Ultimate Guide to Partner Marketing: Part 7 – Analysis and Improvement

Brian Marcus

Welcome to Part 7, our final stop on the seven-part series on partner marketing, in which we explore strategies from The Ultimate Guide to Partner Marketing. So far, we’ve covered key steps in strategizing and operationalizing a successful partner program. We now sit at one of the most interesting parts of the journey, Optimization!  If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series, head over to Part 1 to start at the beginning. 

In today’s post, we’re diving into analysis and improvement. We’ll take stock of all the levers we flipped and dials we turned and we start with a simple question, “What worked?” 

The TUNE In Framework 

Once a program is in motion, it is critical to revisit your original program assumptions. In practice, program management is a big cycle.

You are planning, executing, and improving your program from all different angles, all of the time. As you set up the right hypotheses, test your assumptions, and see the results, you will have better direction to right the ship. 

The results you analyze should inform your next set of questions to ask.  So, step one is:

  • Use your program data to look for big wins and losses.
  • Identify the right levers responsible for improving the underperforming areas and dial down the activities that are not going as planned.

Analyze and Improve

When I was sitting in your shoes, I used to ask the same weekly questions over and over.  It soon became apparent that I should be tracking the results more formally and creating a dashboard that helps me take proper action. At a high level, I would want a snapshot of the following:  

  • Prospect Outlook: How robust is my pipeline of potential partners?
  • Gap Analysis: Do I have all of the right partners in my portfolio?
  • Performance: Have I improved my relationships with top partners?
  • Program Diversification: Is my program diversified appropriately across partner types?
  • Partner Concentration: Is my program too concentrated across too few partners?
  • Competition: How competitive is my program across all of its components?
  • Traffic Quality: What is the quality of my leads or customers coming in through the partner channel?

And when it came down to areas I could improve upon, the biggest program levers available to me were in the following areas: 

  • Better Incentives – Customer, Partner, and Traffic Quality 
  • Better Relationships – Top Relationships, New Partners, High Potential Partners, and Partner Gaps
  • Better User Experiences – New Creatives, Placement Coverage, Landing Pages, and Checkout
  • Better Partner Processes – Routine Tasks, Routine Decisions, Hand-offs, Policies

TUNE In. Be Flexible. Help Them, Help You. 

This may sound corny, but think about the best aspects of your personal relationships and apply them to business. I would posit that the single most important part of any relationship is feeling like you are being heard. In other words, great relationships involve being closely attuned to your partners’ needs. Second most important aspect of a relationship is your ability to address the other party’s needs.  The more flexible you are, the better you can serve those needs.  

Now think about your partners’ businesses. What do they need to be successful? In the performance channel, program success may very well depend on your ability to be better attuned to: 

  • Your partners’ monetization goals
  • Your partners’ audience needs
  • Your ability to convert their traffic
  • Your ability to track all of their traffic
  • Your willingness to pay them fairly for their efforts
  • Your partners’ need for transparent data

In other words, TUNE in to your partnerships and watch them grow. 

Another Trip Around the Dial?

Like the TUNE In Framework? Make it your own. You can learn more about program optimization and all the rest of program management by downloading the full free version of our Ultimate Guide to Partner Marketing here. In the meantime, you can always head to the TUNE Blog for partner marketing tips, insights on performance marketing, and the latest news from TUNE.

The TUNE Partner Marketing Platform is the industry’s most flexible SaaS platform for managing marketing partnerships across mobile and web. Start your 30-day free trial today or email us your questions and comments at [email protected].

Ultimate Guide image

Learn how to plan, build, and grow cross-channel partner programs with our Ultimate Guide to Partner Marketing series. Follow along as we introduce strategies from the Ultimate Guide and bring them to life with real use cases from leading brands and advertisers.

  • Part 1 – Planning Your Partner Program Strategy
  • Part 2 – Determining Partner Payouts and Marketing Policies
  • Part 3 – Recruiting and Onboarding Partners
  • Part 4 – Communicating for Partner Compliance
  • Part 5 – Managing Partner Offers
  • Part 6 – Partner Payments
  • Part 7 – Program Analysis and Optimization

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Brian Marcus

Brian Marcus, TUNE’s VP of Global of Marketing is an experienced marketing leader, whose career evolved in lock-step with the emergence of eCommerce and digital media. Since 2002, Brian has been shaping the performance marketing community — as a digital marketer, as a platform owner, and as a platform evangelist. Brian launched into eCommerce leading customer acquisition at JC Whitney, a century old cataloger destined to move online. From there, he went on to build two global affiliate marketing programs and platforms, one at Google (GAN) and the other at eBay (ePN). Most recently, Brian was VP of Marketing at Teespring, a Selling and eCommerce platform for designers and creators. Brian is a Chicago native, a Cubs fan, and a music fanatic. He now considers Seattle his home and spends his free time enjoying the Pacific Northwest with his family. He earned his BA from Grinnell College (in Iowa) and his MBA from the University of Chicago (Booth).