It used to be that a successful marketing campaign simply needed a catchy jingle or a memorable tagline. Now, we need so much more just to create the tiniest amount of buzz. This becomes even more complex as a solution provider when you have limited marketing resources and you are trying to sell multiple solutions from multiple vendors.
Is social or marketing automation the answer? What about webinars and blogs? Even if you’ve dabbled in each of these arenas, it’s hard to gain traction without a fully integrated marketing plan. So, Partners, how do you build that plan? And Vendors, how do you provide Partners with the resources they need to be successful?
Does anyone else feel like their marketing strategies are like a frustrating game of Whac-A-Mole?
How do you put down your rubber mallet and launch an end-to-end marketing campaign? A marketing enablement resource can give your Partners the depth needed to convert leads into customers and discussions into deals. Think of it like a supercharged V8 engine. Your campaigns or main components are the driving force behind your Partners’ initiatives. Social media and automation are the pistons and spark plugs that continuously deliver your message. And, the right end-to-end enablement resources are the fuel to keep it all running. Without any one of these pieces, the engine wouldn’t run properly. That is perhaps why many Partners are becoming frustrated with their campaigns. They have all of the right pieces; they just aren’t putting them together properly.
Photo Credit: Urban Anomie
So, how can I turbo charge my next product launch or campaign in 10 minutes or less?
From a marketing best practices standpoint you want to first have a website or at least landing page that someone could, well, land on. Then have a piece of valuable content that the prospect wants to download. That content needs to solve a pain point or teach the prospect something that they’ve been struggling with. Finally, point prospects to that piece of content from an email, from the Partners’ websites, and (most challenging) from the Partners’ social platforms
We recently had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to Kyle Benson, Director of Worldwide Channel Demand Marketing for Citrix, to ask how they enable Partners to do just that. He shared that Citrix has focused their efforts on creating a powerful yet easy to use end-to-end demand generation resource – one that allows Partners to promote their brand as well as get their joint messaging out. Benson added that, “Around each key play at Citrix, we have created an entire arsenal of supporting documents and programs that can be quickly customized to add depth to a Partner’s next campaign or launch. We are essentially giving them the fuel to ignite their marketing engine from cobranded email templates and videos, to short / long form social strategies and 3rd party white papers. Or, if events are more their cup of tea, Partners can go into the platform and personalize seminars with scripted presentations, landing pages and even harness powerful registration capabilities.”
Citrix has invested a lot to ensure partners can make that fully integrated plan a reality. Benson also added, “You can then upload your prospect list and automatically set up reminders and thank you emails, with all of the leads generated being passed directly to Partners. Once partners have leads, we take it a step further by providing sales enablement collateral that aligns to the various stages of the sales cycle. I can’t over-emphasize how important this is. ” These additional resources not only beef up your strategies but offer your customers valuable information around every bend of business. Whether they’re being invited to a webinar, delving into a white paper or receiving a targeted email, it keeps your marketing engine revving strong.
What’s the science behind why this works?
In a nutshell, consumers have changed the structure behind how they spend money. They are no longer satisfied with the status quo; they have options and plenty of them. And, business leaders now have the resources at their fingertips to make the wisest, most informed decision. In fact, a recent CEB Global study appropriately entitled, “Why Solution Selling No Longer Works” reinforces why end to end strategies are so effective. They surveyed more than 1,400 B2B customers across industries. The study revealed that 57% of a typical purchase decision is made before a customer even talks to a supplier. So, that white paper or presentation really can be the difference between simply having a conversation or sealing a deal.
How can you Enable Partners as Well?
Looking to better enable your partners? There are a bunch of platforms out there that provide website syndication, marketing automation, social automation, and marketing support. When you’re looking for platforms ensure that they understand how your partners want to engage with you and they provide the services (content, analytics, support) you need to better enable your partners. Factors to consider include price (watch for add-ons), number of partners enabled, user interface, the platforms abilities to work well together and to integrate with other marketing platforms including those that partners or corporate might be using.