By Adam Benson, Outsource Director
My family recently moved house. We were packing up and trying to find a home for a few surplus items of furniture that won’t fit in the new place. As a result, I got the job of wrangling with eBay.
As I was trawling through my ‘selling’ list of larger, more costly items, it occurred to me that there are some good lessons to be learned when comparing this experience to lead generation for B2B companies.
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CompTIA, the information technology (IT) industry association, hosted its first Australia and New Zealand Community meeting in Sydney on 18 August 2015, bringing together more than 90 local IT industry stakeholders to talk about, among other things, what challenges the local channel faces and how to overcome them.
The attendees represented a mix of resellers, solution providers, vendors, and channel associates based in Australia and New Zealand.
When we meet with vendor channel marketing managers who are responsible for MDF or COOP funds three common themes emerge:
1. Partners don’t apply for funds.
Partners don’t apply for the marketing funds they’ve accrued, or they’re entitled to. Prodding from CAMs, content-rich portals and ‘do-it-yourself’ campaigns-in-a-box make little difference.
Many vendors offer marketing funds to their channel to pay for marketing and lead generation campaigns. Unfortunately, too often these funds go unclaimed.
This is a missed opportunity for the channel who would benefit from the additional funding to grow their business.
Many organisations talk about targeting the C suite, or top level management in an organisation. After all, they are usually the ultimate decision-makers and can open doors to other top-level connections. Yet most people will agree that it is very difficult to get the attention of a C-level executive because they are the most highly-protected and time-poor people in any organisation.
There’s plenty of evidence that email can be a highly effective channel for promoting products and services and regularly communicating with prospects and clients.
However, many organisations do not have access to professional-grade email marketing tools or CRM-based email tools, so marketers rely on standard, corporate, in-house email systems. While this is a convenient option it can create problems when it comes to getting messages to an audience effectively:
It can be a constant challenge for vendors to use their marketing development fund (MDF) effectively. Ideally, partners who are eligible for MDF allocations apply for funds of their own volition in a timely manner and use them efficiently and effectively to build pipeline and increase sales for the quarter. The reality is that partners often leave MDF on the table.
When I speak to vendor channel marketing managers a common theme typically comes up. It’s the fact that many resellers don’t apply for their eligible MDF.
Usually the same conversation comes up. “Partner X has accrued marketing funds, or is eligible for marketing support, but we just can’t get them to apply.”
This issue is often accompanied by additional concerns.
Did you know that in the last hour alone you were probably exposed to more than 200 branded messages ? That’s 200 different companies all fighting for your attention. Most people learn to adapt to this onslaught by shutting off their receptors to traditional marketing methods like advertisements and logos. And the B2B world is no different, with marketers working hard to get the attention of business decision-makers.
The only way for marketers to successfully engage and influence their audiences in this noisy environment is to find a way to stand out.
The solution is content.