Your Marketing Wish List3:00 PM EST Fri. Dec. 14, 2012
On average, the typical hardware, software or commercial service provider vendors spend 14 percent of their annual channel budgets on MDF made available to solution providers, and an additional 12 percent of the budget on other marketing-related costs. Other marketingrelated costs include, but are not limited to, collateral made channel-ready for resellers, integrators and other partners.
The materials may then be shared in multiple ways. Let me highlight two examples. First, basic product collateral may be shared or replicated on your website via vendor content syndication to enhance the ability to represent your solutions built on their products or services. In addition, vendors invest in integrated product campaigns, designed to align with a corporate product, service or solution initiative and packaged into self-service marketing in a box or self-help campaigns.
IPED research shows many solution providers sell more than 80 percent of annual company revenues into their existing customer set. In an effort to sell more new business beyond the existing customer base, solution provider interviews tell us of the value and desire for generic, nonproduct-specific marketing training, curriculum and field-based assistance or mentoring. Lastly, when asked about the importance of vendor sales and technical education, marketing and demand-generation topics earned mention through write-in responses.
In light of this self-declared solution provider need for marketing assistance, the IPED 2012 Enablement and Marketing study found that fewer than 35 percent of partners, on average across all brands and markets, download and utilize an IT vendor’s programmatic marketing offerings.
So how can so few utilize programmatic marketing materials when the need and desire for marketing assistance is high?
Selling new accounts takes time, focus, sales incentive and a qualified pipeline. Solution providers indicate vendor assistance not only with demand generation around solutions they take to market, but also with marketing basics, would make a difference to their business. So much so, that some solution providers indicated a willingness to leave a mature, market-leading vendor’s ecosystem in search of greater marketing support.
In cases where a partner indicated a willingness to leave a well-branded, longtime partnership in search of greater marketing assistance, two factors emerged. One, the mature vendor’s products were considered “overdistributed” by the partners who struggled to differentiate themselves from others who competed in the same market. The second factor stated was the inability to qualify at the highest level of the partner programs for field-marketing assistance.
In the instances where partners did not qualify for vendor-marketing support, they aligned with newer, competitive brands that were less established both with customers and partners. Basically, partners indicated a desire to become a big fish in a smaller pond to earn marketing assistance.
Partner due diligence was performed prior to adding the new, lesser-known vendor to the line card. First, the competing products were considered equivalent to the brand-leading vendor’s alternative, albeit, with lesser branding. Second, partners made an effort to lock in field-marketing engagement, including campaigns tailored to solutions the partner had built with end-to-end planning, list support and campaign followup yielding a pipeline of qualified opportunities. Field-marketing support was the deciding factor. What are your alternatives when you are not entitled to field-marketing support?
BACKTALK: Contact SVP, IPED Rauline Ochs via email