Simplify Complex Concepts with Infographics

In years past, the CIO or IT manager was the primary decision maker for all technology-related issues. The CEO, CFO and line managers depended on the IT team to recommend the solutions supporting corporate infrastructure. But business decision makers today are more technically savvy and want to be more involved in choosing business management systems from the start.

That change presents you with the opportunity to adjust your marketing messages to help business decision makers understand your solutions. Infographics -- a combination of words, graphics and data -- can help. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 05, 20120 comments

Reinventing the Whitepaper

The mother of all marketing content, the whitepaper, has been a staple of technology marketing for decades. Whitepapers used to be written by technical people for technical people to explain complex ideas. Or they were written by thought leaders to introduce new ideas and solutions.

Both of those styles have their merit, but there is a whole new approach to whitepapers that educates and engages prospects without putting them to sleep. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 28, 20120 comments

System Evaluation Series, Part 6: The Flawed Foundation of Data Integrity

Last week, the conversation with "Dave," who is guiding us through the business management system evaluation for his manufacturing company, took a different turn. Data integrity, in terms of both the present and the future, has come to the forefront as a foundational challenge the business must address.

On the surface, data integrity may not sound like a subject pertinent to a marketing advice blog. But as a fundamental problem that every company struggles with, data integrity is a message (mostly painful) of interest to every business decision maker. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 21, 20120 comments

Earning Microsoft's Attention Pays Off for Cloud Partner

For partners with few employees and limited sales, getting any attention from Microsoft to help with marketing or sales efforts seems impossible. In any forum that includes both Microsoft partners and Microsoft employees, the question of how smaller partners can get mindshare from Microsoft always comes up. One partner's success may provide an answer and some insight into the results engagement can bring.

On the Radar
With fewer than a dozen employees, Atlanta, Ga.-based RoseBud Technologies is definitely on the Microsoft radar -- and very intentionally so. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 15, 20120 comments

System Evaluation Series, Part 5: The Decision Matrix

In our continuing series on the business system evaluation process, we are following a 200-person specialty equipment manufacturing company as it looks at new systems to support growth and international expansion. The company's head of operations, "Dave," has been gathering information from potential vendors and their existing solution partner. Now, the decisions get interesting.

The Decision Matrix
Dave created a Decision Matrix to guide the selection process for each of the options the company will evaluate. He considers this the first draft that will evolve as his team goes through the process. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 07, 20120 comments

5 Things That Should Not Be on Your Web Site

It's tough to find the time to update your Web site. "Out of sight, out of mind," the saying goes. But you could be losing opportunities to your competition because your Web site has become dated.

There are lots of factors that can contribute to a Web site looking out of date, but here's a list of the top five that you should fix right away.  More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 31, 20120 comments

System Evaluation Series, Part 4: The Vertical Approach

In this series, we are following the journey of a 200-person specialty equipment manufacturing company as it evaluates new business management systems. In the past several weeks, the company revisited its existing system and begun the process of identifying primary pain points. They also scheduled an on-site day-long demonstration of an industry focused solution.

The Vertical Advantage
At an industry trade show in January, Dave, the leader of the evaluation process, talked to an IT solutions company dedicated to equipment dealers. In February, the vendor delivered an online demo to a large group of users to determine if the solution was a potential fit. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 24, 20120 comments

5 Ways To Show Customers You Care

You appreciate your current customers, but when was the last time you told them? As the economy and your business improve, it's easy to forget how important each of your existing clients has been to your success.

Make it a priority to regularly thank your customers. Here are some ideas: More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 16, 20120 comments

System Evaluation Series, Part 3: The Cost of Ignoring Your Customers

In this installment of our continuing series following "Dave" and his evaluation team as they define their five-year technology roadmap, we're going to take a step back to learn a valuable lesson.

The Value of System Review
As part of the evaluation process, Dave engaged his team's solution partner to perform a paid review of the current Syspro system. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 10, 20120 comments

Get (the Right Kind of) Attention from Journalists

Last month, Scott Bekker, Redmond Channel Partner's editor in chief, was invited to share his expert advice on media relations with the D.C. chapter of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP). The Internet may have made it easier to publish a press release, but harder to stand out from the crowd. Bekker's audience --which included MSPs, Dynamics partners, learning and break/fix partners -- learned valuable lessons to help them get noticed.

Why Don't Journalists Respond to Your Press Release?
Bekker delivered an eye-opening introduction explaining why it's so difficult to get attention from the press for the stories that you think would appeal to a broad audience. Two factors are primarily to blame, according to Bekker. "One, people want to read bad news," he said. "Two, time pressure on editors is becoming more intense as they take on more responsibility for writing and curating online content." More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 03, 20120 comments