Successful solution providers are pros at many things, from knowing IT to running a small business. But chances are every solution provider, no matter how successful, struggles with some of the finer points of being a small-business owner.
Channel events and promotional items to together like peanut butter and jelly. Whatever you call the pens, notepads, lip balm, stuffed animals, stress balls and myriad other items vendors foist on attendees—swag, gimmes, promos—if they are really cool, chances are they make it into channel partners' suitcases for the ride home.
The experience a partner has with a vendor can be multifaceted: informative and beneficial or confusing and unsatisfying. Everything a partner experiences makes up the partner journey. Think about it: When your partners set out to do anything with your program, what is their experience? What is the process? Do they walk away with an understanding of what the benefit is to them? Are they able to accomplish their goals?
By now most of us—if not all—are using LinkedIn, that social media site for business professionals. You’ve added your relevant career information, included attachments and videos to highlight your work experience and made connections with like-minded professionals. But how much time was spent developing your LinkedIn summary?
As the end of the year approaches, talk often turns to new year's resolutions. But how many of us actually stick with them? Instead, companies should look at how they are helping their channel evolve in 2014: What are your goals? How do they relate to your partners’ goals?
Nothing is more effective in the sales process than word-of-mouth. And when it comes to finding information before making a purchasing decision, everyone has their "go-to" people for information and advice. In channel marketing, the power of influence can be just as effective.
The fall season is upon us, which means the partner summit season is officially in full-swing. Some vendors do partner summits better than others, and we’ve seen our share of great partner summits. So what makes a partner summit a truly unique and worthwhile experience?
If social media is becoming more of a critical element of your marketing campaigns, you may find social media aggregators to be useful. Social media aggregators can help save you time while maintaining various engaging social media platforms. You can post valuable content using one website, rather than having to log on to to each specific platform's website. You also have the ability to schedule content, making posting less time-consuming and more consistent even if you don’t have time to push content.
It should come as no surprise that social media is growing in importance as a tool for engaging online with customers. Nowhere is that more true than in the channel. But for those partners without any social media profile, building a presence online can be a daunting task. We must ask not only what social media tools to use, but also how to use them.
One of the great balancing acts manufacturers must perform is finding the time and money to help their solution provider partners effectively market their solutions. It can be a challenge to find the manpower and funds to find the right resources.
Cloud, mobility, consumerization and business social are reinventing not only the way vendors and their channel partners work together, but also the way we receive and disseminate information. That means many of the more traditional avenues of communication no longer are effective.