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Coterie launches channel marketing community

Partner marketing agency looks to share best practice and trumpet the role of those running marketing campaigns across the industry

Partner strategy and execution specialist Coterie has stepped up the support it can provide across the channel with the launch of a community to share best practice.

After landing a £194,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant from Innovate UK to support its collaboration with the University of Huddersfield, Coterie has launched a vendor-agnostic community to encourage partner marketers to talk more and share ideas with each other.

Helen Curtis, founding director at Coterie, said there were few opportunities for those working in marketing to talk to contemporaries from other vendors and channel partners, and there was a lack of standards that could be followed by those looking for guidance.

“We need to talk to each other a lot more because we’re hearing the same challenges and we’re pure marketing. It’s all marketing conversations, but we need to get you together,” she said.

Curtis said the funding had allowed it to set up a formal structure and launch the Coterie Community to bring marketers together. It plans to launch a website later this year to widen the numbers involved.

“We fundamentally believe there is a real need to have these connections,” she added, saying the results and pressures on marketing were different from sales. “It’s not just about doing a lead-gen campaign. There’s a whole enablement and a mind-winning mindshare as well within those organisations, some of which is very hard for the marketeers to report back on. It might take time as well.”

The risk of delivering mixed campaigns is that marketing funds might not be used by the channel and the message would not get out to the market. Curtis has heard, like others in the industry, accounts of marketing development funds being left unclaimed, with the most likely cause being the complexity involved in getting hold of those funds.

There are also other factors contributing to marketing funds missing the mark, according to Curtis. “Sometimes it could be more hassle than it’s worth to the partners if it doesn’t do what they need it to do for their customer. It [can] feel really last minute and [not] very planned and is very reactive,” she said. “Some of them still work on quarter-to-quarter funding, and that doesn’t necessarily correlate with the end B2B buyer, with tech buyers getting more and more sophisticated as well.”

Curtis added that there was an increasing need for vendors to talk to each other because customers expect partners to pitch a solution, rather than bombard them with numerous campaigns from different brands. “If this community can come together to set some of these standards, they’re going to have more power as a community,” she said. 

What should a community offer?

When Coterie asked marketers what they wanted a community to deliver, they gave the following responses:

  1. Addressing common challenges – for example, channel delivering value is not an internal threat.
  2. Raising the profile of channel and partner marketing.
  3. Building community and relationships with other channel and partner marketers.
  4. Support with and sharing best practice training.
  5. Conducting research to define best practices and gain insight.
  6. Developing channel and partner marketing career opportunities.

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