4 Tips to Help Partner Marketers Leverage Generative AI: Advice from Dell Technologies’ Cheryl Cook

Anita Covelli

Director of Partner Marketing

Partner marketers

In a freshly published Enterprise Strategy Group study, Marketing tops the list of areas where companies are applying GenAI with 35% of respondents currently using it and 45% seeing future potential. But what does the GenAI revolution mean for B2B tech Partner Marketing and how can Partner Marketing leaders capitalize on this transformational opportunity?

One visionary leading the charge is Cheryl Cook, SVP, Global Partner Marketing at Dell Technologies and host of The Partner Connection podcast. Cheryl recently shared advice for Partner Marketers looking to get started with GenAI during a fireside chat with TechTarget’s Michael Latchford, GM & VP, Strategic Alliances & Partner Marketing Services. Here are four key takeaways:

Tip 1: Be curious and educate yourself on GenAI

GenAI will be a game-changer for Partner Marketing, but the rapid pace of change associated with it can be overwhelming and intimidating. While it took nine years to get to 100 million users after the PC was launched, it has taken a mere six months to get to 100 million ChatGPT users after its launch in November 2022.

Cheryl shared:

“One of the best quotes I heard Michael Dell say when we were in our partner meeting is that AI isn’t going to take your job, but a person that really knows how to leverage AI will. AI is going to be a powerful technology. We shouldn’t be afraid of it or intimidated by it. It’s just going to help us all get better.”

To remain relevant, Partner Marketers must be curious and spend time educating themselves about GenAI. Read up on the latest trends. Tap into consultants, analysts, and your peers and get their take on use cases and best practices. Try out new GenAI capabilities in your current MarTech stack and consider how they can help your team and your partners. Investigate emerging tools and explore which may be worth piloting.

Tip 2: Clean data and an iterative approach are crucial to success

As the adage says: “garbage in, garbage out.” When it comes to GenAI, success hinges on the data that you’re operating against. Cleaning up your customer data is a must before leveraging GenAI. It’s also important to recognize that GenAI outputs are not going to be perfect out of the gate. Starting out, they may be too generalized and high-level and not as relevant to your company. Partner Marketers must invest the time and effort to work and train with the tools.

Cheryl recommends planning in 6-month increments and taking an iterative approach – test, review, refine and then repeat:

“GenAI is a powerful technology, but it’s as good as the data you apply it against. And that’s why in the early stages, you’re going to have to really be reviewing and refining and editing and correcting. And that’s the magic of how these technologies – they learn, and they just refine and improve and perfect.”

Tip 3: Start with a low-hanging-fruit use case

As Cheryl and her team have been exploring opportunities to apply GenAI to their Partner Marketing efforts, they have identified some promising use cases. Partner Marketers looking to leverage GenAI should consider one of these applications as a starting point:

  • Targeting and propensity modeling – GenAI can be applied against your customer data to help uncover higher-value opportunities that are more likely to convert. These opportunities can then be shared with your partners and your sellers alongside insights that help them win, including account insights, competitive intelligence, industry knowledge and vertical experience.
  • Content creation and translation – Creating and translating content can be time-consuming and expensive. GenAI can automate these resource-intensive tasks, allowing Partner Marketing teams to scale capacity and be more responsive. It can also help ensure that your content consistently reflects your global messaging.
  • Personalization and customization – Companies who are going to market through partners often struggle to arm their partners with self-service, customizable content to fuel their demand generation campaigns. GenAI can be used to provide a more seamless way for partners to leverage your assets in their co-marketing efforts. GenAI can facilitate the creation of dynamic content, which will enable your partners to quickly tailor and brand content while retaining your messaging.
  • Media and search – Reaching the right buyer with the right message at the right time via the right channel is crucial to demand generation success. GenAI can help you identify the best vehicles for reaching your target audience so you and your partners can focus on getting your content and your message out in all the right locations.
  • Partner collaboration – In the increasingly complex B2B technology partner ecosystem, multiple partners may be involved in a joint go-to-market motion. Today, collaboration between these players can look like a relay race where the baton is passed between partners at different stages. GenAI can help orchestrate digital collaboration across partners, so you aren’t exposing the seams of your relationships to the customer. Ultimately, this allows everyone to focus on what matters most: delivering the business outcomes your joint customers crave.

Tip 4: Look at processes with a fresh set of eyes

As you embark on your GenAI journey, it can be tempting to insert your historical practices and your muscle memory (and the potential biases associated with them) into your model. Cheryl advises that Partner Marketers take time to rethink their processes and start with a clean slate:

“We all need to be a little open-minded on ways we could revisit or reimagine some of our processes. We all have processes that we find ourselves tied to because they were just the way we ran the business. You can reimagine the process itself and get a much better outcome.”

In closing, Cheryl shared:

“The whole GenAI opportunity (like any of these disruptions in the ecosystem) is going to touch all of us and every aspect of our companies. And I think, frankly, it’s going to simplify things. We’ll be able to lean on some of these amazing capabilities to automate the mundane that we don’t enjoy doing. It’ll free us up to work more on the creative aspects, the more strategic opportunities, the way with which we can align and team in-market to ultimately deliver what the customers need. I’m an eternal optimist and I think GenAI is going to empower each of us to deliver a better experience for each other faster.”

Learn from other partner marketing leaders

Want to hear insights and best practices from other Partner Marketing executives at B2B technology companies like AWS, Microsoft, ServiceNow and Commvault? Join Partner Marketing Visionaries – a community for Partner Marketers, by Partner Marketers – to access dozens of recorded panel discussions on topics like co-marketing with and through partners and measuring partner marketing ROI.

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