The timeless 4 P’s of Marketing apply directly to how we need to GoToMarket in an Ecosystem; they are:
- Product: features, quality, packaging, etc.
- Place: channels, location, market coverage, etc.
- Promotion: demand generation, PR, etc.
- Price: pricing strategy, price, terms, etc.
What’s problematic for most B2B SaaS companies is that when it comes to the orchestration of partner ecosystems, they fail to effectively address some of the critical P’s. In particular, Product, Place, and Promotion. This is why most suffer from a lack of EPS (Efficient, Predictable, and Scale-able) revenues.
Let’s examine some of the gaps and what to do to fix them...
When it comes to the all-important ecosystem category of Tech Partnerships, CPOs, and marketing, even partner teams often fail to treat Joint Solutions – vendor SaaS + partner SaaS – as a proper product.
Teams frequently ignore some of the critical checklist items that we outlined a few weeks back in our column on Overcoming the Homelessness Problem in Tech Partnerships:
- Joint solutions need to be pressure tested, validated, and formally launched.
- Use cases must be effectively validated
- The TAM and business case has to be identified and documented
The lack of effective placement of partner ecosystem solutions is one of the big issues that slow the creation of EPS revenue. Companies that fail to position their Joint Solutions with Tech Partners frequently default to using Sales and Services Partners (aka The Channel) to aggregate customer solutions.
For these companies, The Channel really only solves their last-mile solution aggregation problem. And while marketplaces have emerged to act as modern-day distributors, they mostly just capture customer demand rather than actually creating demand and thus don’t solve the entirety of the placement challenge.
The picture below depicts a typical setup: you are the SaaS company, you have tech Partners with whom you have created Joint Solutions (JSs), and there’s a downstream set of sales and services partners available to support the last mile to the customer. The channel typically bundles JSs with your company’s SaaS offering.
As we think about how to create and not just capture demand, the question of who owns the joint solution and how to go to market is super important. SaaS Companies and their Tech Partners must answer these questions to deliver on customers’ end-to-end solution requirements:
- Who should own and drive the Joint Solution GTM between two tech companies?
- What role should the downstream channel serve in this GTM?
- How can we, our tech partners, and the channel optimally meet the needs of our joint ICP while driving EPS revenue?
You can’t sell what you can’t market, and when it comes to marketing in an ecosystem, we need solid value propositions targeting both sell/service and tech partners and targeting the joint ICPs with those partners. We also need solid BOMs – Bill of Materials– that include the key assets relevant for a GoToEco motion: customer testimonials, one-pagers, videos, assets across the customer journey, etc. We often should, but frequently do not, leverage account-based ecosystem development campaigns to drive the recruitment-to-revenue process.
Fragmentation and misalignment of joint solution promotional efforts are huge hindrances to an effective GoToEco effort. In last week’s column on The Power in GoToEco Bundles, we outlined the importance of overcoming this fragmentation by positioning joint solutions across product, marketing, sales, and customer success.
As a partner leader, you have two choices in your efforts to address fragmentation:
- Engage a holistic GTM from the product thru DG and alignment with the downstream channel. This results in a GoToEco Revenue Engine that delivers EPS revenues, and your CFO can fund.
- Default to a typical fragmented GTM where Joint Solutions and the DG and alignment effort is partial and pray that the channel figures out how to assemble the pieces. This results only in random acts of partnering.
DM if you want to hear more about option 1 or discuss how to more effectively leverage the 4 P’s to nail your GoToEco approach.
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