With the rise of digital, data-based marketing, the marketing world has become more dynamic than ever before. While this opens up exciting new venues for touching potential customers, it also presents a series of challenges that easily become overwhelming to small and medium-sized businesses—including the MSPs, VARs and systems integrators that you support with MDF and CoOp dollars. So, where can your valued channel partners go for help when it comes to navigating the world of digital marketing, as well as achieving results that help them (and you) succeed?
There’s no lack of cleverly-named digital agencies out there, and the list of individuals calling themselves digital marketing gurus/ninjas/Sherpas/wizards/rock stars/etc. grows longer every day. How are your channel partners supposed to cut through the chaos and identify the best company for their specific marketing needs? Chances are, they will turn to you for assistance or referrals. When advising them, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Find a Marketing Partner that Thinks Strategically
There’s a big difference between thinking tactically and strategically. Tactical marketing focuses on developing ads, websites, brochures, press releases and more. These are carried out based exclusively with short-term goals or in reaction to business needs. On the other hand, strategic marketing focuses on making inroads toward a set of milestones or a long-term goal. It combines and coordinates tactics into campaigns that are used to target specific audiences and communicate key messages, build demand and grow marketshare. A strategic marketing partner will not only position you for growth but ensure that your mission, branding and value reach the right people via the most effective media.
- Find a Marketing Partner that Understands Your Audience
This may sound a bit counter-intuitive, but it’s more important that a marketing partner knows your audience than your industry. While it’s important that an agency or freelancer can create collateral that speaks fluidly and competently about the technical products and services offered, it ultimately does no good if the words, images and delivery don’t resonate with your target audiences. The right marketing partner will have a firm grasp of how to communicate technical concepts and spur audience engagement in a way that appeals to the people out there who have a problem, pain point or predicament you can help them overcome.
- Find a Marketing Partner that is Data Driven
Everything in business today seems to be focused on data, and that applies especially to marketing since the world went digital. While there’s still an artistry and intuitive science to marketing, even the more creative aspects of design and copywriting are now driven by analytics. This means the days of “let’s throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks” have been replaced by “insights indicate that these three executions have a 40% higher chance of success.” A data-driven marketer will use research, analysis and statistics to ensure your marketing is correctly targeted and delivered in the most cost-effective way. Additionally, data-driven marketers tend to focus on providing their clients with metrics showing growth, ROI and areas for improvement.
- Find a Marketer They Can Work With
Outsourcing marketing to an agency or team of freelancers can feel like a huge risk—after all, you’re handing over a lot of responsibility. That’s why ensuring there’s a good fit between your partner and the outside marketing company is essential. Of course, the agency’s reputation and experience need to be taken into account, but things like company culture, people and processes—on both the client and agency sides—can make or break a relationship. Additionally, before recommending an agency, you should also think of what the channel partner’s budget looks like. It won’t be a long-lasting partnership if the client feels they are being fleeced, or that they’re getting bargain bin services.
Marketopia is a marketing and sales enablement agency created to deliver the knowhow and results that technology service providers, vendors and other IT channel partners need to win more leads, more sales and more profit. If you’d like to learn whether Marketopia would be a good marketing fit for your channel partners, contact us at 844-4U2-Grow (482-4769), ext. 806, or shoot us an email. If you’d like to refer Marketopia to one of your channel partners, please send them a link to our website or have them take a look at our blog for tips, tricks and best practices.