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How to leverage vendor value to boost marketing ROI.

Published on 22 February, 2024 | Author: Digitalzone

In the love match of B2B marketing, every move counts. The stakes are high and strategic decision-making is crucial – but marketers often overlook a secret weapon that could help them outmaneuver the competition: vendors. 

While it doesn’t sound like groundbreaking information, just hear us out. It’s worth reevaluating the way you handle your vendor relationships. Vendors don’t have to be simply service providers, they can be strategic partners instrumental in enhancing marketing ROI.  

In our current era of digital transformation, shifting demographics among B2B buyers and new paradigms for defining and optimizing ROI means that marketing professionals are grappling with internal changes as they redefine success metrics and raise the bar for both internal teams and external vendors. 

In this article, we delve into why B2B marketers should increase their vendor value and how they can leverage vendor relationships for maximum impact. 

The Indispensable Role of Vendors in Demand Gen

So what can vendors offer beyond their product suite – and why should you care? 

When you treat vendors like an extension of your org, they provide valuable solutions to fill data and technological gaps. That means more buyers, more targeted strategies, and better marketing. 

The success is mirrored in the near universal adoption of vendors. Our recent report shows that a whopping 99% of marketers utilize at least one third-party vendor for their demand gen efforts. As normal when money is exchanged and contracts signed, these vital  relationships also come with major expectations. Vendors are not one-size-fits all, and many teams find that vendors fall short in several areas–including data quality and communication.  

If you want to make sure you’ve found your perfect partner, you need to take control of the relationship and start evaluating what you want out of your connection. Vendors bring forth a specialized skill set, providing the necessary tools, technologies, and insights to elevate a brand’s reach and impact. But they can’t know your org inside and out like you – which creates some friction. 

Turning Roadblocks into Stepping Stones

What roadblocks should you preemptively look out for? And what opportunities do you have to steer your relationship to success?  

54% of marketers have report data quality problems when engaging with demand gen vendors 

Invest in data cleansing and enhancement tools, implement rigorous quality control processes, and work collaboratively with vendors to ensure accurate and reliable data. 

76% of marketers highlight issues with communication and customer support 

Establish clear communication channels, provide constructive feedback to vendors, and collaborate on developing robust customer support systems. Strengthening this aspect can enhance the overall partnership experience. 

32% point out a lack of agility as a stumbling block 

Foster an agile mindset by encouraging open communication and flexibility in adapting to changes. Work closely with vendors to streamline processes, embrace innovative solutions, and create a dynamic partnership that responds effectively to evolving needs. 

By actively addressing these challenges and viewing them as catalysts for positive change, businesses can turn potential obstacles into stepping stones for growth and improvement in their partnerships with vendors. Foster a culture of continuous improvement within your organization and encourage vendors to do the same. Regularly evaluate processes, seek feedback, and implement iterative enhancements to optimize collaboration. 

Maximizing Vendor Value With Accountability

Vendor relationships are a two way street and you BOTH need to be committed to accountability and clear communications. Your org needs to be transparent with expectations, contract agreements, and target KPIs. Off the bat, ask for regular performance reviews, real-time communication channels, and feedback loops facilitate ongoing evaluation and improvement.  

Still with me? 

Emphasize joint problem-solving, incentivizing high performance, and utilizing technology for monitoring contribute to fostering a collaborative and accountable vendor relationship. Regular audits and clear exit strategies provide additional layers of accountability, ensuring that the partnership aligns with organizational goals and standards.  

In essence, the key to maximizing vendor value lies in establishing a culture of accountability. This involves ongoing communication, performance assessments, and proactive problem-solving. By incentivizing excellence, leveraging technology, and maintaining clear contractual agreements, organizations can navigate challenges and turn them into opportunities for continuous improvement in their vendor relationships. 

Here are four pivotal questions to ask whenever you’re evaluating vendor performance: 

  1. How is data quality managed? Are there regular checks for duplicate data, invalid entries, and failed email/address validation? 
  2. What measures have been taken to address internal data quality issues, and how can we prevent bad data in our organization? 
  3. Who were our top leads last month, and how did we target them? 
  4. Is the vendor communicating effectively? If not, what channels should we be using? 


In the elaborate game of marketing, vendors are more than just pieces on your chessboard– they’re strategic partners capable of helping you navigate the ever-changing business landscape. By leveraging their capabilities and holding them accountable, marketers can outmaneuver the competition and ultimately, reign supreme. 

Remember, in the intricate world of B2B marketing, every move counts. Make sure harnessing your vendor relationships is a part of your winning strategy. After all, in this high-stakes game, it’s the strategic moves that take you closer to the checkmate.