product or service, cut everything else.

Seek approval. Depending on your relationship, consider involving your partner in the development process—or, at the very least, get the partner’s approval before asking them to distribute to their salespeople. This helps build buy-in and gives partners an opportunity to identify any messaging gaps.

Provide helpful tips. Once you’ve finalized your messaging and copy blocks, craft a playbook or “how-to” guide that tells partners (both executives and the sales team) how to best use the messaging. Or, simply include helpful tips when you distribute the messaging to your partners. For example, partners need to know that copy blocks are designed to be “cut and pasted” and can be easily turned into downstream assets such as web copy, emails, datasheets, social media, etc.

When done right, partner-specific messaging and copy blocks not only signal to your partners that you are committed to their success, it also helps launch them on the right path—and close deals to benefit both companies.

Stay tuned for more about the five most useful partner marketing assets as our Partner Marketing Blog Series continues.

Next up: playbooks

By Ruth Burk