The tempo of new product releases from Microsoft presents a challenge for partners to stay ahead of customers.
Sway, Microsoft's new presentation solution, is getting attention from the press but is as new to most partners as it is to their customers. One partner jumped in with both feet to be the first to introduce Sway to its customers. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 19, 2014 at 2:43 PM0 comments
Billed as the northeast's largest business trade show, the New York Business Expo (NYXPO), held last week in New York City, attracted 8,826 business owners, executives and entrepreneurs. Landing an invitation to lead a session at such an event is a coveted engagement for any business owner. For one Microsoft partner, attendance-driving clout through a loyal social community earns him a regular place in front of big audiences.
Carl Mazzanti, CEO of eMazzanti Technologies, is in the enviable position of being able to choose speaking venues that will reach broad audiences like the NYXPO. He attributes the success to the social community that his 39-person IT services company has built. "Because eMazzanti has a lot of followers, I get these speaking opportunities," Mazzanti explained. "When we send a message out about an event, people sign up." More
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 05, 2014 at 1:12 PM0 comments
Microsoft's ModernBiz global marketing campaign aimed at small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) is gaining traction -- and just getting started.
If your business serves SMBs, this is a tremendous opportunity to roll out marketing activities of your own that build on Microsoft's momentum. By aligning with the ModernBiz messaging, you reinforce your partner status with prospects and, as an added benefit, you can use content that you don't have to create from scratch. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on October 22, 2014 at 3:40 PM0 comments
At a recent networking event in Charlottesville, Va., a panel of business owners talked about their challenges with technology. During the presentation, one of the panelists said, "Every business today is a technology business." That simple statement should be at the core of your marketing, sales and service.
Until recently, businesses used technology primarily to record transactions and report the past. Not anymore. To stay relevant, every business needs to figure out how technology moves them forward and helps them engage at a deeper level with their customers -- which is exactly where technology providers can build their value. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on October 09, 2014 at 8:48 AM0 comments
Every startup faces the challenges of having too much to do and too little time to do it. Balancing customer-service delivery with business development in the early stages is especially tough.
But Nikkia Carter, CEO and owner of Carter-McGowan Services LLC, makes the time to not only build the business but to advocate for others, as well. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 24, 2014 at 10:53 AM0 comments
Microsoft has long beaten the drum for partner specialization, and the cloud is amplifying the call further. Partners that pursue a vertical market strategy consistently report higher sales win ratios of opportunities within their specialty.
With all the pressure and evidence, it's surprising that most partners still don't have a strong industry focus. One hesitation is the concern that there will be missed horizontal opportunities if you focus on one industry. But industry focus doesn't mean that you have to stop horizontal marketing. They are two separate approaches. You can continue your horizontal marketing -- just carve out a segment of your prospect base that fits your industry criteria. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 18, 2014 at 9:13 AM0 comments
Business models are changing and most partners are expanding the number of services that they offer to customers. Unfortunately, your customers don't clairvoyantly know when you add a new service line, like backup and disaster recovery or business intelligence. You need to tell them -- which requires marketing.
Fortunately, it's the easy kind of marketing. Your customers know you and will be open to hearing from you. Their contact information is already in your CRM system. There's nothing to hold you back. Here are some ideas to kick off your existing-customer marketing program. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 02, 2014 at 11:29 AM0 comments
A new section on the Microsoft Ready-to-Go (RtG) marketing site rounds out an impressive set of resources for Microsoft partners. The Marketing Best Practices portal takes away the last excuse that partners had left for not making a full commitment to marketing. Campaigns, sales tools, Web content and event management resources now combined with guidance on how to use them -- that should do it.
"We heard from the partners that while they appreciate the RtG resources, they wanted to know how they could market better. They were looking for some education to help them use those RtG resources more effectively," explained Karey Bakker, content manager of U.S. SMB Marketing for Microsoft. "We had been doing marketing training webinars, but wanted to make it really visually appealing and available on demand." More
Posted by Barb Levisay on August 13, 2014 at 4:35 PM0 comments
Some partners just get it. They understand that combining forces with complementary partners will make them more successful.
One such partner is Bishop Technologies. Tapping the strengths of four other companies, Bishop recently organized and executed a marketing campaign that added at least 30 highly qualified leads to the Office 365 migration pipeline. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on July 31, 2014 at 9:23 AM0 comments
What if you had an easy way to explain what your company does and how awesome it is to work for you? Not with dry, technical job descriptions, but with real people explaining what it is like to work for a Microsoft partner.
A new e-book, specifically written to help Microsoft partners' recruiting efforts, profiles young women, each working in a different role for a Microsoft partner. Titled "12 Amazing Tech Jobs and the Women Who Rock Them: Imagine What You Can Do," this e-book aims to educate and inspire the young people you want to recruit. The e-book and supporting promotional materials are located here on Microsoft's Ready-to-Go marketing site. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on July 16, 2014 at 8:06 AM0 comments