22 August – Partner e-communications: more flexibility required!

Partner e-communications: more flexibility required!

 

Having written, HTML-coded and dispatched multi-lingual e-newsletters to millions of my customers’ channel partners over the last 10 years across EMEA, I realise managing partner e-communications is a challenge facing most organisations that sell through sales intermediaries/ channel partners.

 

The issue is relevance versus costs.

 

How do you make sure your news is relevant to your audience whilst the costs of delivering this news are not exorbitant?

 

The best examples I have seen occur when companies give a choice to their audience, i.e. “What news would you like to receive?” These choices are often organised by Business Unit (BU) or product line and the newsletters aim to provide some flexibility to partners. Sadly, even in this case, newsletters are built in HTML and cost a small fortune – each version requires its own HTML, which is made even more painful if you add ‘languages’ to the mix.

 

Why is it that we, in the IT industry, cannot look around at best practices in other sectors? Do you/ we not subscribe to any online publication involving world news?

 

I do, and I get the news I like, when I like (within reason)…

 

So similarly, can we not deliver relevant news when our partners want it and with the content they want?

 

I believe we absolutely can… and this is why I pushed my team to develop newsondemand.

 

We wanted to give partners better choices in terms of:

 

the content they wanted (BU or product-centric),

the type of news they wanted (promos, product news, new collateral, etc.),

and importantly when they wanted to receive the news (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)

We also wanted to make it easier for vendors to push news on-time, cost-effectively (no HTML coding) and to the right partners (without having to manage partner data).

 

I believe we succeeded… Check out how at our next webinar/ live demo. https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/602786942

 

By Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder, purechannelapps.

21 August – Social media and channel partners: 1 + many = social business and social leads

Social media and channel partners: 1 + many = social business and social leads

 

I am still amazed to see how few companies that sell principally via sales intermediaries and channel partners do not engage with these third-parties to amplify their own brand messages (of the vendor/ supplier).

 

After all, shouldn’t most of the selling/ marketing be done by the brand advocates, i.e. the partners? Or have we lost total confidence in these partners’ ability to do marketing?

 

To be fair, past traditional co-marketing methods and approaches (i.e. providing partners with marketing collateral which can be co-branded and letting them do the emails/ reaching out to prospects) have not proven very successful.

 

Why? These programs are simply too complex and resource-intensive for the channel partners to care or get involved with… not to mention the time required to implement. Vendors assume partners can do it all; emails, design and websites. They also assume partners are fully ‘engaged’ with their suppliers and are happy to contact prospects on the back of ‘one supplier brand/content’.

 

This does work in some cases, but only for the few… typically, large partners who are fully committed to one vendor.

 

Instead, I believe social media can revolutionise the way we do ‘co-marketing’.

 

I do not mean to use Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn as a means to communicate to partners (with could well work) but I found that providing relevant social media content to channel partners and letting them syndicate that content brings huge benefits and value to both the suppliers and partners.

 

This is what we have discovered throughout our work and deployments with our customers, which include some of the largest global software, internet security and hardware vendors.

 

Really?

 

Yes, by syndicating social media content via their partners, vendors can leverage the huge combined social networks of these partners, whilst giving them (the partners) the role they deserve – the role of trusted advisors.

 

It does work beautifully well…but this is simply because:

 

  1. a) content is only made available to partners who request that certain type of content (hence we remove the pain of ‘sifting’)
  2. b) partners can edit the vendor-supplied content (hence they feel in control)
  3. c) content is posted as if it had originated from the partners (giving them more credibility)
  4. d) it’s simple to repost content across multiple social networks (easy for partners)

 

Thanks to our ‘social leads’ module, we can even go one step further and help partners generate and capture business opportunities/ leads via our automated and personalised (with the partners’ details) contact form. More gains for no pain.

 

Want to find out exactly how we do this? And for whom?… Check out socialondemand®.

 

By Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder, purechannelapps.