July 14, 2020

Event Strategies

[Webinar Recap] Driving Demand with Partner Events


Corrine Stratton

Banzai's recent webinar with Adobe's Meagan Dollins tackles how to create valuable partner marketing programs and drive demand with partner events.


Webinar recap

Banzai’s latest webinar, Driving Demand with Partner Events, features an interview with Adobe’s Senior Partner Marketing Manager of Events Meagan Dollins. Meagan offers valuable insight on the ins and outs of running a successful partner program. Meagan and Banzai’s VP of Customer Success Ike Nelson discuss the power of a great partner program in spreading awareness and driving sales pipeline.

Below are some of our key takeaways from the interview. You can watch the full webinar on-demand here.

Key webinar takeaways

Launch in 90 days

Setting up your partner program in 90 days is possible! Meagan breaks down the first 3 months with realistic goals that can get your program up and running within a quarter.

The first 30 days should be about identifying 1-2 potential partners you can go-to-market with. Spend time researching them, getting to know them, and learning whether or not it will be a valuable relationship for both organizations.

Within 60 days, you should establish a thorough marketing plan with documented KPIs and goals. Both organizations need to be on the same page when it comes to your key differentiators and your target audience. Marketing strategies need to be locked down and sales plans ready to launch. Use this time to establish quarterly meetings to review goals and metrics.

Finally, by 90 days you should start to see some results. You have begun to run your marketing programs and can see whether or not you are moving towards your agreed-upon goals.

Quality over quantity

When it comes to launching your partner program, it’s important to remember that it’s the quality of the partners--not the quantity--that matters. Trying to do too much at once can end up hurting your program. “Opening the floodgates and trying to sign on as many partners as you can upfront isn’t going to be valuable for anybody,” said Meagan. “A lot of times you end up promising the world to each other and then just don't have the bandwidth to really be strategic on how you're going to market with those partners.”

Instead, focus on a few partners whose offerings complement your program and your product. Spend the time getting to know one another, build your relationship, and learn how you can best work together. Establishing this from the beginning will create a strong foundation for your partner program, and will allow it to grow and scale.

Partner vs. company events

The partner marketing team at Adobe focuses on two types of events, Adobe-led and partner-led. Both are vital to the success of their program but are approached with different strategies and measured by a different set of goals.

For Adobe-led events, it is all about advocating for their partners. Meagan and her team are “plugging partners into [the event] every way that we can.” Partner-led events are different. Instead of focusing on producing the event, the Adobe team is working hard to drive registrations to their partner’s event. They get creative by using channels such as social and/or industry-specific communities. They also use Banzai as a way to reach net-new prospects for their partner events.

Register for Adobe Experience Makers Live

Measuring event success

When it comes to measuring success for partner events, Meagan and her team look at:

  • Registrations
  • Attendance
  • Engagement

Together, these metrics can tell a story and influence how you remarket your content on-demand. Meagan explains that with virtual events, “you know how many people watched the video, how many questions were asked, and how many polls were answered. These are really good metrics, because even if those registration numbers and those attendance numbers aren't there, if you have a high level of engagement from killer accounts, it was worth the investment made.”

The future of partner events

There is a lot of uncertainty around in-person events over the next 6-12 months (and beyond!). For now, the focus is on virtual events and planning quarter by quarter. Meagan and her team know the need for demand gen is not going away. They work hard to be flexible and creative in developing new and unique ways to engage their audience, create valuable opportunities for their partners, and align with their internal teams.

Partner programs are a powerful channel for creating and advancing pipeline. Watch the full webinar on-demand to hear how Meagan and her team at Adobe enable their partners and use events to drive demand.

Link to the workbook, How to Run an Event That Isn't Terrible.
Isn't it time to level up your scrappy marketing team with a weekly dose of high-octane content?!? 💯
Available on iTunesAvailable on StitcherAvailable on Soundcloud

Show Notes



Spread the Word!