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Measure Twice, Blog Once: Partner Fine-Tunes Web Content with Benchmarking

For partners with limited marketing resources, there's not a lot of room for trial and error. Most partners don't have the bandwidth to create a library of blog posts or whitepapers, hoping they will appeal to prospects.

A new digital benchmarking tool is giving Microsoft partners data to help them monitor and focus their efforts on the most effective content and marketing activities. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on December 01, 2016 at 8:46 AM0 comments

Proactive Partner Marketing Builds Customer Lifetime Value 

Building long-term customer relationships is nothing new to Microsoft partners, but cloud-based services do change the nature of interactions with clients.

The fifth book of Microsoft's Modern Partner Series, "Deliver Customer Lifetime Value," examines the importance of fine-tuning your operations and service offerings with a long-term perspective. To support that transformation, you should develop a Customer Lifetime Value marketing program that engages your entire organization to proactively strengthen relationships.  More

Posted by Barb Levisay on November 17, 2016 at 7:07 AM0 comments

Trump and Tech: What His Presidency Means for the Channel

Donald Trump's poll-beating election as the 45th president of the United States is likely to bring changes in tech and business policy with ramifications that specifically impact Microsoft partners.

What those changes will be is hard to pinpoint. Trump hasn't staked out a position on many high-profile tech and business issues. And the few that he has commented on from the campaign trail, on Twitter and in the policy sections of his Web site have regularly conflicted with one another or changed during the campaign. Still, these glimpses of policy could provide some clues. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on November 10, 2016 at 8:27 AM0 comments

5 Ideas for Partners To Start Marketing Dynamics 365

With the Tuesday release of Microsoft Dynamics 365, as well as PowerApps and Flow, partner marketers may be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now.

Microsoft has promised to provide through-partner marketing materials soon, but partners should act now to show customers they are in front of the new products. Fortunately, there is no shortage of information partners can tap to create educational marketing materials to explain the impact and benefits of Dynamics 365. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on November 02, 2016 at 1:05 PM0 comments

Microsoft Community Connections: 'You Don't Know What You're Missing'

When it comes to marketing these days, content and inbound get all the attention. While those are definitely important aspects of your marketing strategy, they shouldn't replace meeting face-to-face with customers and prospects.

For one partner, Microsoft Community Connections (MCC) has helped it build a significant flow of leads and a larger presence in local, state and national organizations. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on September 29, 2016 at 7:07 AM0 comments

Microsoft Resources To Fuel Your CSP Marketing: Part 1

For traditional Microsoft partners, participating in the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program requires a new level of marketing. Most MSPs, Dynamics VARs and system integrators (SIs) have been testing the waters with digital marketing but referrals still bring in the bulk of their projects. But to be successful as a CSP, you need to drive more volume, which means reaching more people with a strong digital presence.

The CSP program also poses a new challenge for Microsoft in how to provide marketing support for unique, partner-defined solutions. Each partner's CSP offering is unique, some focused on tightly defined sub-verticals and niche markets. According to Microsoft, there are currently 3,000 CSP partners in the United States alone. With that many unique solutions, horizontal or even industry-specific campaigns can't provide the coverage that partners need.  More

Posted by Barb Levisay on August 10, 2016 at 12:02 PM0 comments

Microsoft Partner Taps Team Knowledge for Marketing Success

Every marketer in the channel has experienced the frustration of knowing that they are sitting on a gold mine of rich content, but simply can't bring it to the surface. They know their consulting team holds the real-world knowledge that makes superstar blog posts and downloadable whitepapers. By offering multiple paths to bring that knowledge to the surface, one partner is striking it rich with content marketing.

Ramping up their content marketing over the past 18 months, 10th Magnitude, a gold Microsoft cloud platform partner, provides multiple paths for its consultants to share their deep Azure knowledge. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 06, 2016 at 12:17 PM0 comments

Marketing Excellence Report for Microsoft Partners Expands Scope

Wouldn't it be helpful to have a list of the Microsoft partners who are doing a great job with inbound marketing? Even better if the list is accompanied by analysis of why their marketing works.

That's exactly what you will get from the Inbound Marketing Excellence Report, which this year evaluated over 25,000 Microsoft partners. In the report, Fifty Five and Five, the London-based marketing agency dedicated to the Microsoft channel, ranks 250 partners and provides analysis for the top 50. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 15, 2016 at 10:52 AM0 comments

Partners: Encourage Customer Adoption with a CSM

As partners become more dependent on recurring revenue, keeping customers becomes just as important as acquiring them. And in the cloud world, keeping customers is all about adoption.

Which means that you need someone on your team who is dedicated to helping customers realize the value of your solutions all day, every day. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 01, 2016 at 11:38 AM0 comments

Microsoft's Secrets for Creating Customer Evangelists

In an age when potential buyers regularly research reviews and testimonials of products and services as part of the purchasing process, customer evangelists have become an essential part of partners' sales and marketing efforts.

To build the kind of loyalty that motivates customers to spend time on reference calls, case study interviews and event appearances, Microsoft takes a continuous approach to nurturing those relationships. Without making a big investment, partners can build their own league of customer evangelists, willing to devote time to sharing their story with prospects. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 05, 2016 at 9:56 AM0 comments