CHICAGO—Ketchum and International Data Corp., which last year collaborated on a channel marketing initiative called ChannelEdge, have introduced PACE (Partners and Alliances Communications Effectiveness) Index, a partner communications measurement and management service.
PACE Index benchmarks the effectiveness of a technology company’s communications with its partners and alliances and provides data-driven guidance to help vendors make solid decisions to improve their channel communications.
Although technology vendors invest millions of dollars into partner programs such as conferences, web portals, training and newsletters, Ketchum technology practice leader Paul Rand says many companies remain uncertain as to which initiatives are needed and provide real value. IDC estimates 50 percent of the world’s $871 billion in technology sales comes through indirect channels, and more than 59 percent of software sales in North America are influenced by third party organizations.
“In today’s technology environment, every dollar counts and channel partners have a direct link into customers,” says Rand. “For vendors, learning what’s working and not working in their channel communications programs can save significant dollars and dramatically increase their effectiveness.”
PACE Index offers a proprietary research methodology plus interpretive guidance from two leading firms in their respective fields. IDC and Ketchum present PACE Index results in a formal report that includes a detailed analysis of survey data and formal recommendations. All responses are gathered via personal telephone interviews to approximately 40-50 of a company’s top channel partners.
“Ineffective partner communication issues often exacerbate and sometimes cause partner management issues, including partner conflict, churn, and low satisfaction and loyalty,” said Stephen Graham, group vice president, global software partnering and alliances at IDC. “Not addressing these issues inevitably leads to a higher cost of sales, which few vendors can afford, particularly in this economic climate.”