Guest Column | June 17, 2019

3 Key Ingredients For Channel Marketing Success

By Rob Spee, Channel Journeys Consulting

Laz Gonzalez, Zift Solutions

Laz Gonzalez

Chief Strategy Officer, Zift Solutions


Jersey City, NJ

Year Founded



ZiftONE pulls everything you need for channel sales, marketing and operations together in ONE seamless and purpose-built platform, engineered by channel experts.

Channel Experience

21 Years

“Everybody starts at for-partner marketing, doing things for the partner, and then tries to get them to do things on their own, what they call through-partner marketing. It's really about getting those partners to know what's out there. Letting them know, hey, here's how to engage. And to do that, you have to be very prescriptive. You have to market to those partners as if they're customers.” Laz Gonzalez, Zift Solutions.

“If you build it, he will come.” was a great line in the Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams”. After plowing up his corn stalks to build a baseball field, the ball players do come. Fun plot for a movie, but not a great strategy for channel marketing. Just because you build an awesome partner program with super cool channel marketing tools, it doesn’t mean your partners will be running out of the corn fields to use them.

I talk about a much more effective channel marketing strategy in my Channel Journeys podcast with Laz Gonzalez, Chief Strategy officer of Zift Solutions. Laz shares a key ingredient of channel marketing that is often over-looked; to-partner marketing.

Key Take-Aways

  • The 3 key ingredients for effective channel marketing are through, to, and for-the partner marketing.
  • A benchmark budget allocation of successful channel marketing is as follows:
    • 60 percent for through-partner marketing,
    • 30 percent for to-partner marketing,
    • 10 percent for for-partner marketing.
  • If you’re spending less than 30 percent of your budget in to-partner marketing, expect to get less than 15 percent adoption of your through-partner marketing.

Take Action - One Thing You Can Do Today

Analyze your channel marketing budget. What percentage are you spending on to-partner marketing? If it’s less than 30 percent of your total channel marketing budget, are you getting the engagement you need from your partners? Also look at your messaging. Is it about you and your solutions, or about the partner and how they benefit by being your partner?  

Listen to the complete podcast to learn more about Laz and tips for successful channel marketing.

Robert Spee, Channel JourneysAbout The Author

Rob Spee is founder and CEO of Channel Journeys Consulting and host of the Channel Journeys podcast. Rob applies his channel expertise to help clients create and execute channel strategies to accelerate revenue growth. His global channel experience spans from building channels at startups to vendors and distributors like Arrow, BMC, Carbonite, and SAS. Follow Rob on Twitter and LinkedIn.