The mission of Riverbed Technology is to maximize performance and visibility for any user, network and app, anywhere. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the subject of workplace transformation is top of mind for business and IT leaders around the world, as they ask what does the office of the future look like? How do organizations make tough investment decisions in uncertain times? Riverbed partnering strategies, tactics and resources represent a holistic approach towards the goal of enabling more customers on the path to the Office of the Future.
The argument that Work From Anywhere drives business outcomes and the best employee experience possible is persuasive. So with regard to the channel, how does Riverbed Technology reach the markets it is targeting? We caught up with Peter Wenner, Director, Americas Channels Marketing, to find out more about the company’s approach to partner marketing.
Peter, tell us a bit more about how Riverbed organizes its partner marketing activity.
I lead the channel marketing effort in North America, as part of the Americas Field Marketing team. I work personally with a subset of our most strategic partners. As partners are a significant contributor to our overall business, channel marketing has always been an important part of our overall field marketing approach. Riverbed partners in North America include some of the top National Reseller and global System Integration/Service Provider brands that operate in our geo and around the world. Our general approach is simplicity with regard to our agency-focused marketing offers and strategic investments in partner-led programs that meet our objectives.
What types of joint activities do you support with partners, and what opportunities do partners have?
We offer strategic partners certain levels of sales and marketing enablement and demand generation opportunities that they can invest in. We deploy a full range of marketing communication tactics to partners, starting with a general newsletter and 1-to-1 communications about marketing best practices that we’ve experienced success with. Joint demand generation activities range from customized appointment setting, social selling and direct marketing door openers through to one-to-many campaign kits (Campaigns-in-a-Box).
We also offer our partners sales playbooks that include key messages on how to deliver Riverbed solutions and easy access to sales and marketing content. We offer up agency services for bespoke campaign engagements. As you can imagine, events used to consume the majority of co-marketing funds, but now events are mostly virtual. We’ve seen a lot of innovation to drive attendance to virtual events this year. Overall, we strive for 50-50 investment in awareness activities like events and demand generation that result in sales meetings.
How do you select partners for strategic high visibility lead generation?
Through our distributors, we offer all partners some level of sales and marketing enablement and demand generation opportunity, but we focus our direct efforts on our most strategic partners, as most vendors do. These decisions are based on the partners’ business plans that we believe have the best potential to deliver repeatable joint revenue growth. Some of our partners have very large global brands, and we welcome inserting Riverbed into their demand generation work, with their branding taking prominence, as long as it drives meetings and pipeline. We always strive for win-win scenarios with our strategic partners.
What sort of co-marketing activities do you use with partners, such as case studies or thought leadership?
We produce partner success stories, and always encourage partners to share them with us. We also drive thought leadership through partners by granting them access to analyst reports and other industry content. Our Global Partner Programs team publishes a monthly newsletter to keep partners up to date on our program and technology innovations.
What weighting does partner satisfaction with marketing activities have in Partner Satisfaction Surveys?
The global partner sales team carries out a regular partner feedback exercise. However, with a focus on a small number of strategic partners and distributors, we communicate very closely with them and they are quick to let us know if they have any issues we need to address. We’re committed to open communications and marketing community building with our partners.