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Smart Partner Marketing Best practices in building successful marketing and customer experience practices In-depth Interviews with Successful Microsoft Partner Marketers March/April 2017 by MDC Research
Objectives and methodology Business issue • Deliver relevant and market ready resources to partners through the Microsoft Smart Partner Marketing program Research objective • Capture sales and marketing best practices, innovations, and recommendations from successful partner leaders Approach • • In-depth Skype interviews with partners chosen for their unique approaches and leadership to marketing Participants sourced from nominations via field Partner Channel Marketing Managers as well as partners who are part of ongoing Smart Partner Marketing research Audience • Microsoft Partner Network channel partner marketers Geo partner mix APAC 2 CEE 2 Discussion flow Timing March 2017/April 2017 LATAM 2 US 4 UK 3 WE 4 India 1 France 2 Germany 1 Canada 3
Know How to Represent Your Company As important as “know your customer” is “know yourself. ” Growth often means a tighter focus and greater depth vs. breadth. Who are you, where do you excel, and what do you want others to think of you? Cultivate a single brand voice; create a corporate culture where everyone knows how to talk about your company, brand, value proposition, etc. • Work to rise above the noise. • Make efforts to align messages from marketing to sales to delivery. • Involve all teams in developing content. • Formalize information sharing from the top down. • Institute consistent quality requirements for communication from all departments to customers. • Engage in sustained efforts to have all parts of the company pulling in the same direction. • Have a cohesive corporate culture and messaging. (For example, one partner developed an internal persona/avatar to convey how they are always there for their customers. ) • Build an “employer brand” strategy to support this created culture.
Know Your Customer: Build Personas and Tie Marketing Efforts to Those Personas Listen to your customers, through surveys or other feedback mechanisms. Use content matrices to help structure the marketing and sales process: when customer is in a certain status, send them predetermined content/marketing, and then take the appropriate/prescribed sales action with them. . • Know your customers and target customers. • Build marketing efforts and content to provide meaningful actionable information to address these audiences. • Formalize your customer personas; allow them to become increasingly granular. • Make consistent efforts to tie marketing messages and content to specific personas. • Use post-engagement customer surveys to monitor performance. • Engrain customer personas in sales and marketing strategy. • In addition to determining which prospects to pursue in specific ways, use these personas to evaluate which prospects not to pursue.
Content Generation is Key Build and integrate relevant content to drive/support marketing efforts. Start talking more about your customers’/prospects’ pain points and needs, and less about your offerings. Constantly find, generate, and repurpose content to feed various marketing/sales channels. • Search for content online or through internal work experiences. • Outsource to experts to help get started, until you reach a point of bringing the experts in-house. • Have a dedicated person/team or organized efforts (which includes outside agencies) to write and build content. • Realize the value of optimizing efforts by repurposing content. • Understanding that content generation is intensive work requiring sustained effort and various types of expertise. • Establish the company as a Thought Leader and generate traffic by taking content building to the next level. • Have a dedicated leadership role and staff/contractors to build content, including in-house video production capabilities, webinars, and podcasts.
Map Marketing Actions to a Prospect’s Position in Sales Cycle or Customer Journey Become familiar with the customer journey stages. Understand that earning initial and subsequent purchases are signal of customer loyalty and solution value. Develop qualified leads via marketing/digital marketing. • Make the corporate website the nucleus of marketing content. • Use drip campaigns to maintain awareness. • Employ traditional sales calls to determine prospect movement. • Marketing automation is table stakes. • Generate follow-up emails based on clicks or downloaded content. • Put systems in place to ensure prospects do not fall through the cracks. • Establish extensive marketing automation processes, associated with precise KPIs and prospect triggers. • Strive to involve the sales team as late as possible in the sales cycle.
CRM and KPIs: Measure Your Marketing Efforts Use increasingly sophisticated solutions and tools to track customers; define (assign them a Persona), record customer actions or your actions with the customers, and track where a customer is in the sales cycle. Formalize the process of nurturing the customer through the sales cycle in a structured and programmatic way. Realize that high-quality marketing and lead data enables better results and more sales. • Have a few critical KPIs measured at individual employee or department level. • Put CRM systems in place, even if not efficient or user-friendly. • Rely on employees to update the CRM consistently/accurately, sometimes with mixed results. • Some prospects will still fall through the cracks. • Move towards more sophisticated and automated CRM systems, tools and add-ins. • Accelerate nurturing to realize fewer gaps in coverage. • Have top-down oversight of multiple KPIs. • Establish KPI thresholds with ongoing investment based on exceeding/falling short of benchmarks. • Fully integrate CRM and marketing automation to optimize efficiency and synergy. • Add marketing tools for customer data, predictive capabilities, and customer success.
Marketing Automation: Use Tools to Advance Sales Focus on solutions to optimize audience reach, track progression through the customer journey, and validate/measure the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Include solutions which optimize SEO, monitor website traffic and where people spend time on your website, response rates to campaigns, CRM plug ins, or solutions to capture emails to download content. • Focus on specific campaign distribution, or generation of email based on clicks/downloads. • Increase marketing automation efforts to include tracking individual prospect movement/visits, with specific actions taken at defined points. • Use top-tier marketing automation systems, with regular review of reports and system health. Click Dimensions (CRM/marketing automation); Moz. com (SEO), Ad. Roll (heat map of customer journey on website) , Hotjar, Crazy Egg (hit map), Microsoft Dynamics (CRM), Zoom. Info (database), Rain. King (database), Hub. Spot (marketing automation), Sales. Loft, Unbounce, Urchin Software (web analytics), Power. Web. Form (CRM plug in), Yooda (SEO); Webinar. Jam (conduct webinars) , Mail. Chimp (email marketing), Sitefinity (content management/digital marketing Platform), Hootsuite (social media management), and Zendesk (customer service SW), Word. Press (website/blog builder), Socciable, Linked. In Sales Navigator (social selling tool).
Partner 1 Customers Care About Outcomes Overview Oil/Gas, Vertical Health, Gov’t Co. Size /Aboriginal Revenue back Market Area N. America to Mktg Business MSP Cust. Target Description Mktg Dept Size 1 Marketing Solutions Manager $4 M 1 -4% Small to Ent Office 365 Customers want to understand outcomes before they understand the technology behind it. It’s important for the IT consultant to ask what they need and why, what it needs to look like, and then figure out what needs to be in place to achieve that. A deep understanding of the customers’ needs must occur before a successful solution can be designed or implemented, and the solution needs to be described in a way that isn’t cloaked in tech jargon. Make the story of the solution something that the customer can understand relate to. Tips for Other Partners Rising above the noise is critical to building and maintaining a client base; be heard by being someone whose message rings true and speaks to understanding customer needs. Be sure you have alignment of sales with marketing and delivery. All teams should be on the same page in terms of what is possible. Marketing automation is key. If a system is well designed, it should be producing results as you sleep. We put processes in place that work while we’re not, and let it deliver results. Staff Education and Nurturing It is important to align marketing to sales and delivery; everyone needs to be on the same page so we can avoid scenarios where the marketing team is saying things that the delivery team is then scrambling to try to execute. Regular interviews with team members across departments has helped us build those insights into an overall company view, broken down in detail by department. The living document created in this way is used to train our new employees in a way that fosters alignment across departments. Content and Authorship The best way to identify topics for content marketing is to look for all the things that we say repetitively as IT pros; those nuggets of information consistently brought forward by customer questions are really valuable to capture and build content marketing around. Avoid regurgitating easily available information that’s already on the Internet. The value of original content is it brings a unique view or critical aspect forward, to share opinion that’s based on your experience. That’s really a good approach, but it’s hard to outsource. Opinion pieces are nearly impossible to outsource. You can outsource things like drip campaigns, or very high-level blog posts, but when people are looking to you they are. seeking differentiation. Mind Mapping Consider creating and using mind maps in your marketing. They are a useful tool in starting conversations with customers; this can actually focus the conversation to areas of interest. We create mind maps which lay out the key value propositions of various solutions, either by industry or role, and share these with the sales team to use as conversation starters. It’s a non-linear kind of approach that helps prevent the conversation from being forced down a particular path, and empowers the customer to pick and choose their interests, so the sales team can roll with the punches and talk about what’s most important to the customer.
Partner 2 Always be Learning Overview Vertical Finance Co. Size Market Area Global Revenue to Mktg 4 -5% Business Description MSP Cust. Target Enterprise Mktg Dept Size 4 Solutions $15 M/110 emp. Office 365, Share. Point, Exchange Online, Skype “Made to Stick” by Chip and Dan Heath is a great resource on communication and messaging methods to make things concrete. For example, they say to express your pricing as the cost of a cup of coffee per employee per year. This helps customers see price in concrete terms. Automate Marketing Efforts in CRM Automate the nurturing and progression of customers in the customer journey stages based on their actions (attended webinar, clicked link, etc. ). We understand that our value proposition is different for different people. We talk to customers, understand their pain points and needs related to being successful in their job, what makes them happy and fulfilled. There are more than one, but we developed a short list of customers we value which we developed into customer personas. It takes time, but it’s important to build your value propositions to address the pain points and solutions at key stages in the buyer journey for these customer personas. We try to make sure all messaging, marketing content, etc. is designed to these personas. . Tips for Other Partners Don’t try to do too much, but do try something and get started. Content marketing has a long lifespan and can be repurposed in many ways to drive value as you get started. Talk with your customers to understand their pain points and needs. Talk with your salespeople to understand what they hear every day as challenges and needs in the marketplace. Develop and understand your customer personas and the stages of the buying journey your customers go through. Based on where the customer is in the journey, build content, messaging, etc. to deliver what the customer personas need to address their pain points and barriers to progressing through the journey. Align your sales and marketing efforts. Keep sales staff involved and educated about your marketing goals, strategies, and execution. Regularly scheduled formal or informal meetings are invaluable. Recommended Books Know Your Customer: Personas Customer Experience We’re not afraid to ask our customers about their experience to discover how we’re really doing. The first time you ask someone, “Are you happy with us? ” if they’re unhappy, they’ll vent and tell you how unhappy they are. Just like using KPIs to measure marketing success and failure, we use customer surveys to measure our customers’ experience to learn what adjustments we might need to make to drive future success. Like marketing, it takes an ongoing commitment to reveal meaningful and actionable metrics. Epic Content Marketing (Joe Pulizzi); Value Proposition Design (multiple authors); To Sell is Human (Dan Pink); and Start with Why (Simon Sinek)
Partner 3 Qualifying Leads Overview Vertical Practical Market Area S. America Business Description Disti/ Reseller Mktg Dept Size 3 Co. Size Cust. Target Solutions Top 15 sales in Brazil SMB Office 365, Azure Scores for each lead (hot or cold) depend on the number of activities performed. Dynamics CRM and Power. Web plug-in forms help track leads and customer journey status. When a prospect is "hot" or a qualified lead, that lead should be contacted by an account manager from the sales department to reach out and better understand the customer’s needs. When possible, we call— we find people prefer to be contacted by phone. Tips for Other Partners Focus on building a well trained team of marketers and sales people that are very knowledgeable about the features and benefits of cloud, including how to address and overcome security objections and other common adoption/purchase barriers of cloud migration. You must earn the trust of your customers and build their confidence that you and your organization are capable of supporting their cloud migration. Help drive audience interest to your company/solutions and establishment as a topic expert through regular weekly blog postings with educational content. Focus on key audience segments (like IT managers and decision makers). Customer Lifecycle Manager The customer lifecycle manager will contact existing customers by phone, and they are able to help customers with anything going on or new things that need attention, or help complement what they already have in place. Transforming. Traditional companies specializing in selling hardware and conference equipment should consider transitioning to cloud, in an effort to modernize. Digital marketing is crucial in today’s world, and it is vital as a business to invest in the people who specialize in such. Attending Microsoft WPC/Inspire conference helped drive home the importance digital marketing and investing in people to do marketing.
Partner 4 Content Aligned to Personas Overview Infotech, Legal, Workforce Vertical Co. Size Solutions, Health Ins. Revenue Market Area Global back to Mktg Business Cust. ISV Description Target Mktg Dept Size 4 Solutions Marketing Automation $5 M 8% Sales/Mktg Pros Office 365 Capture prospective customer information when they download a content asset. Then, feed that information into a marketing automation system or solution and track them. Take those MQLs, (marketing qualified leads) to an SQL (sales qualified lead), where they are passed on to sales to follow up. Become a thought leader on topics that matter to your customers. Develop content that you push out in different ways, through different channels. Blogs work well. Create content that is relevant to personas in the different roles or industries, then push it out via blog, social media, groups on Linked. In, email marketing campaigns or even advertising. Be smart about repurposing content to achieve maximum reach. Track Customer Through Journey We capture customer info when they download content, and put it into a marketing automation system. We track MQLs (marketing qualified leads) through to SQLs (sales qualified leads). Track these people all the way through the funnel. Once passed on to sales, we follow up. We create top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel content assets. Track MQLs through the funnel, and when we feel they are ready, we turn them into a sales lead. Corporate Culture Because we are geographically diverse, we developed a corporate culture that brings employees together. Find ways to show that you are serious in business but enjoy one another and have fun. Incorporate different teams within the blog or in newsletters; highlight different aspects of the company culture. Embrace and celebrate the roots of the business while bringing in new employees, services, or divisions. We give back to our partners and or external colleagues. We give time, resources, support, and help support their content initiatives or their marketing initiatives, so they know it’s a true partnership. It will pay off in the end. Vertical Marketing We started to focus on four key industries, and changed our marketing. approach to be more in-depth around each one now. Really go into detail, examine each key industry and the personas within each one, understand the audience that you’ll be talking to. Put more research science and planning into those specific industries. We start with an industry where we’ve established a beachhead, do some testing, and then really focus on those industries and acquire a deep understanding of the personas. We eschew broad messages or appeals, and craft tailored content that speaks to specific needs. Tips for Other Partners Even small partners can do inbound sales with a content marketing strategy, but don’t underestimate the time and effort that needs to go into the development of good content. You need to understand customer personas and verticals, know who you’re writing for. Go for quality over quantity in terms of content, and then build it up and repurpose. For example, put out an e. Book, then repurpose that into a blog series, or see if you can create a video or a short article. Value input from your sales team. Try to really understand how and why your sales team is selling to a particular industry or company or customer. Use that information to close the loop with your marketing. Use those insights to make your messaging and targeting that much better. It’s okay to use marketing tactics or channels that are common among other organizations. Just be dynamic with them, and put your own corporate culture and stamp on them.
Partner 5 Getting Customer Ready to Buy Overview Vertical Market Area Business Description Mktg Dept Size Pharma, Banks, Co. Size Agriculture, FMCG Rev. back to CEE Mktg IT Consulting/ Cust. Target SI/Developer 5 Solutions 2000+ 20% Large/Ent. ERP, CRM, Analytics, Resource & Financial Mng. You have to prep the customer with information to get them ready to buy. This can start with good PR about your company and offerings, followed by marketing information/content valuable and relevant to the audience to inform, educate, and create a call to action. We have a heavy reliance on our CRM to track progression through the sales cycle. Tips for Other Partners Develop a clear process for sales communications and information. CRM helps to show customers’ progression through the sales cycle and present a process to be taken at every step of progress. Define the quality of the leads in CRM, as well as expected revenue to be generated from a lead. Effective positioning in digital marketing efforts is critical. A company should use every possible channel (e. g. social media, website, articles, events, SEO) to connect with people. Invest in making your company known. When you get a referral, be sure to communicate status back to vendors/business partners to give them confidence that timely and appropriate action has been taken by your organization. Make sure the customer has been delivered relevant information they need to make the decision to choose your company. They should trust the reputation of your company after you have delivered relevant content to support decision making, and you have engaged with them to answer and address any open questions. New Success with Webinars We’ve found new success by engaging with customers via online webinars. In the past, people wanted an in-person experience, but this has shifted to online preference in recent years. We’re finding greater success in talking customers through not just one, but multiple webinars to provide relevant content and value, which establishes us as a topic expert. We make sure interest in and attendance at webinars is documented in our CRM solution. Social Media Use. This is cheaper than any other channel or method. Linked. In is good for director-level business decision makers, but Facebook is now becoming more successful in Russia at reaching business contacts. We use social media to position information and drive interest, direct the audience back to our website. We pay for social media advertising to target messages to the audience and promote the important positive message about the company (good PR). We promote special offers via social media to drive our audience to our social media platform and differentiate from content delivered on other channels, encouraging our customer audience to connect with us via multiple channels.
Partner 6 Strategy vs. Technology Overview Vertical Market Area Business Description Mktg Dept Size CIO/IT Dir Legal/ Co. Size Compliance Revenue back Global to Mktg ISV 8 Cust. Target Solutions $25 M 7% Enterprise In a start-up, it’s easy to keep ahead of the game with technology, but after two or three years, that can start to fail. It’s important at or before that time to develop a marketing strategy. For us, that means we had to become content-centric and educate customers about their problems, which proved to be a gamechanger. Office 365 Tips for Other Partners Become content-centric in your marketing. Focus less on traditional marketing and more on education, thought leadership, and helping your team understand the market you are trying to address. Content drives traffic and leads today. Strive to become much more content-centric in everything you do and in the way you think about marketing. Don’t think about getting leads; think about educating people because the leads will come from that. Secondly, focus more on channel and partners. Working with other Microsoft partners is a greater key to success than just trying to directly market or tackle all leads and customers. With a partner and channel model, you will win faster; you will spread resources in a much more focused way than by going with a thinner direct approach. Finally, if you’re not already doing so, start playing with automation and nurturing leads. Leverage MVP Content MVPs have been key to the content strategy. We had our biggest success with our first e. Book designed to educate the market. We didn’t have the resources to publish an e. Book by ourselves, so we engaged two MVPs to help write and edit it. That was a smart decision: it generated more leads in one day than we had in all of the previous year combined. Marketing Automation Nurturing It’s critically important to understand where your leads and potential customers are coming from. If you’re not currently nurturing these leads, even if you’re a small company, using marketing automation to help with nurturing is one of the most successful things you can do. It has helped keep our customer contact high, as well as maintain regular touchpoints with our customers and potential customers. If you’re not touching your prospects, they’re going to forget about you, and you’re going to lose them. Our nurturing team focuses heavily on two things: playing the numbers game, and educating people. We don’t expect every single person to convert, but when lots of potential customers are being educated, there are leads in that, and some of them will come across the issues we’ve told them about at some point. What we do is make sure they are ready to come to us, as. opposed to us going out and opportunistically looking for them. If we put X amount of activity into the top of the funnel, then out of that funnel will come some leads. That doesn’t mean everybody in the top of the funnel will convert, but we don’t stop nurturing them, because people may move companies, or change roles or direction. We also use surveys and other processes to build profiles over time of individuals and organizations: what is happening with them, what the problems are, and their level of intelligence and sophistication. Try to push contact further down the sales funnel so that the need for a salesperson to talk to a customer is reduced, or even eliminated. That applies to all sizes of customers, but especially small businesses. It’s not always worth getting on the phone with them because the cost of the product relative to the time and interaction that would need to be spent doesn’t make it profitable. Use marketing automation to push the lead down the funnel as far as possible, meaning the action of the salesperson is limited to taking an order or facilitating the actual sale, rather than having to do the education piece. For larger deals or enterprise, leverage demos to speed up the evaluation stage and shorten the sales cycle.
Partner 7 Careful Using Industry Jargon Overview Vertical Horizontal Co. Size Market Area Global Business Description MSP/CSP Mktg Dept Size 1 Revenue back to Mktg Cust. Target Solutions $4. 5 M 9% SMB O 365 and Managed Services Many organizations struggle with remembering to use target keywords in their SEO or marketing content that aren’t industry terms or jargon. For example, “Managed Services” is a commonly used industry term that many end customers don’t understand when they’re looking for an IT company or IT support. Don’t forget to always take a look at what you’re doing from a customer’s perspective. Tips for Other Partners Do your research to find your target audience and where they go for content. Building content and starting marketing doesn’t matter if you’re not reaching the audience you want. For a new partner, this could mean finding out what verticals and kinds of companies you want to target. Or, for an existing partner, you might look at who your top five to ten customers are today, what they have in common, and where they go to find new information about technology or the vendors they use for their business. Remember that marketing is not a one-time investment, it has to be a continuous effort and strategy. Start small with what you can manage, . If you go all in and burn yourself out and just stop marketing after two months, you haven’t really done much. Start with what you can manage and just be patient, especially with content marketing. There is not an immediate return on investment; it doesn’t mean you’re going to immediately get 14 leads from it; it’s building on the content, continuing to drive results, and being patient. Use of Social Media Social media is not always the answer just because it’s low cost. Be cautious not to spend too much time on social if it’s not delivering measurable and meaningful results. Social media can be one solution to amplify your content, such as re-posting your blog content across multiple platforms or tweeting your comment over a scheduled cadence to stay top of mind. Keep Experimenting In all marketing efforts, just keep trying one new thing at a time. A single change helps you avoid burnout and simplifies efforts to measure the impact. Too. creates uncertainty over the real cause much at once of action. Customer QBR Process Develop a process to grade customers against industry standard best practices. Content can be set up like an editorial with monthly sub-themes. Meet regularly to do a Quarterly Business Review (QBR) with customers which spans content across marketing and sales. People like to know how they’re doing and providing them with that benchmark comparison empowers them to self-select the actions or projects to take on. Great sales tool.
Partner 8 Digital Marketing – Passive Sales Overview Vertical Any SMB Co. Size $5 M Market Area S America Revenue back to Mktg 2. 5% Business Description VAR/Disti Cust. Target Mktg Dept Size 2 Solutions SMB Office 365 and Azure Using lower cost digital marketing solutions can provide powerful results. Our sales are 100% focused on responding to inbound leads. Our success is due to diligence in constantly fine tuning SEO and online ads (like Google Ad. Words and Facebook Ads). We try to come up with a string of 3 -5 words which will be more selective in helping attract buyers, not just simple 1 -word searches that mostly attract information seekers. Tips for Other Partners Focus on ways to differentiate your company and add value to your customers. Marketing is an ongoing process and investment with ever changing requirements and needs. You can’t just build content once or take one action: it takes continued nurturing. If you hire outside vendors or agencies to support your marketing efforts, make sure they truly understand your company and how you’re differentiated from the market. This is another area that takes time and diligence to make sure you receive the value for your investment. Tools Used Crazy Egg (heat map actions on website), Google Analytics and Google Ad. Words (A/B test measurement), RD Station (marketing automation software in LATAM – similar to Hub. Spot), and Webinar. Jam (webcast tool). Qualifying Leads – Focus Efforts Focused marketing helps you find your best clients. We’re utilizing marketing automation efforts to better qualify leads and more effectively move them through the buying journey. This includes efforts to weed out information seekers, such as having customers fill out contact information to download e. Books, register for a blog series, or join a webinar. Focusing your marketing efforts also means understanding who your customers are and who you don’t want as a customer. Understand. Your Audience Culture Microsoft and others can provide great content and resources to support your marketing efforts. We take the time to localize marketing materials to our company, audience, and culture. For example, the words “leverage” and “profitability” are sometimes translated to a word in Portuguese that’s not the same idea that it is in English. Beyond the translations of words, cultural differences can also require altering the timing or sequence of events in a sales and marketing plan, compared to something you might read in a book/article or receive from a vendor or business partner.
Partner 9 Deliver a Valued Message/Content Overview Vertical Horizontal Co. Size Market Area CEE and EMEA Business Description MSP Mktg Dept Size Revenue back to Mktg Cust. Target Marketing Manager and Solutions 2 interns $500 K 5% - 8% Close proximity companies Dynamics CRM, Dynamics 365, Azure, EMS, MS Cloud Stack Try to not talk about yourself so much, but talk about something fun, educational, and meaningful to your customers in order to get their attention. The message and content should be about a customer/audience problem and insight to solve the problem or challenge that is meaningful and helpful to them. Establish yourself as a trusted advisor. Tips for Other Partners Don’t be afraid to fail and fail fast. This is really important. If something is not working, then change it. If you’re having troubles getting started with marketing or effectively marketing, then outsource it. It’s faster, more efficient, and is ultimately less expensive. Start as fast as possible; it’s not going to happen overnight and it never ends. As you become experienced, then you can decide what to bring in-house. Always look for ways to keep the customer engaged and coming back, such as a subscription service to a newsletter or blog postings where you have continued opportunities to engage your target audience. Don’t give up. I heard a partner that tried marketing say it was not working for them, and they told me they tried it for three months. I said, “We have been doing it for six years, and it’s still not working. ” I told him three months is not enough. In three months, you cannot have any value determined. Use of Tools Use tools to track and measure success. Always be looking for better tools and solutions. Change if you find a better solution. A good example is using chat on your website. This has been very successful at generating qualified leads and is very automated. Ours actually connects to our mobile devices and reaches our sales team via push notification. Tools Used We use Moz. com for SEO. We have retargeting and prospecting platform solutions from Ad. Roll, and use web and mobile site visitor monitoring by Hotjar, which creates heat map of where customers visit on our page. Content Advice – Take a Chance Try something that seems a little crazy or outside the box at times. Everybody can have ideas, but it’s really cool if somebody has some crazy ideas. It will make an impact on others. People are bombarded with so much advertising, so much content, so many messages through the digital channels that if you cannot find a way to get noticed, then all you’ve found is another way to spend your money.
Partner 10 Recording Video Like Crazy Overview Channel Market Area Direct and Co. Size via channel Revenue back Global to Mktg Business Description MSP Cust. Target Mktg Dept Size 3 -4 Solutions $2. 2 M 9% SMB Training product O 365, Azure, Hybrid Cloud In addition to traditional modes of delivering marketing messages and content, we are delivering our message via video. Similar to how written content can be rolled into an e. Book, our video webinars can be repurposed into video clips and other forms of marketing. Shares and “likes” for snippets of videos we produced are boosting our incoming leads significantly. Tips for Other Partners Entry into selling through your own channel partners can present new challenges to traditional marketing. Make sure you stay in regular communication with the salespeople in the partners’ accounts. Really work with them in the beginning to help them sell and be successful, or you’re not going to sell anything. Fundamentally, you’re selling to a salesman who is selling to a customer. Avoid a disconnect between sales in the pipeline and how well sales and marketing efforts are going. Do not expect the big deals to come in overnight; it takes time and nurturing. Video training has proved valuable to communicate this message across the channel. Expect Linked. In to become (or continue to be) the business social platform, essential to having good success in creating and inviting your target audience to join your group. Video production platforms can also be used to push training videos out through Linked. In groups, Twitter, and other social media networks. Video can be more engaging and better align to how people are so often accustomed to consuming content in other parts of their lives. Find Your Wrap Around Service Microsoft has been saying it for years: find your service, your value add, what you can generate with your people and wrap that around the Microsoft Cloud solution stack. We need to be out there at the forefront of the latest technology trying new things, maybe even having some fail, but learning and finding our differentiation. For some, this is a paradigm shift, but something that has to happen. Through trial and error we find our niche and how to market that solution. Marketing. and Sales Tools A CRM solution is a tremendous value to the marketing and sales process. It allows us to actually compartmentalize the stage of the sales process. Add-on solutions (like Hub. Spot) can act as a heavyweight marketing fulfillment system for email marketing and tracking activities through the sales cycle. We also invest in our sales staff, providing training such as Sandler’s sales training methodology. We schedule regular meetings to make sure sales people are fully integrating into our full marketing plans and strategy.
Partner 11 Franchise Model Overview Vertical Public Sector Co. Size Market Area EMEA Revenue back to Mktg Business Description MSP Cust. Target Mktg Dept Size 4 Solutions $150 M / 400 emp. (30 branch offices/franchises) 10%+ SMB, Public Sector Office 365, Windows Server Tips for Other Partners Don’t be afraid to fail. Try out new things; and if it doesn’t work, try something else. Work with a team that produces content with different parts of the organization: not just the marketing team, but also sales, technicians, and the CEO. Use the platforms that you want to sell. Obviously, that increases competence on and understanding of those platforms. If you don’t have that competence on your own, look for third-party partnerships with specific companies who can bring that element to the table. Our marketing strategies are largely centralized, and are granted a large share of overall revenue, while the branch offices/franchises do a more standard 4%-5% allocation of budget to marketing. Digital Transformation Offline marketing has been abandoned in favor of doing pretty much everything online. Nearly two years ago we embarked on a journey with Microsoft, started to do activities around blogging, trying to understand it and be better at driving constant marketing. There was a 6 -month initiative with Microsoft where we learned a lot, built up a platform around the blog, drove content, thought leadership, articles, etc. through that channel. We then took over that format, and now are running it on our own. That was our entry into the digital world, driving content through the blog, and leveraging social media. One of the biggest challenges was learning how to write for clients and to produce content based on the buyer’s journey. Blogs Social Media and Selling A content-rich blog is becoming an essential component of modern marketing. Don’t rely on just one person or team to produce the content. Have people from all over the company be part of this blog team. We get multiple sources involved in writing blog content to provide a more wellrounded and broadly appealing set of content. Marketing Tools . In trying to sell solutions, it’s not the same as targeting a specific campaign to sell a product. The goal is to get to a point where a meeting with the customer can take place and a dialog can begin. Hub. Spot is in place to help with our marketing automation, sending emails with links to relevant articles in a series, and it helps determine when a customer is ready for a meeting or physical contact. Use tools to take a visitor from not knowing anything, to awareness, to consideration, and finally decision. Require every employee to have a Linked. In profile and help with sharing the content produced for the blog. Social selling through Linked. In can also be successful: make contacts and take part in groups, find leads that way. It’s also a great recruiting tool. It’s also possible to reach a lot of people through Facebook, even if it is considered a more personal form of social media. Look to vendors and other business partners that may have groups or other avenues to foster and get the hang of social selling. Be open and explore social selling opportunities through other platforms you are utilizing in specific countries. Call to Action Rich content is important, but of little use in marketing without an associated call to action. We include some kind of button or link in every published article to drive traffic to a landing page where prospects can download other materials such as guides or white papers with more information about our solutions and products. This serves as both a tool for enhanced engagement and a way to qualify certain leads.
Partner 12 Business Development Team Overview Vertical Media/Mktg Co. Size Market Area Global Business Description ISV Mktg Dept Size 9 Revenue back to Mktg Cust. Target Solutions 48 4 -9% MM to Enterprise Azure Persona and Customer Journey Our biz dev reports to marketing and stays hyper-focused on making the most of our marketing resources and efforts to optimize opportunity creation rather than closing deals. We’ve done research to build personas that define our key audience(s) (for example, we can have separate personas by role in the company, industry vertical, etc. ) Then we can focus on defining the pain points related to our offering, not the peripheral details about the persona(s). Biz dev takes on lead qualifying responsibilities, separating the nurture function from the immediate revenue function. We have a strict checklist that must be met before passing a highly qualified lead on to the sales team. We are vigilant about only building personas for our key audiences. We don’t waste time, resources, and future efforts defining or focusing on outlier audiences. Tips for Other Partners Account-based marketing (ABM) can be powerful for companies that want to target specific (usually 100150) accounts that are identified as potential ideal customers. • Step 1: define the ideal customer profile (ICP). Companies where it makes sense to invest extra effort with a great likelihood of closing deals. • Step 2: treat your short list of companies not as a collection of separate people but as an overall entity and account, going after multiple people within each account. • Step 3: build strategies for each key persona and take extra measures to make the connection meaningful (ex. , have your CEO take a call or action by a key staffer that would be especially meaningful). An ABM strategy might help change customer focus (target a more profitable customer segment) or get a foothold in a new industry with an industry respected brand. Tools Rain. King and Zoom. Info databases to build marketing/prospect lists, Hub. Spot coupled with Sales. Loft for the individual nurture sequence, and Unbounce for A/B testing all campaigns and landing pages. Most teams just stop after building personas. We improved our program by mapping key audience personas to their customer journey. We realize that journeys may take. have alternate needs by role, vertical, or alternate paths and other factors. We define the delivery vehicle(s) that should be used to reach the key audience(s) at the specific stages where we expect to engage the persona on their customer journey. Everyone corporate-wide understands the personas and related customer journey, so we are always building content, messaging, delivery methods to the specific persona(s) and customer journey stage(s).
Partner 13 Omnichannel Marketing Overview Vertical Health, Global Utilities Co. Size Market Area Global Revenue back to Mktg Business Description Mktg Dept Size ISV / Service Cust. Target Integrator 3 Solutions $10 M 4% Ent CXO (formerly IT Directors) Azure, Cortana, OMS Tips for Other Partners Understand the benefits of modern marketing; social selling takes time and effort to work properly. It’s not just a one-trick pony that will yield instant results. Marketing orchestration is all about joining up all of those stories to paint one picture. Invest in understanding available channels, how they should be used, and in what measure for each one. Learn what the customer is looking for. Define your target personas, and take time to align yourself with them; understand that you can’t be great at everything. The customer is looking for someone they can trust, someone who can navigate them through hell. They are looking for someone who understands what success would look like from their perspective. A company is more than a website and an e-mail; in order to get into customers’ lives, you must engage on multiple channels, in multiple ways for multiple audiences. Knowing that many clients and prospects spend time on social media, you need to be alive on those channels, talking to them in those channels. Build your social network, identifying where your audiences hang out, whether that be in Linked. In groups, Facebook, etc. We use social platforms to build brand equity; when customers recognize a need, they already know us as a three-dimensional organization, not just a name associated with a website. Personas and Vertical Marketing Don’t subscribe to the “spray-and-pray” method. Make sure your campaigns are targeted and by persona, by industry, and by message. Have laser focus on everything you do from a marketing distribution standpoint. We put out white papers specifically crafted around personas of ideal customers, talking in their language about pain points and relevant content. Then we start each customer’s journey in terms of their actions with the white paper: clicks, opens, specific pages viewed and links clicked. The next step is to send a series of related e-mails over six weeks. Some turn into solid leads, but all are included in future newsletters, blogs, invites to events, etc. as well as being flagged for later complementary content. It’s essentially a sausage factory so that when someone hits one of our sites, there’s a machine that will automatically market to them without additional effort from the sales team. It happens automatically. Measurement and Benchmarking We have a number of KPIs in place, including followers on social, re-tweets, blog post views, white papers downloaded, contacts added into marketing funnel, etc. Although most of these do not translate directly into leads, they all represent people starting on that nurture journey. Hub. Spot helps us drop cookies on prospects’ machines and track them across our different platforms. These prospects are scored based on their activity, and at a certain point which is indicative of someone in the buying mode, their info gets released to our CRM and passed to the sales team. ROI is the “silver bullet” but it’s not always a clean and simple equation. We started by measuring net revenue versus total cost of running the marketing department. Some costs may be associated with internal projects like curating sales presentations and branding, but even so we like to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 x ROI. Disruption We disruption inindustry an industry in our business Use use disruption in an or inoryour business as as an an opportunity to change and improve. We’ve taken a opportunity to change and improve. Take a traditional IT company full of technologists who best with company full of technologists who communicate best with other “server huggers” to a sales other “server huggers” to a company with a healthy sales and marketing team. We strive and marketing team. Maintain a fresh and focused presence to and focused on the web, Use in on maintain the web, ainfresh particular relative presence to your competition. particular, relative to our competition. We also use growth-hacking tools which don’t cost a lot, to become hacking tools which media. don’t cost lot, toorbecome disruptive on social Useavideo other growth on socialtools media. Videotraffic or other tools can hacking to drive and growth win thehacking hearts and minds drive traffic and win the hearts and minds of customers.
Partner 14 Overview Humanize Your Solution (Wingman) Architect, Engineer, and Construction Co. Size $5 M Market Area APAC Revenue Back to Mktg 2% Business Description ISV Mktg Dept Size 4 Vertical Cust. Target Solutions SMB Business Mng. Software We use a unique approach to selling a product and solution by bringing a feeling or personal connection to our products and services. In this case, an animated character (Wingman) brings value and an emotional feeling of connection to the audience; they are in need of someone being there to have their back. He personifies the value proposition of offering a strong support network to answer questions and solve problems. Tips for Other Partners If you don’t have a marketing department, you need at least a single resource to get the thinking started. The first hire should be a marketing manager, whether that’s a full-time or part-time role, to get them researching the market, understanding the market, and understanding your difference. From there, build a team that will get the most bang for your buck. A small company is often a small-fry client at an agency. Make sure your website, marketing campaigns, etc. deliver information that is interesting and educational to your audience, not just a corporate brochure. Never spend more than 20% of the focus on yourself. Tools Used Google Analytics and Google Ads (takes considerable time and energy to get everything set up right), Mail. Chimp, Sitefinity (content management/digital marketing Platform), and Zendesk (customer service software). Digital Use Drives Marketing Steps The ability to track and measure audience digital use created an opportunity to move from a fairly traditional support and service model to a free trial. Providing customers a free trial of our solution and monitoring use provided a wealth of data for targeting additional offerings, services, etc. The approach could also be applied to monitoring use of marketing content to drive next steps of audience engagement. Power of Analytics When you have a limited marketing budget you have to make. sure you measure the return on your efforts and investments. Having a large volume of analytics allows you to try new things to optimize your budget. If you’re unsure what to measure or how to measure, get expert help. Measuring the wrong thing can lead you to invest in the wrong direction. Employee Brand Strategy Don’t overestimate the marketing and PR value of a strong, loyal employee brand. Being a company people want to work for gives us a workforce that continually promotes the values, qualities, and public image of our company.
Partner 15 Channel Model Overview Vertical Horizontal Co. Size Market Area Global Channel Business Description Hoster Cust. Target Mktg Dept Size 25 Solutions 400 Employees Sell through channel and some direct Channel partners who reach SMB Channel execution We started as a direct company, and then five years ago we transitioned to sell through partners. We have one-on-one sessions with partners and clients to understand their needs and build our portfolio, adding new services and offers that are driven by market. Leverage own IP and Microsoft together and selling 80% from the channel. Remaining direct marketing and sales efforts helps to inform to partner marketing. Marketing efforts used to onboard new partners, targeting MSPs. Tips for Other Partners A significant percentage of revenue comes back to marketing. The priority is to calculate ROI (in terms of partners versus customers)—it is just a matter of how fast you want to grow. Stay in it for the long-run with the partner channel, as they can provide multiple clients as the relationship grows. In most sales, partners can show the costs that it takes to get there. Support the partner channel with tools to support marketing efforts. Managed marketing solutions that are customizable for partners, plug and play assets and tools to improve proficiencies (pre-configured blogs, web pages, marketing content). Digital Marketing Most of the time (about 90%), new leads and clients come from white papers, webinars, e. Books, blog posts, etc. Downloads prompt lead scoring for sales qualification. We score leads to determine which are of greatest value, and use Marketo to email nurture, plus Linked. In, Google, and Bing to remarket. Leads go through a series of steps and receive different custom messages/offers, with banners to match early and late stages. The outbound team contacts sales qualified leads: low pressure, but qualify more and help the lead. This is where the relationship begins to grow and flourish. If the lead is sales qualified, the partner is handled by an account manager and an onboarding team to ensure all the details are in place before transacting. Channel Marketing Strategy Develop a managed marketing solution that is customizable for partners. A mix of in-house and thirdparty solutions can serve as a major asset, as in integrating plug-and-play assets and other such tools to increase proficiency. Personable Having success by revamping the webinar experience to put real people in front of the camera instead of using only slides. More person to person interaction is foundational.
Partner 16 Cloud Transformation Overview CIO, CEO/ Vertical Co. Size CMO, sales Revenue back Market Area EMEA to Mktg Business ISV Cust. Target Description Mktg Dept Size 3 Solutions 6 M€ 6% Upper MM to Ent. Azure, Dynamics CRM, Microsoft BI, Office 365 Tips for Other Partners If you’re in a second-tier economy, work to expand your geographic reach. Follow the feedback and the insights from the Microsoft Partner Program. There is lots of material there, although many partners do not know it all and do not take time to research it. Using the materials from the Microsoft Partner Program can really help with strategic decisions for the go-to-market. Join Microsoft conferences like Microsoft Inspire, or others like Tech. Ed, and absorb that knowledge. Microsoft gives lots of free sources for their partners, so take advantage of those resources. Customer Journey We’ve moved marketing to the cloud for customer acquisition. Social media with blogs and articles drive inbound marketing, which can then be leveraged to prove expertise via chat tools inside the website to interact with our customers. The turning point was packaging products in smaller versions for customer trial and download. A typical customer journey involves someone in the customer organization downloading a free trial application. Then that person sends some invites to the app to coworkers. Once a critical mass is reached, it becomes very easy to promote full versions of the product and additional services; 23% of those using the free trial convert to paid services of some kind. This is a very cheap method of customer acquisition. Social media has played a big part, too. Written articles and blogs lead to inbound marketing, which allows us to prove our expertise. Chat tools on our website allow us to interact with our customers. We are preparing chat tools based on bots; a bot can interact in the beginning with the customer. If the opportunity is mature enough, it will forward to a human customer service agent for follow up. We find it’s crucial to segment for different roles and verticals. We create targeted campaigns for business audiences, and often consider vertical solutions for specific industries, or a special landing page based on role. Linked. In is excellent for that; we use it to campaign with. for different roles instead of having different messages one global message for all audiences. CEOs are concerned about security, so we explain how our solution prevents security headaches. Exec. assistants are concerned with productivity, so we highlight our solution’s ability to automate tasks and share with teams. Customer Experience We have a customer satisfaction index for projects and for support. We use customers’ surveys in order to measure this satisfaction and improve ourselves. 70% of customers on new projects respond to these surveys, as do 50% of those using customer support. We also enable customers to help us come up with new features. When certain customers or segments are highly engaged, we share a roadmap of our plans to help them understand what’s coming next. Economic Challenges There’s been a crisis in Greece for the last seven years, and that pushed companies in Greece to look for a radical change in order to continue being successful. This situation pushed our decision to become a global company instead of a regional one. With a cloud business model, we were able to change from a business model where 80% of revenue was from within Greece, to one where only 10% comes from Greece, and 90% comes from international sales.
Partner 17 Marketing Automation Pays Off Overview Vertical Accounting Co. Size Market Area Over 19 countries Business Description ISV Mktg Dept Size 2 Channel Cust. Target Solutions 28 employees Direct and via Distributors SMB Microsoft Azure In order to help ensure a quality and consistent customer experience, many initial stages of customer interactions are automated. Customers receive an automated email when our trial is downloaded, then a phone call within 24 hours to address any training or questions related to using the product. After 30 days, the customer is hooked. 55% conversion rate from customer downloads. Try to Make it Fun – Make Your Customers’ Life Easier Selling software to accountants can be tough, so try to make it fun. Tackle the challenge with a focus toward understanding your customers’ needs and what would make their lives easier. Instill confidence in your solution. Formulate a plan of action that can be supported by your product, your service; make your marketing story focus to address customer pain points. Customer Experience Focus After conducting a customer survey, we quickly realized the #1 reason customers bought our products was customer support. Customer Success Teams became the cornerstone for business success versus a sales centric model. Today, our corporate reputation is built on support. Annualized churn rate is below 7%, 65% of customers pay one year in advance, 25% pay three years in advance. Success Through Seminars. Recent success has been found through the use of seminars called Knowledge Networks. Seminars are multiple day events where customers are introduced to new features that will make their lives easier (focus on saving them time and money). Tools Used to Support Marketing Our Salesforce CRM is fully integrated. We use Mail. Chimp for marketing campaigns, as well as Hub. Spot and Warble for social media monitoring.
Partner 18 New Approach to Marketing Overview Vertical Health, e-commerce, retail, Mf. G Market Area Global Business Description MSP Mktg Dept Size 4 Co. Size $38 M Revenue back to Mktg 5% Cust. Target Solutions Upper MM, CXO + LOB Mgr LSP Tips for Other Partners Have a clear vision of the objective of new marketing activities. Not all will result directly into easily measured categories, like leads or sales. Understand that modern marketing is not something which always shows results quickly. It requires sustained effort. Give it time to change and bring in results. Executive sponsorship at the company level is very important in this regard. The organization must accept the fact that there is going to be a lot of change in the way things are done, and everyone will need to embrace the change. Otherwise, the whole journey will be stymied from the start. In the past, we maintained a very traditional sales and marketing approach (scattershot hunting for leads), but a year ago we revamped to a more structured and planned approach. It’s no longer adequate to simply allow sales to hunt for leads. Instead, we use marketing campaigns to bring in leads without using field efforts. Various activities (primarily digital in nature), come out of social media, or from pre/post campaign activities. This represents a change in lead maturity and the lead nurturing process. The intention is to provide qualified leads to sales so they can follow it from there, and remove the burden of concentrating on hunting and acquiring leads. For the new customers, we have campaigns with an eight-week nurturing marketing plan. Vertical customization is key: specialized demos and POCs will resonate with leads in specific industries. We’re currently working to create more of this content specific to more verticals. Our new structure and tools allow following leads from offline events to online nurturing. One recent event (Microsoft Future Decoded) generated $750, 000 worth of leads to nurture. That is a quantum leap from our previous approach, and requires negligible field engagement, just inside sales calls and a little marketing push. Website Changes We are totally changing the website from product-based positioning to a focus on solution selling and brand promotion. Microsoft has done an excellent job of marketing their products, so we don’t need to do that. We will showcase our own capabilities and experience, use testimonials and case studies. There’s a data strategy, as well, to generate leads out of a search. SEO will be one of the key components of that effort. Engaging Existing Customers We increase “share of wallet” with existing customers by analyzing and segmenting customers in terms of their maturity within a workload. We determine the next step in a natural progression within that workload, then run specific sales plays to promote that next step. Our sales play is a structured 4 -week process: • Week 1: workload-specific emails to educate on value proposition and benefits to the user • Week 2: inside sales calls the customer based on intelligence/response rate from the email engine • Week 3: arrange for a webinar • Week 4: qualified leads from webinar get passed. on to field sales Social Media Reach In the past, we would have just one theme promoted across all social media, but that is now changing. Separate target audience groups are considered in each of a few verticals. Although the success is not easily measured in direct leads, it does serve to improve reach and visibility, which indirectly helps create opportunities. Customer Feedback Gathering customer feedback on projects fuels not just overall quality and customer satisfaction, but helps maintain customer engagement. Once a project is signed off, a request for feedback is sent to the customer. They will fill out that questionnaire or form and send it back, which then allows us to go through that feedback and take further action.
Partner 19 Nurture Potential Clients Overview 60% Direct/ Co. Size 40% Channel Revenue back EMEA Market Area to Mktg Channel Business Description Mktg Dept Size ISV 6 Cust. Target Solutions 21 M€ 1. 5% Food industry, CPG, Retail, B 2 B Service companies ERP, CRM, O 365, Azure, Windows Server The “classic” steps of our marketing campaigns pull visitors to pages with attractive messages and visuals. Then, visitors are converted to leads when relevant content is at the forefront of their experience. Leads are nurtured with contacts and content personalized to individual interest. Leads then become opportunities after maturation, and that mature lead evolves into a sale. Tips for Other Partners Make sure the direction of your campaign is supported, and if possible, use Microsoft and recommended partners in an effort to save time. Otherwise, the adventure begins step by step in “test and learn” mode. This creates an opportunity to refine established practices as the process evolves. Find the best mode of operation that suits your endeavors, which in turn brings back the most money to your business. Work hand in hand with your sales and field teams to build a marketing plan that is supported and utilized by the whole company. Always be curious to figure out how to integrate new things into daily practices. Tools Click. Dimensions (SEA, emailing, and page visits), Yooda (SEO), Dynamics (CRM), and Hootsuite (social media management). Existing vs. New Customers We try not to differentiate the approach; use the content to target both customer segments. The level of knowledge about existing customers will help to customize/focus new offerings or information to their existing technology or needs. Keeping Existing Customers Engaged We regularly organize online and offline events to engage with existing customers to keep them updated and connected to our organization. We have a customer. portal to further support daily relationship building. When to Look for Outside Support When marketing content is created externally, it’s associated with a marketing campaign that appears in annual plan shared with Microsoft. Upon validating financing, we launch a consultation with proposed agency collaboration. This helps in selecting the best agency to proceed with, and at that point the content creation process begins.
Partner 20 Gather Customer Feedback Overview Vertical Energy, Co. Size Manufacturing Market Area EMEA Business Description SI Mktg Dept Size 3 Cust. Target Solutions 350 Employees Large Enterprise O 365, Azure Io. T, machine learning, chat bots, mobile apps Feedback is collected from Microsoft, MVPs and other customers with a project need, which we can then resell to others. Interesting content comes from teams that collaborate cross culturally. Consultants and advisors really work on business cases and business plans, and they own this from the onset. MVPs benchmark solutions at the early stage of this work. Tips for Other Partners Leverage persona-based marketing. Your content should be tailored to the contact’s vertical as well as role and need. It is beneficial to have two people on content. Try to create content with consultants, the RFP is a good spot, as well as the pre-sales kit. Newsletters can help you engage with existing customers and monitor actions (open rates in CRM) to determine if their needs align to other campaigns, webinars, new offerings, etc. Tools Click. Dimensions, Word. Press (website/blog builder), Socciable (publish content internally), Linked. In Sales Navigator (social selling tool), Dynamics CRM, and Power. BI. Digital Marketing Platform Like many companies, we began with very simple websites—often only one page, and no marketing tools to boot. In the first months, creating a social selling program with a team of account managers across many locales really increased reach. We’ve built a digital marketing model usable with many different platforms. Our marketing is now all digital, using solutions like Word. Press, Click. Dimensions, Linked. In sales navigator, digital content, webinars, digital ads, lead nurture, Dynamics CRM and Power. BI. We also integrate a chat bot solution to support this digital marketing platform solution and manage a portion of our campaign engagement E 2 E. Social Selling Program Use Linked. In Sales Navigator to create a social selling program with a team of account managers across many locales to increase reach—build a digital marketing model usable with many different platforms. Marketing Training We also rate and score our contact database. After integration, marketing automation can have a very large impact. Leads are then digitally based, and automation can be migrated to dynamics CRM and other mechanisms. We use platforms like Power. BI to report on everything—eliminating e-mail tools, and instead integrating and scores in our contact database.
Partner 21 Original Content Overview Vertical Market Area Horizontal Co. Size 400 employees Global Business Description Service Provider – service, support, Cust. Target educ. , and add-ons Mktg Dept Size 20 (content production to video Solutions production) Small to Ent Dynamics CRM/365 We pride ourselves in always keeping the content fresh, original, and a great differentiator. Content is the end-all, be-all for our marketing strategy. Product Line Add-Ons We have a Dynamics CRM add-on through a “Click Tri-subscription Engine” (like an app store). Clients’ product usage is tracked and used to market new solutions and generate business opp. All Employees are Marketers and Contributors to Corporate Brand Corporate brand is like an identity that all employees should feel included in (from the top down). Realize that every employee is a contributor to marketing and selling that company brand (invest in that involvement externally and internally). With contributions to the corporate brand marketing content coming from employees across the company with varying professional and personal backgrounds, you need a single corporate persona or voice (in our case, that’s Joe CRM) to empower employees to contribute while avoiding the risk of having both disparate content and corporate message. Tips for Other Partners Come up with a plan and stick to it. There is so much noise and so many people willing to give you advice, that it can be really hard to stay on message. Realize you can’t do everything. Just pick a direction, pick a plan, pick a theme, whatever it is, but you have to stick with something; repetition and consistency. Be genuine. It’s got to be organic and from the heart, or people will see through the phony stuff. Try something, measure it over time. If it doesn’t work, get rid of it, and move on to something else. Keep pushing through this till you find something that connects and really works. Customer Reference Program We built a program from scratch with the support of an outside agency to formalize within our CRM solution customers’ willingness to act as a referral and speak with prospective customers. New customers are introduced to the program early on so they’re familiar with it when they’re asked to be involved themselves. The program lead helps ensure information is captured in the CRM, correct contacts are asked to be referrals, and the company is not making too many requests from a single point of contact. Marketing. Integration Every department in the company (from HR to sales) has a person or connection into marketing. This is a team member who can help polish, or even build, the corporate brand story for new hires, or support the sales team in producing a video to help land a big deal with unique, genuine content and referrals specific to the client. Weekly Video Investment in video production is a differentiator in delivering new content. We keep it simple and fresh, like a weekly video series, posting to social networks, interviewing thought leaders and then turn it into a blog post, or video testimonials from customers. This is becoming a more timely, cost-effective solution to build original content.
Partner 22 Partner Channels Overview Channel Market Area Business Description Sell through 250+ member Co. Size partner channel Revenue back Global to Mktg ISV Cust. Target 5 Mktg Dept (2 graphic, 1 Solutions Size online, 1 content, 1 partner portal) 47 M€ 4 -6% Ent (through channel) Dynamics AX, CRM, O 365, NAV Tips for Other Partners You have to have passion for what you do. Realize that in order to transform your marketing approach, you have to start somewhere. Start now because you need to build, and build content for your digital space. Everything takes time; don’t get frustrated when things don’t happen quickly. Omnichannel marketing works. Some things work better than others, but it’s good to be omnipresent in many different channels whether it’s face to face, at an event, or on the web. Hire the best resources that you can. You have to have a good relationship with your team members and a great staff. We have ≈4000 customers in over 120 countries, with a big partner channel, similar to Microsoft. We’ve got 260300 partners in 75 countries. Currently we have 260 employees, up from 30 in 2007. We leverage relationships with partners. With new partners, we look for ways to link to each other on websites. When our network got extensive enough, we defined different levels of partners depending on the amount of revenue they generate. We get great references and testimonials from customers through our partners. Be prepared to make partnership a two-way street; don’t be afraid to pass leads on to your partners. We have a strict partner plan program; you have to be really competent to become a partner. You have to give a sales and marketing plan, and undergo training, which costs money. You have to have a certain amount of staff through this training, and upgrade training to make sure your projects are successful. New partners are encouraged to involve us on first installations. We also have a big annual conference for our channel, and we show what is new. Partners are invited to bring their prospects: normally they close deals at the conference. We have salespeople in different regions, and they go visit the partners and customers regularly. They help them with presentations. A big consulting part of the company assists our partners in setting up and helping them to be more successful. We are also are working on opening an academy where partners and customers will be trained more on our solutions. We believe, with training, you can increase revenue as well as your channel. Customer Experience We understand that you have to put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Think about who it is you want to reach. Where is that person? What is he searching for? What is it she really needs? What is happening in their company that drives desire for a new solution? We focus on what’s happening for that customer, and promote our solution for that. What’s important in one industry is not important for another; we tailor our messaging to hit upon these essential points. For example, for a grocery retailer, we might use a headline or message of “Fast and Efficient Checkout Is Critical. ” We focus on messages that will resonate within that industry or role. . Marketing Channels and Content We take all the content created on the website (blogs, articles, white papers) and share it across all of the social channels that we’re on. We take a very omnichannel marketing approach to all marketing. The success of marketing efforts via different channels can vary tremendously. We put out 10 white papers or e. Books per year, 2 blogs per week; 20% of traffic to our website comes from blogs. We use an in-house content writer, and try to get other staff to contribute as well, but also we can hire out content creation. We consider how marketing works differently in different countries and regions. Aside from campaigns, Linked. In has proven to be a very important channel in reaching key audiences, and it’s growing for us every month.