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Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Metrics You Might Miss: Portal Content and Partner Behaviors

Posted on March 19, 2014 by Chris Bucholtz

If you run a partner portal,  you have something that marketers on the Internet dream of: the ability to follow your partners as they move through your content. You can see the things they download, the sequence in which they download them, and correlations between content consumption and behaviors.

So, you’ve stocked your portal with content, built profiles of your partners, and established a method for delivering the right materials to the right partners. Congratulations! You’re way ahead of your competitors! But you’re not done yet.

You can still fine-tune what you deliver and to which partners – in fact, once your content program is up and running, you now have a way to generate data about the effectiveness of content that you didn’t have before. And since it’s going on via your partner portal, you have the ability to understand the partner’s journey through that content.

So what metrics should you be looking at to improve your content delivery processes?

The most obvious metric shows which pieces of content get the most views and downloads. This is an important metric, but don’t make the mistake of thinking these numbers are generated in a vacuum. Many factors go into making a piece of content popular. Did you run a campaign around it? Did you work hard to give it a presence on social media? Are there links to it from other pieces of content on the portal that drive traffic? When you identify a popular piece of content, do the work to understand the context of that success. If you want to build on this success, it’s not enough to turn out another piece that mimics this content – you need to replicate the other steps, too.

This suggests another, more complex thing to understand about your portal content: how are your partners moving through it? Is there a pattern that partners who succeed follow – and is there a pattern that poor performers take as well?

Determining this requires you to follow and understand a set of related metrics. The first metric to consider is about engagement; you may assume that top partners spend more time and read a larger number of content pieces than less successful partners. But do you know for sure? The data is waiting for you in your PRM system.

Next, consider how content is being consumed. Is it being viewed on a laptop or desktop, or are you seeing more activity on tablets on mobile devices? And which formats do successful partners gravitate toward?

Next, consider which pieces of content work together. Are there two or three or four pieces of content on the portal that are routinely consumed as a set by partners? This is especially important to see if the last of these items steers the partner toward an action – engagement in training, application for MDF, etc. If you can track partner movement, you can discover some interesting things – like whether a piece of content is more effective in driving partners activities when it’s read as part of a sequence of items than when it’s read on its own.

The objective of all of this is to understand how to make the portal more effective by making the content more effective, and to establish a correlation between your efforts in delivering content and activities that deepen partner relationships driven by that content. These correlations are there waiting to be discovered – but only if you know to look for them. Don't miss the next blog in the series... Metrics you May be Missing: Downloaded Content