When will we in the vendor community learn? Forrester just released a piece of research saying that Tech Channels Have a Long Way To Go Toward Adding Marketing Value http://community.forrester.com/thread/8287. It brought me back to the last millennium when I just transferred to the dark side – a vendor marketing role. I had a conversation with a senior representative of a very large manufacturer who took the opportunity to tell me where I had gone wrong all those years in partner land “your problem” he happily told me “ was that you never focused on what I wanted you to”, I smiled back and said “no, I focused on what my company needed me to.” This to me at the time was the crux of the issue with the way vendors treated partners, not understanding that the partner is there to grow his or her own business, ideally but not exclusively growing the vendors overall business at the same time. Incidentally regarding that particular vendor my company had grown well above market rate and when I left was their second largest partner, from being out of the top 10 3 years previously. So, 13 years on and I am at Symantec marketing trying to work with partners to achieve the objective of mutual growth. I saw the article, and wondered how can a partner be said to be poor at marketing when they have persuaded a customer to buy from them? Following that train of thought isn't it the vendor who has misunderstood how to go to market through the partner? I had thought that we had seen the light years ago, but have we in the vendor community lost the plot and does the 1999 version of me need to give the 2012 me a good talking to?