Why do your digital assets go unused? Why do your partners complain they don’t have the right marketing support material? How can you be sure your channel marketing investments are working? The problem probably isn’t that you have lousy marketing collateral, incompetent partners, or insufficient funding. The likely problem is you’re not creating and funding channel marketing initiatives around the common objectives you and your partners share.

The first step to success is to have marketing collateral assets that are appropriate and accessible. Marketing collateral that is appropriate means it tells your story, but also enables your partners to tell theirs—and they have different stories. Your channel partners can tell their stories using their channel of choice: direct mail, events, email, banners, paid social, and so on. Marketing collateral that is accessible means your partners can actually find the right assets, customize them, and deploy them without jumping through hoops—ideally from their desktop or device with no intervention from you. That means your distributed marketing automation platform must be able to do all of the work including digital asset management, order processing, co-op or MDF management, list management, and campaign deployment.

Don’t be held captive by a marketing automation tool that promises to do all of the above, but really only focuses on Marketing Resource Management or Lead Management. Your partners are capable of helping you achieve your objectives—so enable them by giving them appropriate marketing assets and the right distributed marketing platform so they can be successful along with you.