Jooven8 Helps Channel Players Maximize Marketing Efforts

The Torrance, Calif., company, led by founder Eric Hughes and his wife, Laura Hughes, is actively working with all points in the supply chain to improve demand-generation activity across the channel. That includes working with solution providers to improve their own business marketing practices.

“We want to connect the dots between incremental sales and marketing activity,” said Laura Hughes, president of Jooven8 and a former marketing executive at distributor MOCA.

For example, Jooven8 believes it can improve manufacturers&' marketing programs, which can take weeks to be implemented by solution providers—enough time for once-promising leads to dry up, she said. “A lot of money is being wasted,” Hughes said. “Where there initially was a great opportunity, by the time someone got to do something with it, it was dead.” Jooven8 is working with Sun Microsystems and other vendors to improve the process.

“We are educating people to shorten sales cycles, get leads out quicker and provide services to close the deals,” she said. “It&'s a process problem.”

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Jooven8 helps solution providers maximize their efforts by taking a marketing approach from the end-user perspective, she said.

Groupware Technology and Computing, a Campbell, Calif.-based solution provider, hired Jooven8 to rebrand and grow the company—with tremendous results, said Mike Thompson, president and CEO of Groupware.

Jooven8 helped Groupware increase revenue to $31 million last year from $1.7 million in 2004, and the company expects to reach $50 million in 2006, Thompson said. Jooven8 helped organize and scale the business and its marketing plan. After a two-day strategic planning session, Groupware changed its logo, tag line and position within the industry, he said.

In particular, Jooven8 helped Groupware mine its database of existing customers that had not been contacted in a long time, said Thompson, who previously worked with Eric Hughes at Central Design Systems, a former Sun solution provider, in the 1990s.

“We function as [Groupware&'s] chief marketing organization,” said Eric Hughes. “We sit in management meetings, meet with outside vendors. We work all aspects of the business.”

Thompson was reluctant to wax on for too long about Jooven8 because he wants to keep the marketing consultant for himself, he said. “I want Eric to be successful, but they&'re my secret weapon,” he said. “My competitors can benefit from their expertise. They know what channel partners need to be successful.”