How to Launch a Channel Partner Pull Strategy While Building Your Marketing Team

Arbutus Medical Case Study

The Company

Arbutus Medical is an innovator in medical devices, manufacturing simple orthopedic tools that help hospitals treat patients faster and fight rising healthcare costs. Their devices can improve healthcare for millions of patients worldwide and democratize safe surgery.

The Challenge

With a disruptive product relevant to many markets, Arbutus medical was overwhelmed with potential. Although market research had uncovered numerous channel-specific market opportunities, it wasn’t clear which ones should be explored and how to proceed.

The Goal

Arbutus needed immediate help to:

  • Narrow focus on the most promising market segments;
  • Enhance consumer demand to spark more channel partner sales;
  • Improve internal marketing literacy;
  • Create and deploy an effective marketing plan;
  • Expand their internal marketing team with the highest-impact roles and functions—including training.

The Results

Arbutus Medical experienced an enhanced marketing system that evolved quickly. Here are some of the core wins during the first 4-months.

Expedited launch of marketing campaigns.

Upgraded channel partner operations.

Identification of and focus on the most promising market segment.

Our Key Responsibilities

What we did:

  • The Able & Howe fractional marketing execution team undertook all of the daily marketing functions.
  • We created a channel partner pull strategy and plan.
  • Implement analytics and management tracking to determine the most effective strategy and promising market segments.
  • Assisted in recruitment of in-house marketing manager and marketing coordinator.
  • Onboarding & training of newly hired marketing manager and marketing coordinator.
  • Provide ongoing strategic advice, guidance, and oversight.

Ongoing Engagement:

  • Support of the sales teams efforts by identifying new channels for client acquisition.
  • Ongoing execution as requested by Arbutus Medical.
  • Marketing information continuity and execution momentum for when members exited from the team.

How it Happened

Supported by the in-source marketing model™, Arbutus Medical was able to execute marketing campaigns immediately while crafting the foundation for a future in-house marketing manager and coordinator.


Arbutus Medical came to Able & Howe with a vision and a plan.



As a young company, Arbutus Medical already knew what they wanted to achieve; they had set strong KPIs and were eager to reach their targets. Arbutus Medical had defined four potential market segments for their product, leaving ample opportunity for growth.



Arbutus Medical lacked the execution resources required to narrow their focus on one target market segment and establish a channel partner pull strategy. They needed a system to measure and track which segments would help them reach their goals the fastest.


Function Gaps

The main function gap was a lack of an internal marketing team. Arbutus already had a strategy but no one with the expertise to execute it.


  • Able & Howe developed a marketing execution strategy to help Arbutus Medical increase brand awareness, one of their key objectives.
  • We created messaging that was aligned with the knowledge, sales and marketing assets at Arbutus Medical through market positioning workshops


  • Paid campaigns were quickly implemented to boost brand awareness
  • Able & Howe implemented email automation, for channel partners and outreach campaigns
  • We identified the buyer persona and internal champion
    • Able & Howe conducted market research to identify and assemble a list of prospects for the Arbutus sales team.


  • Able & Howe established a system to analyze and measure the results of Arbutus Medical’s channel partner pull strategy in different market segments.
    • We used this data to inform the channel partner pull strategy moving forward.


  • Able & Howe helped to hire, onboard, and train a marketing manager and marketing coordinator.
    • The marketing strategy moving forward was moved to the internal team with guidance, oversight, and occasional execution from the Able & Howe team.
    • Fast forward a few years later, Arbutus Medical found themselves without an internal marketing team.
  • The Able & Howe in-source marketing model allowed us to step in when the internal Arbutus Medical team exited.
    • We were able to carry on all marketing activities without delay or onboarding as we remained involved throughout the process.
    • Our in-source marketing model allowed Arbutus Medical to have a smooth transition, removing the need to frantically look for a new internal hire.