20 February – Should you use social media to talk TO your sales partners, or amplify your brand messages THROUGH them?

Olivier Choron

By  Olivier Choron

This may sound like a really odd question, considering that the conventional wisdom is that social media is a “conversation”, that you need to “engage” everybody in, being all things to all people.

 

Well for me, when you’re in the “channel”, things are slightly different.

 

Whilst there is significant value in using social media to inspire conversation and engagement with your sales partners, we see more value in amplifying through them.

 

The simple reason is that there are many better ways to communicate with your partners, outside of social media platforms. Using HTML emails and newsletters effectively (look at our newsondemand platform if you need help!), and targeting your communications accurately will deliver great results, and it doesn’t rely on partners having their social media accounts effectively “opened” to receive your business communications.

 

So this leaves amplifying through your partners as the best tool in your arsenal for social media platforms. I have discussed the issues previously, but briefly, one of the most crucial things I noticed some years ago, was that B2B2B and B2B2C companies never leveraged the large social presence of their own employees and sales partners. This is when my “Eureka!” moment occurred:

 

Why not use your partners to distribute your content?

 

It wasn’t going to work unless we found a way to do this globally (for vendors/ brands) and easy (for partners). Our solution, socialondemand® was launched in 2011, we now count many global brands as customers. The benefit for them is like ‘night and day’. In fact, I will share a few numbers with you:

 

OC Blog

 

So I’d like you to ask yourself, what is your social media marketing strategy? What kind of response are you having? Are you having as much success as our customers? Are you including your employees, sales partners, influencers and other brand advocates in your strategy?

 

Have a look at how socialondemand can make a ‘night and day’ difference to your social media marketing.

 

 

* Calculated by taking existing followers and dividing this by the follower count for all partners content distributed to

† Average number of clicks (of the short urls included in social media posts) divided by the number of followers/ friends/ contacts of your sales partners who have posted this content.

‡Average value for purechannelapps’ top 10 customers in CY2013.

 

13 February – How to outdo your competitors on social media in 3 steps

Pretty bold headline right? Well for me, every business should be focused on outdoing their competitors at every opportunity. I am not just talking numbers, I am also talking about product, customer satisfaction and reputation. Here are my tips on how to outdo your competitors:

 

1)      Communicate with your customers more than your competitors

You’ve probably heard the old marketing adage “Those who tell more, sell more.” Well what was true 50 years ago, is still true today. If you are communicating with your customers more than your competitors, you will outdo them. This doesn’t mean hundreds of thousands of droll, unimaginative tweets, nor a complex strategy. Just tell people what you’re up to, and communicate regularly with them.

 

2)      Remember the 2-second rule

David Ogilvy said many times that once you’ve written your headline, you’ve already spent 75% of your money. There have been numerous studies over the years that suggest you have the time it takes to glance, one second, perhaps two, for the viewer to decide whether to read on or not. On social media platforms, that time maybe even shorter. Make your message clear, succinct and easy to understand. Use uncomplicated language and terms everybody can understand. As George Orwell stated “Never use a long word when a short word would do.”

 

3)      Work together

Crucially you must work with your partners, employees, distributors, resellers, retailers, and dealership networks. Certainly, if you want your message out there, an effective solution is to amplify your social media content to and through your partners. Our own research demonstrates the power of leveraging the combined networks of all of your partners on social media. It illustrates that market leaders have one common thread between them – they work closely and support their distribution networks. Do you?

 

As the founder of purechannelapps™, I was clear from the beginning that our software socialondemand® should empower businesses to communicate quicker, more effectively, and to leverage the networks of their own networks, in order to amplify their efforts on social media. I could see the power of social media as a tool not just to drive sales, but to drive engagement, and ultimately better outcomes for the customer, their partners and the businesses themselves.

So if you think you’re ready to outdo your competitors, then contact us today.

 

Olivier Choron

CEO and Founder of purechannelapps Ltd

11 February – If you’ve never missed a flight, you’ve spent too much time in airports

That’s what George Stigler said. Voltaire said it differently; “The best is often the enemy of the good,” and Sir Robert Watson-Watt expressed it as, “Give them the third best…the second best comes too late, the best never comes.”

 

What is this about? I am talking about the single most important thing that you can do to improve your marketing results.

 

-which, of course, drum-roll please … is marketing!

 

I bet you’re either thinking I’m completely mad, or stating the absolute obvious. What I mean is that there is a difference between knowing what the right thing to do is, and actually doing it.

 

As the owner of purechannelapps™, I have a range of clients, of which I can safely say there are two distinct types; there are those who do too much, and those who think too much.

 

Those who do too much, tend to churn out the same or similar untargeted marketing campaigns week in, week out. Their creative is repetitive, it’s not going to win any awards, and you might think that if they just spent more time thinking about their campaigns, they might do better. Perhaps.

 

The second type are those who think too much. They often spend weeks if not months pouring over every minute detail in their campaigns to ensure its perfect and rarely get anything out in the big wide world. Or when they do, it’s too late and they have missed the opportunity!

 

So which type of company has the most successful marketing overall?

 

The answer is somewhere in between. Of course, your marketing requires careful thought and attention, but there is also a point at which your careful thought and attention can start to have a negative effect on your results. That’s the law of diminishing returns, and this is what Stigler, Voltaire and Watson-Watt were talking about at the start of the article. Enterprise marketers have to ultimately strike a balance between thought and action, and that is really what successful marketing is all about, and something that with the advent of social media marketing, is a lesson that is as relevant as ever.

 

So maybe it’s time for a shake-up of your marketing to ensure that your returns still match up to your efforts. socialondemand® from purechannelapps, gives you the tools to reach your customers, simply and more frequently, by posting your social media messages through your partners and their networks, as well as your own.

 

If you’re interested in outdoing your competitors, gaining that all-important edge, and increasing revenue, then please do contact us today.

 

 

 

Olivier Choron | CEO and Founder purechannelapps

 

Over the last twenty years, Olivier has become an expert in the development and implementation of channel programmes in the high technology sector.

 

Olivier spent his early days developing industry-first SMB initiatives in EMEA and globally with IT players such as 3Com and Nortel Networks, at a time when all vendors focused solely on enterprise markets. He subsequently moved to the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) industry with Allegis Corp/ClickCommerce – the major force at the time – where he was responsible for key accounts including Microsoft Europe, GE Finance, Subway and BT Ignite.

 

In 2003, Olivier set up purechannels, which now operates as a full channel marketing agency across Europe. Current customers include Adobe, Avnet, Citrix, Jabra, Symantec and Trend Micro, among others. Olivier founded purechannelapps in 2011.

04 February – Selling through sales partners? Reduce your PPC budget by 90%

by Olivier Choron, CEO and Founder of purechannelapps™

 

I have been working in marketing for over twenty years. I’m sure you’ve noticed too, that recently, Pay Per Click (PPC) marketing has gone from being virtually non-existent to being one of the largest channels in marketing today. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against PPC. The problem is that if you sell through channel/sales partners, PPC is ineffective, and often, a complete waste of money.

 

PPC doesn’t work because, typically, it’s untargeted. A broad brush approach rarely works unless you’re incredibly lucky. I don’t know about your business and your marketing strategy, but if I’m spending my marketing budget on something, I do not want a large part of the budget to succeed or fail purely on luck.

 

So what does work, when your products or services are sold through a complex sales partner network? Well, for one, social media.

 

A recent study showed that 71% of IT buyers used social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to research future purchases (1). We’re not talking about just consumers here either, we’re talking about business customers looking at business solutions, using social media as a way of researching the companies which they intend to purchase from to deliver their enterprise solutions.

 

I bet you’re thinking that this is brilliant, but how can you get to these buyers, considering they don’t actually follow you? Well, with social media amplification platforms, you can finally share and syndicate your content via your best assets – your channel partners, sales employees and key influencers – and make social media work for your brand.

 

And I would be willing to bet that if you counted up all of your partners’ and employees’ followers, you’d soon find that you’ve added hundreds of thousands of followers, all reading and sharing your content. In fact, one of our customers, Adobe, can now amplify their content to 400,000 followers using socialondemand® alone.

 

What’s more, when you actually compare the cost per click of ‘social media amplification’ vs ‘PPC’, it becomes even more of a no-brainer to use social media. The typical cost per click for our clients, global enterprises in the IT and Telecommunications industries, is just $0.16 (2), against a typical cost per click through PPC of $1.39 (3).

 

That’s a 90% saving click-per-click versus Google Adwords.

 

In fact, our ‘top’ customer has achieved a $0.06 per click via socialondemand!

 

The benefits don’t just stop there either. With more engaging content being clicked, downloaded and re-tweeted, we see benefits for our clients on revenue generation, lead generation and even SEO performance.

 

So if you want to spend less money, and generate more revenue, have a look at social media amplification and socialondemand.

 

 

(1) http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30239/71-More-Likely-to-Purchase-Based-on-Social-Media-Referrals-Infographic.aspx

(2) This average was calculated in January 2014, based on the clicks generated via socialondemand for purechannelapps’ top 10 global customers.

(3) http://bryaneisenberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/google-adwords-benchmarks.png