Partnerships, ecosystems, and marketplaces are on the rise. However, talking about partnerships and creating a genuine mutually beneficial relationship with another business are two very different things. Partnering strategists have been wrestling with this for decades. 

Digital automation versus transformation

For many, digitisation starts with automation of current workflows. Customer acquisition, product sourcing, service delivery and ongoing engagement processes are all capable of being made more efficient with digital tools and approaches. But this is not transformation. How will partner management be fundamentally be different?

We believe marketplaces are already playing an important role in helping vendors and their partners re-imagine the entire concept of alliances and partnering. Led by shifting customer preferences, we are seeing a wide-spread scramble to launch and improve marketplaces. 

Radical versus incremental shift

The underlying challenge seems to be how marketplaces are scoped and rolled-out. The prevalent perception is to introduce new marketplace functions alongside existing programs, so to minimise disruption. This has the advantage of easing existing partners and customers into new operational models. However, this takes longer and the opportunity cost of lost customers is not always measurable. We believe this space is ripe for original research and analysis.

Become a Partner Cafe member

Partner Cafe is delighted to launch the PC Club to help members keep up to date with  developments on how marketplaces are supporting the modernisation of partner programs. Our goal is for partner marketers to renew their own operations and practices by engaging in research roundtables to share experience and inspire change.  To join, simply sign-up here. 

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