If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now: The Value of Learning in the Channel
- In the field, we maintain perpetual cycles of planning, launching, execution and measuring everything we do, using many tools
- The process can feel like a ride on a hamster wheel – with no opportunity to get off and think
- Many other channel marketing professionals have faced similar challenges and found ways to improve their processes
Looking at my career in hindsight is one way I learn, grow and make better-informed decisions in the future. Now that I am a couple months into my new role as a SiriusDecisions research analyst, I wish I knew then what I know now!
In the field, we maintain perpetual cycles of planning, launching, execution and measuring everything we do, using many systems and tools along the way. With the high demand for growth in B2B channels – as well as emerging channels to adapt to – it can feel like a ride on a hamster wheel with no opportunity to get off and think, digest and learn new ways and processes to adopt and optimize channel marketing strategies.
As I meet with analysts from other services and complete certification courses, the amount of research and best practices that I discover every day is eye-opening. Much this would have helped me do my previous job more efficiently – optimizing my channel programs, speeding the time to market, and driving quicker and improved results. After more than 20 years in B2B channel marketing, I considered myself relatively well versed in this area, yet I find myself discovering and learning new things, which is extremely refreshing.
In many of my previous roles, I often needed to assess and make key decisions in the areas of partner strategy and planning, technology, recruitment and onboarding, enablement and demand creation, but I did not always have the insight required to forecast just how successful these programs would be. Assumptions were made, and corporate or business unit objectives were met. But I still lacked the insights, benchmarks, best practice guidance, and even the required resources and time, to optimize these areas. When targets and objectives are being achieved, it’s easier to continue what you are doing in the way you have always done it than to adjust. However, I now ask myself how much more could have been achieved and what key decisions could have been made to drive greater success and growth.
It’s refreshing to know that so many other channel marketing professionals have faced similar challenges. I often felt that these challenges were very isolated and particular to the organization I worked for at the time. It’s also great knowing that information and help do exist and guidance is available; you just need to know where it is and how to find it.
Now that I’ve had some time to reflect, it’s time to turn hindsight into foresight and use this learning in my new role. In the buildup to my first SiriusDecisions Summit, I want to share with you my own epiphanies and learnings. Come hear some of these best practices for yourself. Explore our Summit Europe homepage and discover valuable insights and actionable frameworks to inform, aid and enhance your pursuit of best-in-class channel marketing.