The Nearbound Marketing Blueprint: Key Plays

The Nearbound Marketing Blueprint: Key Plays

Andrea Vallejo 8 min

Trust is at the core of your buyers' behavior. 


HubSpot’s State of Partner Led Growth 2023 report demonstrates that 48% to 55% of Marketing leaders have identified that the opinions of trusted individuals in your buyers’ network are the key purchase decision-making factor. 




Your buyers won’t make any purchase decision until they’ve asked their sources of trust for their opinions and experiences on that product. 


So, what must you do to turn your buyers into customers? 

A glimpse of nearbound marketing

You’ll have to leverage your network of brand evangelists, not to overhaul your current processes, but to improve your inbound and outbound strategies to help you surround your buyers with trust—that’s what nearbound marketing is all about. 


This is where partnerships become so valuable, and where immense opportunity lies for marketers. 


Partners have already established trusted bonds with buyers. Their influence flows

naturally, without raising the buyer’s sales radar. 


With nearbound, marketers put the customer at the center, listening to what they need and creating campaigns with the people they already trust to surround them with value. 



And we have the guide to help you implement a successful nearbound marketing strategy: The Nearbound Marketing Blueprint. 


It focuses on leveraging brand evangelists to enhance inbound and outbound strategies, aiming to build trust with buyers and drive marketing campaign success. This blueprint will help you to: 


  • Seamlessly integrate nearbound marketing into your organization’s broader strategy.

  • Craft multi-channel campaigns with partners that resonate with buyers at every stage of their journey

  • Get the exact plays and tactics for educating, engaging, and expanding your customer base

  • Discover techniques for tracking, assessing, and optimizing your nearbound campaigns


Here’s a sneak peek (and a deck) of the 7 plays you can implement and how they can help you boost your marketing campaigns through effective partner collaboration: 

Play one: Implement a nearbound ABM strategy to target your buyers better

Nearbound ABM is an ABM strategy that leverages your partner ecosystem to surround the accounts on a targeted list with influence and trust. 


When you involve partners in your campaigns you create stronger signals that can help your Sales team close deals 35% faster, 2x larger, and with a 43% higher win rate. 


It’s a strategy that has a collective approach that combines the power of your ecosystem, trusted partnerships, and targeted marketing to accelerate revenue growth and overcome challenges in partnerships, marketing, and sales.


The narrower your list, the better value you can deliver.  


It is as simple as planning your regular campaigns, but in a more targeted way, and attaching the right partners according to your existing strategies, accounts, and events that you’re already doing. 


There are nine steps you and your GTM teams need to follow to implement a Nearbound ABM strategy: 


1. Set your goals

Define clear objectives aligned with business goals like awareness, revenue growth, or customer retention. Use tools like Reveal’s 360° Goals to identify opportunities within your partner ecosystem and set expectations for all teams involved.


2. Identify and prepare your partners

Evaluate your partner portfolio to identify those best suited for different goals. Ensure partners are engaged and ready to invest resources, fostering strong relationships for successful collaborations.


3. Define the campaign goals

Collaborate with partners to establish shared campaign goals. Develop leading indicators to track progress and ensure mutual success, recognizing the value of partner contributions regardless of who sourced the deal.


4. Build your JOINT target account list

Create a focused target account list with your partner, avoiding channel conflict. Use tools like Reveal to identify and overlap prospects and customers effectively.


5. Alignment, alignment, alignment

Ensure alignment across Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success teams from both organizations. Support the campaign through Marketing, reinforce the message with Sales, and gain endorsement from Customer Success.


6. Get the resources you need

Secure necessary resources such as content, creative, and automation support. Integrate partner marketing into the overall demand strategy to ensure adequate attention and resources.


7. Design your Nearbound ABM campaign

Develop trust-building content and cohesive messaging with your partner. Create materials that address customer challenges and coordinate efforts across channels for maximum impact.


8. Launch, adjust, and iterate

Monitor the campaign closely after launch, comparing performance against benchmarks and goals. Gather feedback and make necessary adjustments to optimize results.


9. Celebrate success and share insights

Communicate the success of co-marketing initiatives across the organization. Highlight new pipeline creation and celebrate achievements to build momentum and support for future campaigns.



Play two:  Run a multi-partner event to drive awareness


At this point, it isn’t new that your buyer might not trust you, so, if you want to drive greater exposure to your company, all you need to do is partner with your buyers’ sources of trust to create a multi-partner event. 


You can partner with media partners, communities, influencers, key opinion leaders, and tech partners to create the event and content and distribute it with them. 


But more specifically, here’s what you need to do, to run a 10/10 multi-partner event:


  1. Decide to run an event and choose partners based on topic, target audience, and overlap data from Reveal.

  2. When you approach your partners, make sure you share details like general date and timeline, industry trend/topic, key participants from their team, and content format.

  3. Create a task list and assign responsibilities based on team strengths.

  4. Utilize overlaps from Reveal to curate an event-targeted list, and try to involve all your GTM teams, so they can also share their insights and help with promotion. 

  5. As you execute the event, ensure the content is valuable and engaging. During the event (and after the event) have your Sales team network with engaged attendees

  6. Don’t stop your collaboration after your “thank you email”, repurpose the content, and convert your event into articles, social posts, video clips, etc., to maximize value.


Play three: Create a co-branded report to educate and nurture your buyers


It’s never a good idea to market yourself as the story’s hero, your buyer is the hero, and your product is the enabler that will help them save their company revenue. 


The thing is, many companies have used that narrative and created skeptical buyers, who don’t trust selling companies anymore. 


So, it’s more impactful to your customers if their trusted sources endorse your product than if you were to speak about it yourself. The best way to do so is by creating a co-branding report, here’s how:


  1. Figure out which partner(s) you should include based on the topic, target

audience, and the information from your Reveal overlaps. 

  1. Pull collective data and create key benchmarks that point to significant pain

points that you and your partner’s joint audience are facing, and how your joint

the solution can solve them.

  1. To co-create a plan with your partner, share a general date and timeline, the value your joint audience will glean from your report, your target audience (and why you chose it), and the format of the report. 

  2. Outline a task list and delegate based on each of your team’s strengths and your partners’ strengths. 

  3. Use your joint channels, target email lists, your Nearbound ABM list, and the audience’s known watering holes to get the report in front of your target audience. 


Play four: Focus on making your customers famous to engage better with your buyers


Something that has worked not only for us but for other companies has always been: making your customers famous. 


This not only helps to improve existing relationships with your customers but also helps your buyers become solution-aware and solution-ready—leading to conversion. 


Buyers trust other people who have achieved their promised land, remember? So, what better than sharing success stories from your customers to help your Sales team close that deal? 


Here are some tips to build and leverage customer stories: 

  • Work with your partner to find a customer that aligns with your target audience and effectively tells your better-together story.

  • Develop a list of interview questions with your partner to keep the conversation focused on the narrative you want to tell while staying open to unique insights from the customer.

  • Record an interview involving you, your partner, and the customer to capture authentic and impactful moments.

  • Identify and clip the best parts of the interview for promotional materials to highlight and make both the partner and customer shine.

  • Distribute promotional assets to your partner and the customer, making it easy for them to share within their networks to maximize reach.


If done well, these activities lead to a conversion of the customer. 


In the Conversion stage, partners can help with intel, influence, and introductions to decision-makers, helping your Sales team finalize the deal. 


Play five: Build a partner-led onboarding session to set new customers up for success


Once your buyer signs the deal, it’s time to set them up for success. And yes, partners can help you too.


They can assist in streamlining the onboarding process, connecting your customers to the community, and integrating your and their products into your customer’s existing workflows.


It’s important to emphasize that having a partner who is an expert in both your technology and other relevant technologies is crucial. 


If your partner already works with your new customer, they can expedite the "time to value" by skipping basic discovery steps and focusing on implementing and integrating your solution based on your customer’s priorities.


All you have to do is identify which partners might already be working with your new customers, for that, you can use Reveal and filter by last update in your 1:1 account mapping with your partner. 



Here are our top tips to build a partner-led onboarding session: 


  • Identify a client that had a particularly successful onboarding experience and

was a strong partner throughout the process. 

  • Have the client talk about what they needed to bring to the table to be

successful—something a lot of onboarding documentation overlooks.

  • Record the session to be used as pre-work before and during the onboarding

process with new clients.

  • Be sure to finish up the session with action steps. Just because the software is installed, integrated, and stable doesn’t mean the job is done—think of the next steps to set up the rest of the users.


Play six: Create co-branded enablement materials to increase customer loyalty and value


Your new customer is up and running, now it’s time to increase loyalty and value. Again, this is something you can do alone, we’re sure you have an amazing Customer Success team, but isn’t it better when you achieve 2x more results by doing 50% of the job? 


In this case, your partner can assist you with unique use cases, take your customers’ platform knowledge one step further, and most importantly, they can help your customers scale their operations. 


Plus, having a partner in your Customer Success team can be really helpful. 


For example, they can give you valuable intel that will help you plan the expansion of the use of your product, collect sentiment feedback, as well as understand customer strategies or management changes that may impact the future of your product. 



Here are some tips on how you can bring your co-branded enablement materials live, whether is a deck, a one-pager, an article, etc: 


  • Start with the results; this is your attention grabber. Just like Sales teams, your customer wants to easily identify the benefits of leveraging your product.

  • Show a visual of how they got there. People learn in different ways, for those clients that are more visual, including timelines to help them set realistic expectations.

  • Talk about the tactics your customer used that led to success at each stage.

  • Point out any pitfalls to avoid or consider along the way

  • Turn this into a “playbook” for each use case, and vertical. New customers and buyers love to learn how other companies reached their promised land. 


Play seven: Run peer-to-peer motions to turn customers into partners and evangelists


Successful customers = happy customers


One of the many benefits of happy customers is that they can become your brand evangelists and partners. Even though it’s an “easy” process, working with your partners will make it even easier. 


They can help you identify the best customers who are ready to be leveraged as partners, evangelize your product, paint a realistic vision of what’s possible, and provide the “how-to’s” to your buyers. 


Customers are the voices your buyers trust most. They are ambassadors in the field, pushing the boundaries of what is possible with your platform and reaching the promised land your prospects hope to reach. 


Before you start co-marketing with your customers, make sure you give your customers the plan and platforms to share their stories—ones that are more like a “peer-to-peer” format, so the

content is more genuine.


Here are some ways you can co-market with customers/partners: 

  • Make them moderators in community groups

  • Invite them to speak on webinars or at events

  • Create a field marketing event, such as a workshop, or dinner, with this customer as the host

  • Feature their story in written materials (case studies, playbooks)

  • Get them placed on podcasts (other than and in addition to your own organization’s)

  • Speak as a 1:1 reference to your prospects that are in a sales cycle


The Nearbound Marketing Blueprint emphasizes leveraging trusted partnerships to enhance inbound and outbound strategies, building trust with buyers, and driving successful marketing campaigns. 


It guides you through implementing nearbound strategies such as ABM, multi-partner events, co-branded reports, customer success onboarding, co-branded enablement materials, and peer-to-peer motions. 


These plays harness the power of partnerships to accelerate revenue growth and address challenges across marketing, partnerships, customer success, and sales effectively.


If you want to access all the plays, examples, strategies, and success stories from Inverta get your (free) copy of the Nearbound Marketing Blueprint.


I want my copy


Andrea Vallejo 8 min

The Nearbound Marketing Blueprint: Key Plays

Learn how leveraging nearbound marketing and trusted partnerships can enhance your inbound and outbound strategies.

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