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Silly question time: Do you treat your channel partners as part of your sales force?

Recruiting new Sales People


Hiring a new sales person typically involves a detailed and rigorous process. It’s similar for most organisations, and you’re probably familiar with it.


First, recruitment and HR people profile the type of candidate that they think will fit the bill for the required vacancy. Their skills, experience, personality traits and so on. Using this, they create a focused job description and push it out to ensure the right people see it.


Once advertised and applications come flooding in, the team sifts through a pile of CVs and responses, shortlisting the strongest. It’s only after all this effort, preparation and diligence that anyone even sets foot inside the building to be interviewed… and of course, that process brings a fresh layer of effort and preparation in the form of interviews, exercises, offers and rejections and so on.


Eventually the decision is made, and the lucky recruit walks through the door to be treated to a comprehensive induction programme, introductions to key employees and team members of the direct and extended team, training and insights, as well as an outline of the company culture and specific ‘way of doing things’.


Sure, the successful candidate has previous experience selling in your space – after all, that’s why you hired them. But just because they’ve sold before, doesn’t automatically mean they know how to sell the way you need them to in their new role, with you. So, more investment is committed – until they’re a bona fide sales machine and ready to hit the front line!


All this requires a lot of time, effort and belief, and is designed to ensure the best results for the business and the individuals involved. It’s a logical and proven approach.


Do your partners get the same dedicated attention?


So, the question is: why is the same time and effort not always invested in the channel, and importantly, your partners? When it’s an equally important – and vital – part of an organisation’s sales team, often in fact contributing far more revenue than the direct sales teams generate.


Sadly, the reality is that channel partners rarely tend to get this kind of red-carpet treatment. There’s often no or little strategic selection process; no tailored, lengthy induction; no focus on philosophy, culture or behaviour. Too often, partners are assessed and chosen on very little more than their ability to fill out a registration form on that ever present ‘become a partner’ page.


Sales teams and third-party reseller partners both sell to the same people – end user customers – contributing to one end goal; to sell as much of your stuff as possible! So, why would you be so meticulous about one group, and so neglectful of the other? The disproportionate relationship that exists here between direct and indirect is astonishing. When you look at it independently, logically… why would you ever spend more time, effort, money on the side that is generating less revenue? And not commit more time, effort, education, support, tools, money to the area that is bringing in the most revenue – in order to see it expand and develop further?


More respect is needed.


It’s time to treat the channel with more respect – as the powerful, effective, impactful route to market that we not only know it is, but that it demonstrates time and time again when we compare direct against indirect. We spend too much time assuming that partners should know what to do and how to do it.


Instead of form-filling and assumptions, nurture chosen partners with the same care and attention as new employees. Take the time to educate and enable them, with a deep understanding of YOUR business, YOUR products, YOUR culture, YOUR objectives and YOUR way of doing things. Think hard about how you can leverage this approach to create competitive advantage, while providing a truly unique partner experience. That will motivate partners to work with you, every day. And remember, this isn’t just about when they become a partner, or when you are targeting them in a retention incentive or an uplift campaign. This is about how you treat them every day. And equally, if they are not performing, speak to them, give them a review, assess them regularly, find out what they think and what their challenges are… and if they are still not performing get all Alan Sugar on them! Sometimes it’s ok to accept things are not going to work out.


Along the way, be realistic. Establish how much information is optimal to bring the best out of partners, and how much might be overkill. How much cultural understanding do you give them about your business and methodologies? How much time do your top sellers spend with partners, training them in their preferred and proven sales success model? Create a model where you can minimise conflict and distrust, and instead embrace and exploit the fundamental principle that is key to the existence of your channel… successful and effective route(s) to market.


These are all questions that you need to answer. And in doing so you’ll reap the commercial rewards.


The benefits of positive channel partner relationships are well-documented. Partners are perfectly placed to push your products to new markets and in ways that might not be viable for your own organisation. Imagine how much more effectively they will be able to do that, if you’ve taken the time to properly educate and enable them in your products and brand values.


As a channel specialist, purechannels takes partners seriously. This is what we do… everyday, for the world’s leading brands. We could do the same for you. You just need to ask. Speak to us and we will gladly take a look and give you some feedback.

Surveys: the secret to partner success

My last blog talked about the value of partner programmes, and why it’s important to plan them properly by taking the time to think about what you want them to achieve. Success depends on mutual enthusiasm and engagement: both you and your partners must feel you’re getting something positive out of the whole process.


In the same way, it’s also important to periodically assess this engagement to make sure you are both getting the most from it. By checking in regularly, you can make sure your partners are still feeling good, are on board with you and happy that their needs are being addressed.


Simple as this may sound, it can be difficult to do. With so many new innovations coming down the line in IT – like cloud computing, Big Data, mobility, machine learning, AI, VR and so on – channel relationships and priorities are constantly changing, and some vendors struggle to keep up – and some struggle to know they are lagging behind. This can leave partners frustrated and feeling like they’re not being listened to – and worse still, unloved and unimportant, and under-valued.


So, show partners you care, by asking them what they think. Relationships thrive on open, honest communication, and the Channel is no different.


After all, technology is a complex business. The Channel can be a complex route to market, with many constituent parts and lots of competition. It’s the strength of these partner relationships and how well they complement each other that makes the difference. So, it’s important to be both transparent and proactive in sharing your thoughts.


One great way to do this is by conducting regular surveys – structured platforms for partners to provide feedback on the things that matter to them. Ask them how they’re doing, what they’re thinking and how they feel things are going. What’s working well? What could be better? It gives you the perfect opportunity to seek out and explore the things you can do differently, better, and identify where the gaps and opportunities are, see what you are getting right, and more importantly, what you are getting wrong!


Don’t worry if they’re critical. Revealing a problem is the fastest and easiest way to resolve it. Thank them for their advice and assure them it will be used constructively. Ideally, feedback should come from a range of departments and roles; not necessarily just the people you deal with most. The wider the opinions, the greater the end benefit.


Surveys come in all shapes and sizes, depending on what you’re looking to achieve. They can be a simple written Q&A; an online survey, a one-to-one interview; group discussions; networking at events; a phone conversation; workshops and forums, to name a few. It’s all about ensuring partners feel comfortable exchanging their views… and even being rewarded for doing so if you fancy dropping in something like a prize draw to encourage people to respond.


At the very least, surveys foster engagement and positivity on a number of levels with partners. Whatever their views, they’ll feel valued, and understand that you’re working hard for them. This attitude will strengthen your working relationship and hopefully make them collaborate even more closely with you. Meanwhile, as you complete more surveys over a longer time period, you’ll start to learn more about overall performance, spot trends, changes and patterns and what is driving your business and those essential partner relationships. It will also act as a foundation for change, providing you with perfect opportunities for comparison and measuring change.


After every new survey is done, share the results and communicate any actions taken as a result. This reinforces the fact that it is an inclusive process. By sharing the strengths and weaknesses with your partners, they’ll start thinking about further feedback and ideas even before the next survey is in place. Ultimately, this communication will become more iterative, a constant dialogue between you that focuses on sustained improvement and success.


As a channel specialist agency, purechannels takes partner surveys very seriously, helping some of the world’s best-known tech brands get closer to their partners and drive positive change through their Channels as a result.


If you’d like more info or to see how we could do the same for you, please get in touch.

Putting purpose back into Partner Programmes

As the technology reselling process evolves, partners are taking centre stage in the conversation with customers. And it’s turning the partner-vendor relationship on its head somewhat.


Frustrated with overly-complicated, inconsistent partner programmes, partners are seizing the initiative to build deeper, more strategic customer connections. Gone are the days of shifting boxes and showcasing features. They’re now fully-fledged consultants, advising customers on everything from technology trends and innovation to solution and service integration.


Ultimately, the conversation is all about outcomes: what each customer will be able to do better, as a result. This puts the power firmly in the palms of the partner, and is driving need and demand from the bottom up, rather than vendors dictating and sending their instruction from the top down, as it has been historically.


Collaboration is critical


Just 77% of partners consider Partner Programmes to be important in determining their relationships with vendors – down sharply from 94 per cent in 2016. Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) feel that programmes were “not at all important”, while almost a quarter alarmingly conclude they “lack importance”.1


Of course, no one is suggesting that partner programmes no longer have a role to play – or that they still have the potential to make a significant difference to a partner business. It’s more that their substance and shape need to change – and fast.


Really, these findings are a warning to vendors. A shot across the bows, telling them they need to align with their partners more closely and understand their needs. This support, through knowledge and collaboration is even more important as the market becomes convoluted and disrupted with developing and emerging cloud, AI and other digital technologies.


After all, when it comes to vendors, partners now have more choice than ever when considering who they work with. Fancy products and shiny new features are no longer enough to entice them on their own. Especially as there’s really not that much genuine differentiation about these days! They’re more likely to value mutual working relationships, the emotional benefits rather than the physical.


So, vendors must focus on involving partners more closely in strategic discussions. By immersing themselves early and ensuring both parties contribute to planning, the resulting programmes will deliver greater value to vendors and partners alike.


It’s still about selling


The role of a partner is still primarily to sell stuff – let’s not forget that! Sure, it’s a more complex mix of services, solutions, consultancy, support, relationships, and so on… than it used to be. But it’s still ultimately about selling, that is fundamentally the reason they get up every morning! It’s just that now, partners place emphasis on relationships, service and satisfaction, rather than speeds and specs.


Logically then, the vendor or vendors that make it easiest for a partner to sell and consistently ask (and successfully answer) the question “how can we make it easier for our partners to sell more of our stuff than our competitors?”, will win their trust.


Two great ways to achieve this, are through strong Partner Programmes and Portals which are simple to use and easy to understand; and offer compelling support and rewards. All adding up to keeping it simple and ensuring that doing business is as easy and hassle-free as possible.


That’s what gets today’s partners excited… and it’s something we know a fair bit about here at purechannels. Because we’ve been doing it for a while.


In fact, and most notably, we did it back in 2015, when we refreshed and relaunched Vodafone UK’s partner programme to make it partner-centric, not Vodafone-centric. Putting partners at the heart of everything… at every touch point and in every deliverable, engaging Vodafone executives and partners to help us define the right structure, members, requirements and benefits.


It was worth the effort. purechannels won a Runner Up award at 2017’s International B2B Marketing Awards. We were well ahead of the game – but that’s what you get when you work with a dedicated channel agency!


Why not give us a try?

1 Canalys research, 2018

Marketing in the Channel, post-GDPR (everything is ok!)

So here we are, just over two months since the world ended and marketing as we know it has become an unrecognisable myth of a former world within which we used to thrive.


…Sorry hang on, that’s not right! In the very same way that we didn’t all implode as a result of Y2K, guess what, I think post-GDPR (dare I say) we are “OK”.


However, that said, let’s not be complacent. Just because the opt-in spam-fest has passed and we haven’t actually descended a one-way street to marketing apocalypticism, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be having a affect on what we do. In fact, the opposite. I absolutely think it should be affecting what we do – and in a really good way!


GDPR wasn’t the result of a European meeting scheduled with the objective of killing marketing. It is about protection, not destruction. And rather than sit moaning about how much less we are able to do now because we can’t spam the shit out of our 10-year-old databases anymore, GDPR has actually presented (serious) marketers with a brilliant opportunity to make the most of trying to be better, the best we can be.


Here’s how I see it. A few things that GDPR has done to present us with a huge opportunity:


  1. Use the data you have: Not the five or ten or fifty thousand spam-fodder records that have been gathering dust over the last decade, but the useful stuff. You have data, you have customers, you have prospects, you have non-transacting customers who have done business with you before, you have data captures on your website and newsletter sign-ups. You have meetings, you have conversations on social. This is useful stuff… use it. Why be proud of the thousands of contacts you have who never interact with your comms, who you never hear from and who never buy from you? “Yeah, but… they might one day”. You are better than junk-mailing. Use the data you have. So, the database; reduces massively from what it was previously… big deal! It’s a good thing. In the olden days we might even refer to this as a kind of ‘data clean’ (goodness me, imagine that?!) What would you rather do – communicate with 1,000 people who want to hear from you or 10,000 who don’t?

  3. Be Smarter: Come on, based on number 1, you know that throwing enough mud at a wall and hoping some will stick is a rubbish approach. So, stop doing it! Take your data and be smarter with it. Write bespoke, individual messages. Tailor your content. Personalise. Segment. Use different methods and platforms. Hang on, why not ask your audience what they want to receive from you? Use them to help you be better! You have less data, so hopefully you will care more about it and want to make the most of it. So, think deeper and be smarter about what options are open to you and your data.

  5. STOP BEING SO BLOODY LAZY! If there is one thing I hate, it’s laziness. In general, but lazy marketing really does my head in. “Blast this out to everyone and hope we get some responses!” There is so much we can do and that is available to us today but that doesn’t mean you always have to look for the latest and greatest. Take a look back as well at what used to be cool! With more dedicated, specific data, personalisation isn’t just about email. We have seen great success from a DM-led campaign over the last 12 months. Looking after and being more accountable for the data you hold does not mean an end to marketing, it means an end to laziness and doing the same old things. Take the opportunity to explore new places and think about new (and old!) things.

  7. Get better ROI: So, you know the data you have is (should be!) of a better quality now and therefore it follows that your ROI percentages should improve. You will be getting better results from your campaigns as the people you are communicating with will, in some way, have told you they are happy to receive communications from you. So, they are more likely to interact with it. This will improve your ROI. As above, who cares if you have 10,000 records to communicate with if only 200 actually respond or interact? The key number here is 200, not 10,000. Now it feels like I am just stating the bloomin’ obvious here… but you’d be surprised. We need to get rid of the ‘what if’ mentality and drill down to what’s important. Better data and smarter marketing with/to it will improve your ROI.

  9. Make the most of this new opportunity: Who doesn’t want to be as good as they can be? Don’t sit and cry about how hard things are now that GDPR has stopped you doing what you have always done. See GDPR enforcement as the creator of a wonderful new opportunity for you and for your business. Because it really is. Look for what else you can be doing? How can you be better? How can you engage more of your audience in ways that will excite and help them connect, emotionally and professionally? Help people to connect with you and your business because they want to… and you will be driving that desire, that demand. And with that connection, driven by emotional reaction and desire, you can do a lot. You can do a lot more.


GDPR means better, more protected data. If this isn’t a chance to improve marketing, not sulk about doing bad marketing, then I don’t know what it is. GDPR was never put in place to kill marketing, increase redundancy or destroy agencies. Data houses still exist right? We can still buy data, they haven’t just gone out of business overnight have they? They have just been encouraged (forced?) to do it better, with more responsibility and more accountability to the data they control and proces


One of my favourite ever quotes, is L.P Hartley “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there”. Pre-GDPR we did things differently and things have now changed. Accept it and become better. This should make us smarter, make us think more, make us be better marketers. And now we must work with today and what comes tomorrow.


Guess what folks… it’s going to be ok! The world will not end, good marketing lives on and, if anything, GDPR has given us and our industry a huge opportunity to be better at what we do!

It’s ok to be different: it’s the channel, it is different.

Channel Marketing is often perceived as inferior or less cool than traditional B2B marketing and I think it’s about time we had a look at that. Perhaps it’s because there are often numerous levels through which channel marketing must filter, with adding extra complexity when things like language variables, localisation and partner tiers present themselves. It can get confusing to try and accommodate all this. And yet, this is not a bad thing. It just means we are different. Good different.


Despite these layers and intricacies, the outcome of a channel campaign can be just as creative, compelling and successful as its bigger, cooler, often more favoured B2B sibling. There is no reason why you cannot be creative with your channel marketing and partner communications. Your agency should be keeping you up to date with the latest trends and making recommendations as to what you can do to make your next campaign stand out. BUT… and here’s a big shout… you don’t always have to follow the crowd and be seen to be doing cool stuff. And that’s part of the issue for me: Being seen to be doing something rather than just doing it! Who cares if it’s not cool or funky, if it gets the job done and the results you need? I think there is a laziness to following suit just to be fashionable, it’s outdated. For me, old fashioned is cool! What do you and your partners care more about… flashing lights, bells and whistles because it’s new and fashionable, or just getting results and making it as easy as possible for them to sell your stuff? This is about function. And in the channel, function is cool!


It’s OK to be different.


At 6ft 4, bald, not choosing a nice, local, stable career like everyone else and being a goalkeeper, I am very comfortable with being a bit different. I love being the only person running one way when 20 other people are running the other (it has caused a few injuries along the way but it comes with the territory!). I am not about to burst into ‘This is Me’, but actually, being different has seen a new lease of life over recent months since we all learnt a little more about the story of Mr Barnum.


B2B marketing is increasingly under the spotlight in terms of getting results. CMOs are stricter than ever in their measurement of ROI. And rightly so. It’s no different in the channel. If anything, it’s probably more important. There I said it, the channel is more important! If you disagree, answer me this, when anywhere up to 100% of an organisation’s revenue comes through an indirect sales channel, why would it not be massively important.

It’s struggling to carry a double-edged sword, uphill with a rock on one side and a hard place on the other that channel marketers face everyday; “be more creative”, “come and check out what we are doing”, “look at how cool this is”, “this is from the US, please go and channelise it”. This is the grind that B2B puts on the channel and it’s something that unwittingly channel people feel that they need to respond to. But guess what folks, there are a few things in the channel that are different… and that’s ok! Try going back to the US and all their fancy new stuff and telling them ‘no thanks, we are just going to send an email, because we know that’s how our partners want to receive information”… haha good luck with that!


This isn’t about not doing cool B2B stuff in the channel, it’s about knowing when to, and importantly, when not to. This isn’t about not knowing the latest techniques in the channel, it’s in fact the huge opposite. It’s knowing them so well, that you know when and what to do, what’s needed and what’s not. That’s a massive difference… and it makes a real difference.


What is the channel about…? Selling stuff, getting partners to sell stuff and making sure they sell more of your stuff than they do of your competitors’ stuff! Anyone reading this not from the channel, welcome to day one of Channel School: We get other people to sell our stuff because collectively they have access to a much wider audience than we have access to. It’s pretty simple. In fact, looking at it like this, maybe that’s why B2B has to spend its time thinking up all these new things… to access the type of audiences we have in the channel. If anything, we actually go about it better. Instead of fighting our way through, how to try and reach them direct, we use our partners to reach them. If anything, this neglected, troublesome, less cool sibling, could actually be described as the smarter one… You spend all that time and money and head count trying to get there direct, we just get other people to do it for us, in half the time, with much less budget and using a much smaller head count. But that’s fine, you carry on, you are very cool…


So, with something so simple, why should we feel compelled to over-complicate it? I love B2B marketing by the way. I crafted my trade at one of the countries most successful B2B Agencies and so I love it. I am in no way under-valuing B2B here. The point of this is more about accepting difference and doing what needs to be done. Channel partners live to sell. That’s what they spend their time doing. It’s what they like doing and they are bloody good at doing it! They rarely have much of a marketing resource and even less marketing experience to craft and execute (complicated) marketing campaigns. So, in the channel it’s about making the partner’s job of selling your stuff, as easy as possible.


Now if that means doing something cool and funky, then it absolutely should be done (and I still love doing it!) But if that means getting good, clear communications out to them, about the things they want, when they want it, then that is far more important than adding some frills and sparkles.


If partners need more information, give it to them. If they need to be shown the best way to share your proposition, message, story, content with their customers, show them. This is about education and enablement, through experience. Helping them to do what you want them to do. And not just expecting them to already know or be able to do it, simply because they do it for others.


If you employ a new direct sales person… do you just expect them to start selling on day one simply because they have come from another sales job and sold some stuff before? No, there is a full programme of induction and training on how they should be doing it for YOU. Partners need to be given this same attention to ensure they have everything they need to do the best job possible for you. Otherwise they will do it for someone else.


So, in the channel, more than ever, you need to keep sight of the core objective at all times. What will ensure your partners do the best job possible of selling your stuff, before they sell anyone else’s? It means picking the right activity for the right purpose. If that means going super cool and funky, if that will achieve your objective, then do it, absolutely, go for it. BUT if the better option – because you know your channel and your partners – is to just send them a good email or give them a call, then just do that!


Get thinking. Make the most of your channel and how you can educate and enable it. Make your partners happy through ease of doing business, clarity, education, experience and giving them whatever they need to do the best job possible, for them and for you.


Don’t waste your valuable time getting sucked into doing it for doing its’ sake, just because you read it in B2B Magazine, or Campaign, or The Drum, or Marketing Week (all great publications by the way!). Do what you know will get the results you need, in your channel with your partners. And if you don’t know… ask. Ask your partners, ask your people, ask your agency.


B2B marketing and Channel marketing should not be a them and us, direct vs indirect battle of importance. It should be a collaboration between good people who know their objectives and their desired outcomes, and who work together towards the best possible outcome.


Have the confidence to do great things, be creative and get the right results.


Being brilliantly simple can be just as powerful as being simply brilliant.

The Channel in 2018

A new year ushers in resolutions, business plans, marketing strategies and general commitments for the year. Here at purechannels we like to keep our finger on the pulse, so here is our take on some of the big changes for 2018 that will contribute towards defining and shaping the channel.


Emerging Tech


The Internet of Things (IOT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are two hot topics and technologies creating a real buzz in the channel and will continue do so in 2018. The level of connectivity that the IOT brings to workplace devices means greater requirements around software and hardware, in order to meet the demands of the business. This presents an opportunity in the channel as demand for expertise and solution providers that can do it all increases.


AI companies are using machine learning technology to analyse network and data performance to automatically identify anomalies and mistakes, which may result in catastrophic issues such as data loss or a network breach. Large vendors and small resellers are investing in technologies that can help them reduce cost and scale their business.


VR technology is increasingly becoming incorporated into the marketing toolbelt, with new releases of smartphones, allowing clever and immersive ways to differentiate products and services throughout the channel, with the likes of Google AR stickers used for the release of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Look out for more VR-based marketing!


MSP Market


The managed services market has been forecast to increase at a CAGR of 12.4% over the next five years according to Yahoo Finance, increasing from a value of around $142.7 billion at the beginning of 2013, to a total of $256 billion by 2018.


The recent trend in the industry shows that there is a high demand for managed services across every industry vertical, with the implementation of managed services reducing IT costs by 30 to 40% according to MarketsandMarkets. Combined with emerging IOT technology and cloud storage improvements, this is driving the need for broad IT expertise and experienced MSPs, which tallies with our experiences in 2017 within B2B marketing.


Account-Based Marketing


Account-based marketing (ABM) is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts. That said, a good data set, combined with some of the great marketing tools and resources out there (including agencies), really means that all accounts can be appropriately targeted to their needs and receive the level of service they all deserve, rather than just focussing on the top tier. This is great for the channel, where it can often be hard to scale.




General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a collection of data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy. Enforceable in May this year and affecting every size of business, GDPR will also be making its way into the UK Data Protection Bill, which is currently making its journey through Parliament. With a third reading due in the House of Lords on the 10th January, the UK Data Protection Bill will modernise data protection laws. If you handle personal data of EU citizens in any way, there is a need to review your data protection policies, or write one. From small community businesses, to large corporations, needs will differ, but policies will need to be reviewed and/or written. The IT channel is ready and waiting to provide those solutions.


UK Tech Industry


With Facebook’s new office opening in London last December, Google unveiling plans for a £1bn London headquarters and Amazon’s new product research centre in Cambridge, investment in the UK technology space is strong, despite Brexit worries. According to TechNation, in 2016 the UK secured £6.8 billion in venture capital and private equity investment, that’s over 50% more than any other European country. With Entrepreneurs’ Tax Relief and the number of digital technology jobs growing at more than twice the rate of non-digital technology sectors, the UK has seen an explosion in tech start-ups, from AI and robotics, to 5G, smart energy and more.


Welcome back, Happy New Year and best wishes for 2018

And here we are again, the start of another new year. The thing about January is that it seems to offer up the perfect excuse to ‘start again’ or ‘do something new/different’. But really is it an excuse that we need? Rather than an excuse, why don’t we give ourselves a reason: a reason to take everything we did last year, and the year before and the year before… and make it better. Take all the good things that were successful, all the things that might not have been so successful, and use them to create something better.


This is what we will be doing here at purechannels. 2017 saw the usual ups and downs and we will be drawing on all of these to motivate and drive us forward into 2018.


Some of the positives we will build on include several new major client wins, some beautiful project work and of course our presence and wins at some of the major industry awards. We enjoyed a small win at the DRUM Marketing Awards and a place as a finalist on the shortlist at the CRN Sales and Marketing Awards. But, the pinnacle for us was taking the Runner Up spot for ‘Best Channel Marketing Initiative’ at the B2B Awards in November. This is a big stage, full of some of the biggest and best agencies in the world. For us to stand shoulder to shoulder (and beat!) these guys is a huge boost for us – and our clients.


So, for purechannels, 2018 provides two huge opportunities:


  1. An exciting opportunity to do the things we did well – and not so well – better, and maybe a bit different. We will continue our quest to be the number one go-to agency for anything channel and to offer our clients unrivalled attention, service, channel expertise and flexible responses to whatever they need.

  3. An even more exciting opportunity exists for our clients and prospects; people we know and those we are still yet to meet. Our business is not actually about us. It’s about our clients and the trust they place in us to deliver what they need for their channel. Without this we cannot share our knowledge, our expertise and our core principles of providing the best channel services possible. And for that, we are always grateful, and extremely thankful.


So, please, keep coming to us, keep testing us, keep asking us to do more and go further for you and your channel. We live and breathe this space every day. So, no matter how large or small the project you might be thinking about. No matter what the timescale or budget. Ask the question “what could purechannels make of this?”. It might just be the start of a wonderful new opportunity for us both.


I absolutely look forward to personally speaking and engaging with as many people as possible this year – those of you I already know and the people I can’t wait to meet.


Best wishes for 2018.




MD, purechannels
07854 996 313

Channel Chooseday.

In light of the two big days we have had in the last week… Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we thought we would throw something new into the mix – Channel Tuesday. Or could that be Channel ‘Chooseday’?


The thing is, when it comes to choosing what’s best for your channel there are a lot of things to consider. One of the major choices you have to make is who is going to help you – what agency are you going to choose?


So, to help celebrate our inaugural ‘Channel Tuesday’, here’s a choose list of our top things to consider when it’s your time to choose.


Choose an agency. Choose targeted partner communications and exciting campaigns. Choose successful, partner recruitment campaigns that demonstrate impressive ROI. Choose win-back campaigns to engage old or inactive partners. Choose a simple structure to your Partner Programme. Choose making it about your partners. Choose infographics. Choose video. Choose white papers. Choose education and enablement. Choose social media. Choose empowering your partners. Choose your battles. Choose a good portal – developed by channel people for your channel. Choose to ask your partners what they want and what you can do for them. Choose appropriate, uncomplicated partner incentives. Choose campaigns that connect across a range of assets. Choose emails and telemarketing. Choose accepting help and advice (don’t choose doing it alone or with people who don’t know the channel). Choose working with a team that can be tactical across an ever-changing channel space. Choose strategy alongside tactics. Choose long term. Choose short term. Choose people who can respond in double quick time – because that’s what your partners need. Choose creative thinking. Choose channel experts. Choose the right agency that not only gets the channel, but that can drive you and your channel. Choose where to spend your budget wisely. Choose your future.


And if you are in any doubt at all about how to make all the right channel choices, choose an agency that can help take care of it all for you: Choose purechannels.




AI & The Channel

According to Professor Jack Copeland, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is usually defined as the science of making computers do things that require human intelligence.


We are a far cry from Steven Spielberg’s 2000 film AI, but have most certainly come on in leaps and bounds, with even the likes of Elon Musk stating that artificial intelligence could be humanity’s greatest existential threat, this time by starting a third world war.


We believe we are a long way from facing those kinds of problems, but it cannot be denied that AI is infiltrating technology at a rapid rate. From the speech recognition technology tied into devices like Siri and Amazon Echo pushing voice searches up to 20-25% of all searches, through to virtual agents and machine learning platforms deployed into APIs.


At a recent cybersecurity conference, two-thirds of industry professionals questioned said they thought the first AI-enhanced cyberattack could come in the next 12 months. That being the case, major IT companies are rapidly incorporating AI technology into their software, particularly around cybersecurity solutions.


While most of the early adopters of AI are enterprises, that landscape is quickly changing as the technology increasingly becomes embedded in software applications and vendors make AI available as services via the cloud.


The IT channel of course has a tremendous opportunity to capitalise on AI technology as part of their overall solutions. With consultative selling increasingly in demand, managed services, the cloud and now AI are a reality that every solution provider must deal with, whether offering them as part of their portfolio or competing against them in their markets.


According to Research and Markets the AI market is expected to be worth 16 Billion USD by 2022, with a Narrative Science survey discovering last year that 38% of enterprises surveyed are already using AI in some way within their business.


If you’re not confident that your channel partners or sales team has the marketing resources needed to enable them to sell your services, please get in touch at or call us on 01424 774 925.

Upcoming Webinars

Want to find out how other brands’ partner programmes are doing things differently? Our sister company, purechannelapps, have a series of fantastic webinars coming up that will give you an insight into what your competitors are doing.


Hear about the latest successes in channel comms, social amplification, partner portals and channel marketing.




SEPTEMBER: 63% of channel marketers say communication is the biggest issue.


The first in this series is on 21st September when Juniper Networks will share how they have revolutionised the way they communicate with partners. Juniper Networks have thousands of channel partners globally, so how do they successfully manage to communicate, engage and deliver what these partners want all at the same time?


Join Louise Hunter, Senior Partner Programs Manager and Roger Horine, Working Partner Communications Programs Manager to get some hints and tips on how the big boys do things.


Date: 21/09/17 | Time: 4:30pm BST





OCTOBER: How Avalara increased their web traffic by 115% and their partners’ digital footprint with socialondemand.


Are you using social media to communicate to and through your channel partners, to increase your reach and awareness? Avalara is, and they’re receiving 115% increase in clicks. Yes, 115%!


In October, Avalara are joining us to explain how they increased their partners’ digital footprint with socialondemand.


Join Kristen Roeter, Senior Partner Marketing Manager and Tiffany Lieu, Social Media Marketing Manager, from Avalara where they will explain the success they are seeing with socialondemand.


Date: 18/10/17 | Time: 4:30pm BST





DECEMBER: A revolution in partner portals.


How good is your partner portal? Maybe your partner portal isn’t working as good as it could be? Is it receiving the level of engagement you would like?


Join Clare Leetham, EMEA Partner Programme Manager at Zyxel to hear how and why their portal has been such a success in delivering what their partners want, when they want it.


Date: 06/12/17 | Time: 4:30pm BST



The Perfect Partner Incentive!

A carefully planned and managed sales incentive programme has the potential to grow both new and existing revenues. It does this by redefining how you motivate your partners and their sales teams. Proper incentive programmes should be viewed as long-term investment and rather than a short-term solution and as such, should be managed accordingly. There are occasions where short-term wins can be achieved by running smaller incentives of course, but typically incentives should be as much about behaviour change and mind-share over a period of time, as they are about increasing numbers for a period of time. If you provide your channel with the support and encouragement they need to increase sales, change behaviour and increase mind-share, they will in turn provide their/your customers with the best possible experience and keep them coming back for more!


Whether it’s a new programme being introduced for the first time or an enhancement to an existing one, it is important to generate as much partner awareness as possible. Good planning, a strong message/theme and consistent, regular comms do this by explaining the rationale for the programme, introducing the supporting tool(s), summarising qualification/requirements and how the process of earning, giving, and receiving rewards will work.


‘Properly constructed incentive programs can increase performance by as much as 44 percent.’ By Harold Stolovich, PHD


Here are our Top Tips when considering a Channel Incentive Programme.


Proposition and Messaging


How will you communicate your new partner incentive programme? How will you catch their attention amongst other vendors also running incentives? It is a good idea to have a strong theme or concept that drives the incentive and then all comms, campaign activity, assets, events and awards can carry a consistent theme. This will help to establish a strong engagement amongst your targeted partner sales audience.


Resource and Budgeting


What resource do you have in place to manage the incentive and liaise with your chosen agency and incentive programme provider? There will be an internal resource implication but ideally your trusted agency/provider will take a lot of this away from you. And factor in budget early. Not only for the setup, infrastructure, launch and ongoing comms, but for the rewards themselves. They cost money too! You need to budget clearly for the rewards you will be giving, whether these are simple spot prizes, amazon vouchers, weekly champions or end of programme ski trips! It all needs to be included and that way you can calculate a more accurate ROI, including the likely sales uplift you will see too.


Communication is key


Communicating an incentive scheme effectively and consistently is crucial to ensure partner uptake and engagement from the outset, pre-, during and post- launch. The programme must be clear and simple to understand. Participants will need to know exactly what they are able to achieve and what is expected/required of them to earn their rewards. Your comms must be:


  • Clear and concise – as well as simple and easy to understand
  • Open and honest
  • Personal to each partner
  • Regular and frequent. This includes:
  • Weekly/fortnightly/monthly basis
  • Reactive messaging either programme specific or industry specific
  • Automated messaging when certain ‘per-participant’ activity happens, i.e. a target is reached or something is achieved.
  • Updated positions: Where is each individual in compared to their target… and importantly
  • Where are they on the leader board?!

    Make targets and goals realistic


    Set realistic and fair targets – both for you running the incentive and for those taking part in it. It doesn’t matter how good the rewards are, if people feel they will not be able to achieve them, they won’t even try. A programme however that keeps partners informed about their progress and achievements will further motivate them to keep pushing.


    Internally also, when running the programme, it is essential that you attribute the correct targets/goals/objectives when setting up the incentives. ROI is key so you must not under or over estimate what the likely return will be, or there could be trouble ahead.


    Reward all your partners


    Reward everyone who is successful and not just your top performing partners. Rewarding everyone’s success will promote a much more productive atmosphere. In addition, a leader board can be used as a great communication and motivational tool, even if separated by your partner tiers, or amongst individuals within partners, so as not to de-motivate different levels of partners or individuals. Everybody likes to feel special so you could also add in personal or ‘per partner’ targets for them to achieve.


    Motivate through sharing


    Sharing rewards with partners and informing them that people are winning, and winning regularly is key to long term success. Telling those involved about their progress in achieving specific rewards, as well as similar successes of others along the way, will keep them going. Essentially incentive and reward programmes are about loyalty, sales, behaviour and mindshare. And as we all know salespeople are highly competitive so use this to encourage and motivate them.


    Keep it fresh


    Your programme will benefit by staying on top of industry changes, as well as the changing business objectives and focus of your company. Regular meetings and partner feedback will help you tweak your programme ensuring sustained activity and engagement. You need to ensure your partners find it fun, fresh, interesting and ultimately achievable.


    Measure results to ensure your programme is paying off


    Constantly evaluate and analyse to ensure new partners are buying into the programme and existing partners are engaged. Make sure you have access to the right performance metrics to allow you to keep on top of communications. And get it all right at the start: know what you want to measure so you will able to measure it! (Sounds obvious doesn’t it…)


    Keep your rewards appealing


    Deciding on the rewards is one of the most important parts of designing a successful scheme. If the rewards are not in line with demand, your partners will not have the desire to keep pushing those deals. The ‘not another catalogue’ syndrome can hurt your well-thought-out programme as it will fall flat regardless of how good it looks! Ensuring partners know precisely what they can win, what new incentives are on offer, as well as what’s coming soon, will keep interest and excitement levels up.


    Whatever form your communications take, remember that consistency and frequency is essential to any programme’s success. Informed partners will be inspired partners and they drive results that grow your bottom line.


    Stand out!


    Don’t forget you are not the only one. Partners are likely to be part of one or more incentive schemes offered by multiple vendors – your competitors in fact. How will you make yours compelling enough to stay front of mind to ensure that your partners are motivated more by you than anyone else?




    It is also important to mention taxation. This is something you will need to seek specialist advice on, as the regulations will vary from region to regions and country to country. It is something that is likely to affect your incentive programme – especially if you are expecting to roll out globally. So we do suggest that you speak to your tax specialist/advisor locally and that you work with an incentive partner/provider who is able to provide a platform that can cope with and manage the many differences in tax implications. It is possible to manage, but it’s not straight forward to centralise globally anymore. So you can either co-ordinate, using the necessary experts or just keep the incentives local in the regions that want to take part, and thus they take care of their taxation locally.


    Do not think it is easy


    Incentive and reward programmes have been around for donkeys’ years, so you might be forgiven for thinking ‘just doing an incentive scheme’ is an easy fix. It’s not. The landscape has changed, become more competitive and partners have become more selective in terms of what is going to make their business better.


    The simple solution: You must engage the services of an experienced, knowledgeable organisation who not only know incentives but also know and understand the channel and creative marketing. There must be considerable time, effort, resource and finance committed to any incentive/reward programme and ‘going it alone’ or choosing a supplier with no channel knowledge is sadly unlikely to end well.


    And at the same time, there is a huge amount of success to be had with a well presented, well planned and well executed programme.

    The truth behind GDPR

    Not everything that we read or see on the internet is true. It was at Donald Trump’s first press conference as President-elect when the term “fake news” was widely used in the media, but fake news has been around for years. The following stats from Google Trends show searches for the term ‘fake news’ over the last year, which supports this:




    General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be enforceable in exactly 11 months’ time. With dozens of articles being published and more to come on the topic between now and May 2018, it’s difficult to read between the lines. So, which GDPR news is fake?


    NOT REAL: GDPR is all about ransomware and cyber-attacks.
    In fact, GDPR is about how, as an organisation you handle the personal data of individuals residing in the EU. Those individuals now also have increased rights when it comes to requesting a copy of, the deletion of or a change in their data, which they no longer have to pay for either. Expect more types of requests for personal data from individuals.


    NOT REAL: A breach or compromise of your data is all about the fines!
    Whilst fines can be up to €20M or 4% of global revenue, whichever is greater, there are other concerns such as the impact on individuals (you must notify all affected) as well as the cost implications at an insurance level (higher premiums based on the lack of compliance). Businesses should consider the cost of data breach coverage.


    NOT REAL: GDPR is all about I.T.
    In fact, GDPR has signalled a cultural shift in how companies manage personal data throughout the business. How it is managed, where it is stored and how it is used.


    NOT REAL: If your head office is outside the EU then GDPR does not apply.
    In fact, any business handling the personal data of EU citizens (US HQ or otherwise) will be liable and will have to adhere to GDPR. A full audit of your data storage is recommended.


    NOT REAL: You MUST employ a DPO (Data Protection Officer).
    The reality is there must not be a conflict of interest with whomever is made responsible for personal data. Therefore, hiring a third party DPO may make more sense and therefore more cost-effective long term.


    NOT REAL: Becoming GDPR compliant is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
    There are in fact 12 key points of compliance which depending on how well organised your business is, can have varying levels of complexity and therefore cost. Every department will be impacted (IT, HR, marketing, legal and more) and with only 11 months remaining before GDPR becomes enforceable, the clock is ticking.


    If you would like to discuss how you can position your product and services around GDPR, educate your distributors/partners, advise your end user customers or generally align your sales and marketing activities with GDPR, get in touch at or call us on 01424 774 925.


    So you thought Facebook didn’t work for B2B?

    Well, it’s time to think again! But how do you create really effective Facebook content to get your message out there? Lux Narayan from Unmetric spent time looking at the top 20 B2B brands before focusing in on Citi and Microsoft to identify what works so well for them.


    Lux found that B2B marketing on social media is all about efficacy and yes that really is a good thing. B2B brands have a smaller, far more concentrated number of people to target than B2C brands, and this fact alone allows them to create content that is most relevant to their niche audience.


    He found that:


  • There’s no point in over-posting. In fact, the engagement and the number of posts show a fairly negative correlation to the engagement score.
  • Most of the posts by brands studied contained photos.
  • However, posts that carried links to owned webpages and external sources engaged the best.

    Okay so he also states there’s no one-size-fits-all solution here but trends are visible across the board.


    Take Citi for a start. During his research Citi posted only 19 times during the first quarter of 2017. That’s all. However, these posts fetched the brand a whopping 1.4 million likes, over 4000 shares and reached over 10 million Facebook users.


    Promotion was the key to Citi’s social media success. Rather than fill its audience’s feed with content, Citi ensured the quality content they promoted reached the maximum number of people.


    Most of the content revolved around initiatives by Citi and other company news but they successfully mixed up the content types. Of these 11 posts, two contained photos, three were videos and six carried links.


    Supporting text updates and links with photos ensured Citi’s audience engaged with company updates and then video used the power of story-telling, for even higher levels of engagement.


    Lux identifies that links are an important content type, getting people to visit your webpage and sign up for your various products and services. But it is the text that describes it and the featured image that are crucial in determining whether your audiences click through. 


    So while Citi went with a ‘less is more’ strategy, Lux found that Microsoft posted 61 times during the three-month period Lux analysed.


    The first blindingly obvious take away was how wonderfully diverse the topics and the formats used were. Of the 61 posts, an impressive 27 were videos. These brought in more than 84% of all the interactions the brand received. Food for thought?


    Their most shared piece of content was in fact a story-telling video highlighting the strikingly low representation of women in the STEM field. Seeing children refuse to take that fact lying down is heartening. It also drives the person watching the video to contribute to the effort. Watch it here.


    Microsoft’s videos focus on people. It is not just a rundown of what all Microsoft Surface’s features are, but how real people use products in order to achieve their goals. Engaging stuff.


    Lux states that often with B2B marketing, the basic fact that you are still appealing to a human being, often incredibly gets forgotten. Videos succeed because they can be easily consumed with little effort from the audience.


    For both Microsoft and for Citi, along with a balanced promotion strategy that gives a boost to the reach, it is shareable, quality content that ensures that their messages get through to a wide audience.


    Lux concludes that a thumb-rule for any B2B brand is to have a clear picture of what you want out of Facebook and then take data-backed decisions on how to achieve these goals. Analysing the success of your posts in order to nail down the optimal length of the text, image and tone is important. But Facebook does provide you with a whole raft of rich data on your past performance, including reach, engagement etc.


    So identify which of your posts resonate well with your audience, couple this with a thorough knowledge of industry trends and what your peers are up to, and there will be no stopping you.


    Facebook really does work for B2B. The evidence is simply overwhelming.


    Read Lux’s full research blog here.


    purechannels win at the DRUM Awards.

    Well this year has seen another first for us here at purechannels. Having been nominated on the shortlist again for Best Long Term Marketing Strategy at the DRUM Awards, we were delighted to have been recognised on such a huge stage.


    But, the shortlist was not enough.


    As the proceedings kicked off, the room of 500+ of some of the world’s best creative and marketing minds were challenged to a ‘selfie-off’. Using the masks that the DRUM had scattered around the tables, in his welcome speech Stephen Lepitak (Editor at the DRUM) laid down the challenge.


    Simply: “Whoever tweets the best selfie of the night, using the masks, wins!”


    The competition was fierce, we were up against some giants… McCann, Ogilvy, CHI & Partners, April Six, PHD, WCRS, Earnest and many others.


    Anyway, with a combination of two Fresh Princes, the photo created and tweeted by our MD and Senior Account Manager took the evenings first award.




    So, yes a bit of fun but we didn’t officially pick up a DRUM award for our efforts. However, whilst referred to in his opening gambit as “Best selfie competition”, it is more than likely that it will go down in purechannels history as something along the lines of “Best use of social media at a live event” or “Best live/in-play marketing activity”.


    At purechannels we pride ourselves on being able to respond accordingly and appropriately to the demands of our clients, operating exclusively in the channel. The channel needs agencies who can react quickly and who can create an impact in real time, without delay. Our win last night at the DRUM Awards (we think) exemplifies this ethos: we were set a challenge, we had to react and come up with the best possible, highest quality solution, better than any other agency could provide… we won. We are very happy with our win!


    Countdown to GDPR

    With exactly 12 months to go until the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is enforceable, it is important that you are considering how to get your business ready for May 25th 2018.


    GDPR is a set of policies designed to further protect the personal data of individuals and how that data is used. If you work with personal information of individuals within the EU, i.e. most businesses in some way, then it will apply to you.


    At purechannels, we are having daily conversations about GDPR and how to communicate the new regulations through the channel at different levels, from both an educational and a product and service perspective. But don’t take our word for it. The following Google Trends diagram clearly show that over the last year, GDPR searches have been on the increase.


    Graph showing Google trends for GDPR and Cyber Security

    Google Trends May 2017


    Given the number of data breaches that have also been in the press recently, combined with the recent global WannaCry ransomwear attack, data vulnerability and the need for enhanced protection is, and must be, a priority. According to the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report 2017, rising cyber dependency is listed as one of the trends that determine global developments. This of course is as a direct result of our increasing digital interconnection of people, predominantly through the sharing of personal data across the globe.


    With exactly one year to go until the regulations are enforced, you may be thinking there is plenty of time left to get your ducks in a row. There is not.


    Let’s be clear. GDPR does not launch, start or come into play next year. It is already here – it has been for over a year now. May 2018 is when GDPR becomes enforceable… the date by which you need to be compliant by. That means if you haven’t already, you need to start preparing for compliance right now.


    There are a number of implications, opportunities and threats to the channel with vendors, disitributors, partners and end users all being affected, and needing to become compliant.


    As a channel agency we’ll ensure we are at the forefront of GDPR, for the channel, and will be providing content and sharing insight over the coming weeks and months. We will also be offering guidance, planning, workshops, communication and enablement right through the channel so you can be sure that where the channel is concerned, GDPR is covered.


    If you would like to discuss how you can position your product and services around GDPR, educate your distributors/partners, advise your end user customers or generally align your sales and marketing activities with GDPR, please get in touch at or call us on 01424 774 925.


    GDPR In the Channel – how does it affect you?

    GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is an acronym that you’re probably familiar with by now, right? You must have seen it even if you’re not entirely clear on what it is. In particular, here at purechannels we are having conversations on a daily basis about how we can help all types of organisations in the channel.

    Social Media & Trust in the Channel

    As a follow on from our recent blog on social media, here we take a closer look at social media in the channel.

    Long term commitment, not just short term campaigns.

    Eleven years after being founded, we still operate and exist by the same principles we were established with in 2006: Quality customer service, attention to detail, unrivalled expertise and outstanding delivery of services and solutions to the channel.

    Social media: from personal to professional

    Social media is great, we’re all at it! Photos, fun times, checking to see how many likes you got… and shares (if you’re lucky!). But these ‘new’ habits that consume our lives every day, can be a real pain to (try to) transfer into your working life.

    The trouble with channel marketing is…

    The trouble with the channel is that there’s never enough time, resource or budget available.

    Defining moments from the last 10 years

    It really has been a monumental decade. And not just for purechannels, but also in tech, in marketing and in the Channel. Take a look here at some defining moments from the last 10 years.

    It’s our Birthday: Celebrating 10 years of Channel marketing excellence!

    After several years running global channel programmes and consulting on PRM, our CEO Olivier Choron recognised a distinct gap for a marketing agency dedicated to the channel and understood technology. Olivier believed – and so did his early clients – that there was an inherent lack of genuine channel understanding, expertise and level of service available to meet the specific needs of the vendors, distributors and partners. So in 2005 the idea of a pure-play channel marketing agency was conceived and then in 2006 “purechannels” was officially born.


    10 years on, I am pleased to say, we still adhere to these principles every day and remain true to our ‘100% dedicated focus on the channel’ foundations that Oli believed in from the start. We know our stuff, we know technology and we know how to put it to the best possible use to realise value for our clients.


    In the last 10 years, purechannels has worked with some of the biggest names in the global IT and telecoms industries, from Microsoft and Adobe to Vodafone and Samsung. We’ve delivered successful marketing services ‘to’ and ‘through’ the channel layers, making our clients’ channels an ever-more invaluable part of business strategies.


    Although we all fit round a large table in our local pub, our numbers belie our achievements. We pack a hell of a punch… regularly being placed on shortlists and winning top awards against some of our heavy-weight contemporaries.


    From channel-specific awards like ‘Best Channel Marketing Campaign’ with CRN in 2013 and ‘Best Channel Marketing Initiative’ with B2B Marketing in 2014, through to being named as one of the overall ‘Top 5 B2B Campaigns’ in 2014 and as a Finalist in The Drum Marketing Awards earlier this year for ‘Best Long Term Marketing Strategy’.


    And all this culminating in purechannels winning the ultimate accolade in 2015 being named ‘Best Channel Marketing Agency’ by CRN.


    But of course, this is not all about us. We could not have done all this on our own. The support, trust and confidence our clients place in us to deliver for them and their channels, made this all possible.


    So, as well as celebrating our 10-year anniversary, we have to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been a part of our progress since 2006.


    On a personal note, having been with purechannels just over 4 years and now as MD, I can honestly say that it is refreshing to be able to do things differently. To listen and respond to client demands when they need us. To create and deliver channel services in a way that understands and empathises with the clients needs and that also pushes the boundaries of the often-stagnant channel environment. And to continue to evolve as a small service agency, competing in a big B2B marketing world… knowing that we genuinely have the right to compete.


    A wonderful thing was created in 2006, and so much has changed in the world since then. We can’t wait to deliver even more successful projects for our clients over the next 10 years – which will no doubt be just as exciting, give us another decade to be proud of and hopefully add a few more awards to the shelf!


    Thank you all.


    Time to defend the crown!

    2015 saw purechannels win the prestigious CRN Award for ‘Channel Marketing Agency of the Year’ and the good news is that we have made the shortlist again this year! Very exciting considering it’s also our 10th Birthday this year!

    Another first: purechannels makes the shortlist at The DRUM Marketing Awards

    This week saw a new high for us at purechannels, we were nominated for the shortlist of best ‘Long Term Marketing Strategy (3 years or more)’ at The DRUM Marketing Awards.

    10 questions you never asked your customer

    How to create customer success stories that sing.


    Proof that Outbound is still badass.

    Over the past few years, advocates of Inbound marketing will have you believe it’s a panacea. “Long live Inbound, taxi for Outbound”. Yet real evidence of Outbound delivering tangible results says otherwise.

    How VMware shared a blueprint for channel success across EMEA: Channel Advocacy Case Study

    When you think of ‘advocacy’, you probably think of customer case studies right? Think again.

    Channel Incentives: The long and short of it

    The old tried and tested ways are always the best, right?

    10 Top Tips: How to create more engaging customer advocacy content

    A quick search on Google provided just the ammo I needed for this blog.

    5 reasons channel advocacy needs to become your mission

    Advocacy – customer, employee…– yep, you get the gist. But ‘channel advocacy’ – what?

    purechannels named ‘Best Channel Marketing Agency’ by CRN

    Thursday 2nd July, saw the very best of the UK Channel industry gather together to celebrate excellence.

    Out with the new, in with the old…

    Mobile, social, digital, app, trending, posting, influential, advocacy, inbound, content, social, digital, mobile, responsive-omni-social-digital-mobile-integration-channel trending marketing.

    We made the Shortlist: CRN Sales and Marketing Awards 2015

    Well it’s been a pretty good few months here at purechannels

    Partner Marketing Services – a much better idea.

    Here’s something new for you to consider – Partner Marketing Services.

    Co-branding your partner collateral – is it worth the effort?

    The theory is great – and has been for years and years and years.


    purechannels named in the Top 5 B2B campaigns

    B2B Marketing has recently released a list of their Top 5 B2B Marketing Campaigns of 2014… and we are on it!


    Email marketing – IT STILL WORKS! (You just have to do it properly)

    A recent survey carried out by shopping and price comparison website ‘Give as you Live’, suggests that consumers are far more likely to respond to a direct email

    The three Ts of partner news

    With email (still) being one of the most favoured methods of communication amongst marketers, partners and customers can become flooded with information;

    purechannels take coveted Channel Award at the B2B Marketing Awards

    Fighting off stiff competition from Cisco, Salesforce and Google with our campaign for Avnet,

    Knowledge and Timing: How to be smarter in the Channel.

    Rummaging through some blogs from our old website the other day, I was both surprised and pleased with almost all of the content.

    Go on, tell us a story!

    How often do you tell stories? Story telling is something that has thrilled and excited us since our earliest memories. So, how many of you make use of the obvious transfer of story-telling in your channel marketing activities.

    Is content your new best networking friend?

    As an avid networker and champion of face to face connections, something I saw recently on twitter made me think.

    Sailing the channel blind.

    Calling all channel marketers… I have a challenge for you:  are you ready?

    Has the ship sailed on channel marketing?

    I’ve been thinking recently, why does there seem to be a difference between channel marketing and ‘other’ marketing?

    ‘Highly Commended’ at the B2B Awards: November 2013

    Amid a sea of black ties and swishy dresses, hid a rockstar video game, bumper cars and enough champagne and vodka cocktails to keep a huge room of global marketers happy!