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TPMA - Why It Fails
May 15, 2017 TPMA

3 Reasons Why TPMA Software Fails Most of the Time

Over the past decade, many large organizations selling through the channel decided to procure and deploy through-partner marketing automation (TPMA) software to enable partners to drive lead generation. However, in most cases TPMA software has failed to deliver. When you dissect the reasons, you discover they fall into three distinct categories. In this article we will explore those three categories in detail.

TPMA - Why It FailsBefore we get going, let’s spend a few minutes describing clearly what TPMA software does. (For more details, please refer to our article  What Is Through-Partner Marketing Automation?) All state-of-the-art TPMA software has the following capabilities:

  1. Campaign management – Ability to set up campaigns for partners to use for marketing and lead generation activities
  2. Demand gen management – Primarily partner profile management and lead management
  3. Multi-tactic marketing – A comprehensive set of digital and analog marketing tools—e.g., search, social, email, microsite, events and collateral
  4. Global deployment capabilities – Ability to roll out TPMA software across multiple countries and languages
  5. Dynamic reporting & analytics – Ability to track what is going on and determine what is working or not working through the business intelligence reports

These are powerful capabilities, but through-partner marketing programs using TPMA software often fail nevertheless. The obvious question is, why? We at ZINFI have seen across multiple deployments around the world, especially where we support clients to make it work with competitive offers. We have learned that the failures of TPMA are almost always attributable to one or more of the following three core areas:

  1. Content – If you don’t have the right campaigns in localized versions then it doesn’t matter how great your TPMA software is. It will fall flat on its face, because there is nothing for partners to use.
  2. Communication – It is incredibly important to reach out to your partner base on a regular basis with new campaigns and programs to excite them and give them a good reason to pay attention to your TPMA deployment.
  3. Concierge – Finally, if you do not have partner marketing concierge services, either insourced or outsourced, there is no one to help partners navigate your great TPMA tool.

When you look at these three core failure modes, the great news is they are all solvable. We always advise clients to focus on ONE market, pick ONE language, and line up all three arrows (content, communication and concierge) to make that market successful. Once your TPMA deployment is successful in a single market, you can then focus on other markets. However, if you spread too thin too fast, chances are you won’t have another opportunity to demonstrate success. Most organizations do not have the patience for failed initiatives, so it’s important to get it right early in your deployment.

So, when you acquire great through-partner marketing automation (TPMA) capabilities, please make sure you also procure sufficient budget to load it with effective and localized campaigns, put together an outbound communication strategy to promote usage and share success, and then align partner marketing concierge resources to help out partners who need it. As we have seen repeatedly in our dealings with clients, when an organization addresses these three core areas, the probability of TPMA deployment success increases exponentially.

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