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Mind Share is one of the most Important and Difficult Ideologies in the Channel Industry
How cool was “The Matrix”?
Mesmerizing fight sequences, unforgettable one-liners, thought-provoking ideas on the human condition, and of course, Keanu—movies simply don’t get much better.
But when you forget about the transcending special effects, steely smooth custom design and darkly intimate ambiance, “The Matrix” contains an eerily disturbing undertone: Mind Share.
Machines have high-jacked the human mind and harvested our perception of life into a simulated reality (i.e., “The Matrix”).
So what in the world does this have to do with the channel industry? Well, interestingly enough, quite a bit.
In “The Matrix,” machines take over the human mind as a means to create energy, and thus, produce a more vivid and sophisticated computer-generated ecosystem. Whereas in the channel industry, manufacturers develop relationships with channel partners to help accelerate productivity, reduce overhead and increase revenue; in other words, Mind Shares relates to the level of leadership, attention, and authority a manufacturer has with its partner network.
Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly the same thing, and perhaps we went a bit overboard with this whole “The Matrix”-to-channel industry metaphor; however, therein lies the connection: Mind Share.
In “The Matrix,” machines harness Mind Share to control human being’s perception of reality; on the other hand, manufacturers harness Mind Share to encourage channel partners to focus more time and energy on selling their products, instead of the products of competitors.
Once again, it’s not exactly the perfect allegory, and we understand that. But let’s digress…
In the channel industry, Mind Share doesn’t involve exploitation or mind high-jacking—it’s merely a tactic for producing a more effective indirect sales funnel—and it’s imperative that manufacturers use Mind Share to their advantage.
Why is Mind Share Important to Manufacturers?
Mind Share is one of the most important and difficult ideologies in the channel industry.
How do manufacturers retain more Mind Share with their partners from competing businesses? The blueprint is a relatively simple concept, but execution is anything but:
- Is there consistent marketplace demand for your product?
- Does your value proposition outweigh competitors?
- How lucrative and easy-to-implement are your sales and marketing programs?
- How invested are you with channel partners, both financially and communication-wise?
- Do you provide your partners with qualified leads?
The more successful you are at maintaining Mind Share, the better chance you have at entering new marketplaces, developing relationships with new accounts and keeping competitors on their toes, and away from your most valued partners.
For tips on how to acquire additional Mind Share while developing long-term, profitable and a loyal partner network, take a look at the short list below:
Content is King
In today’s ultracompetitive channel landscape, thorough communication with channel partners is imperative, and developing a comprehensively focused content marketing strategy is your greatest and most potent weapon. This goes beyond sharing relevant industry news or important information on product updates.
A successful channel content marketing strategy includes:
- Distributing content that is cohesive with both you and your partner’s brand
- Distributing content that is unique and diverse; finding a balance between sharing third-party curated content, and exclusively produced content
- Utilize more than one method of content distribution; for example, encourage partners to share content on their social media profiles; don’t just use your partner portal to communicate.
- Information shared should be easy to read and free from laced-with-jargon terminology and confusing industry terms
- Maintain and distribute an accurate balance of quantitative and qualitative information
Don’t Just There! Help Them Up…
When you notice your channel partners are struggling to sell, don’t sit back and watch them burn down in flames.
This is the perfect opportunity to grow your Mind Share and become a major asset to your partners.
Give them the tools and resources to better sell your products; provide tangible advice on direct marketing strategies that entice customers to buy.
Do they have enough marketing funds to realistically promote your product? Listen to what their bottom line is and the pain points that stand in their way.
Whatever strategy you choose to deploy, make sure it focuses on helping their business grow, not solely yours.
Here are a few examples of ways you can help partners overcome their challenges:
- Work together on marketing projects and help with the costs
- Create a “Marketing for Dummies” handbook, just don’t call it that, of course…
- Respond to partner queries quickly, thoroughly, respectively and transparently
- Provide consistent communication/advice even when things are going well
- When designing channel sales and marketing programs, create incentives by listening to your partners and their needs. This will give you a better idea on how to frame your incentives that your partners want.
- Help them better understand the marketplace your product exists in, and how to approach leads/how to not approach leads
- Create co-branded marketing material that can be shared on their social media profiles as well as with their email contacts
- Don’t just offer them qualified leads, but give them a full “scouting report” of the opportunity at hand