Channel Marketing Association Summit Recap

Date: May 3, 2024
Author: Steven Kellam

The Channel Marketing Association Summit, put simply, is one of the best events I have attended. The content, speakers, agenda and cadence of the event, combined with its stellar engagement and participation were all well planned and executed.

Great Content and Speakers

Generative AI was a consistent theme throughout the event, so naturally the summit began with an AI workshop that focused on everything from content creation and sales enablement, to enhancing the marketing and sales relationship. Natalie Lambert, former worldwide AI trainer for Google, delivered an interactive and engaging presentation that offered her real world view of what Generative AI can do for marketers. She laid out ways channel marketers can practically and strategically leverage the power of AI to supercharge day-to-day execution, as well as long term strategy development. There were no shortage of great questions, which were followed by a series of “a-ha”moments. In essence she removed the intimidation factor and helped everyone see the possibilities of Generative AI in a way that everyone in the room could digest and initiate for themselves..

Building on the energy of Natalie’s workshop, Cherly Cook, SVP of Global Channel at Dell Technologies, and Jay McBain, Sr. Analyst at Canalys, did not disappoint at the evening welcome reception where they highlighted the growth and value of the channel marketing landscape. Their insights underscored the pivotal role of channel marketers in enhancing partner experience, engagement, and revenue generation.

The event featured multiple tracks covering a range of topics, from the transformative power of AI to the intricacies of sales enablement and financial dynamics. While the schedule prevented me from attending every session, several presentations left a lasting impact:

State of Marketing in the Channel

Joan Morales from Zoom, Dalyn Wertz from Comcast, and Darci Evanish from HP delved into the current landscape of channel marketing. The conversation highlighted the transformative role of Generative AI in marketing, showcasing how it enables the delivery of personalized content to partners precisely when and where it’s most effective within the sales cycle.

From the Mouths of Partners

Kat Shelby, Chris Gamble, and Zibeon “ZB” Serrato shared insights on what partners truly seek from their vendor relationships. The key takeaway was the importance of simplicity, clarity, and relevance in communications. They emphasized the effectiveness of keeping videos under 30 seconds, a challenging yet impactful strategy, acknowledging that simplicity requires significant effort but is well worth the investment.

In the Ring: Sales and Marketing Battle for Supremacy

Heather K Margolis and Ronnell Richards vividly demonstrated the dynamic and sometimes contentious relationship between sales and marketing. Their discussion, peppered with references to Gary Vaynerchuk’s insights (warning: explicit language) GaryVee – Sales vs Marketing on the interplay between the two fields, revealed a deep mutual respect and high expectations, essential ingredients for collaborative success. Their interaction suggests that moving beyond mere formalities to genuine cooperation can significantly enhance growth outcomes.

Ronnell Richards, known for his insightful approach to sales, has actually authored a book titled “Shut the Hell Up and Sell” offering valuable strategies for sales professionals seeking to improve their craft and achieve better results.

There were so many other great sessions, including those led by Kimber Garrett, Michelle Ragusa-McBain, Luane Tierney, Jasmina Muller, Khali Henderson, Kerry Desburg, Barbara Goworowski and Kelly Stone. There was truly something valuable for everyone in channel marketing..

Top-Notch Agenda and Cadence

The agenda was well meticulously crafted to balance informative sessions with ample networking opportunities. Breaks were strategically timed to allow everyone attendees to manage their day-to-day responsibilities without disrupting the flow of the summit. Workshop round table sessions and roundtables were a favorite, providing valuable platforms for idea exchange and relationship building.

However, what truly set this summit apart was the level of participation and engagement from attendees. From the opening reception to the networking events, there was a real palpable sense of camaraderie and enthusiasm. Amy Bailey and Kathryn Rose, the founders and driving forces behind the event, fostered a truly inclusive and vibrant atmosphere, resulting in ensuring that every participant felt valued and connected.

In the words of Amy Bailey, “you’ve found your people.” Indeed, the Channel Marketing Association Summit was not just an educational and informative event but also a celebration of community and collaboration within the industry.