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
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
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
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
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
You've been putting it off for too long. You know your Web site needs an update -- especially if it's not mobile-friendly -- but its redesign keeps going to the bottom of the list.
Summer is just around the corner, and with a slower pace of business, it's a great time for a Web site makeover. To inspire you to make the commitment, we found some partners who are setting the pace with stand-out Web sites. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on March 16, 2016 at 2:17 PM0 comments
Creating a newsletter every month may not seem like a tough assignment...until it's yours. In the beginning, everyone has lots of great ideas to share. Consultants promise project stories from the field. The support team will supply a steady flow of tips and tricks. Management looks forward to sharing their leadership and best-practice advice. All the ingredients for a read-worthy newsletter.
Then they get busy. And you're on your own. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on March 02, 2016 at 11:03 AM0 comments
Delivering on the promise to provide more support for developers and ISVs, the Microsoft Go-To-Market Services Web site has an impressive collection of sales and marketing resources. Almost any type of partner, especially SIs and VARs who are formalizing intellectual property for the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program, will find the site's templates and planning tools valuable.
The site includes four groups of resources -- "Attract Customers," "Engage Users," "Accelerate Growth" and "Expand Partnerships" -- plus a Concierge Desk. The Concierge Desk promises one-on-one consultation to help you make the most of the resources. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 17, 2016 at 12:22 PM0 comments
With social media hogging the marketing spotlight over the past couple of years, one would think that e-mail was a relic of the past. Apparently not. The Harvard Business Review reports that e-mail is making a "triumphant resurgence." HubSpot's recent Digital Publishing Benchmarks Report found that 34.3 percent of B2B marketers are still using e-mail to drive revenue.
The good news is that the mechanics of sending out and tracking e-mail newsletters have gotten much easier over the years. But there is still that little detail of creating content month in and month out. And not just any content, but meaningful content that your prospects and customers will be interested in reading. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on December 15, 2015 at 11:30 AM0 comments
For most partners, marketing the packaged services of Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is uncharted territory. Packaged services force a change in messaging from software to business value -- a welcome but challenging transition for most technology marketers. The business problem that the packaged service solves, instead of the technology behind it, has to drive the messaging and the marketing.
As you start to build the marketing plans that will support your CSP offerings, Microsoft's Cloud Profitability Scenarios should be the first stop. Under the ModernBiz campaign at the bottom of the page, the Partner Value Propositions do an excellent job explaining how cloud technologies plus partner services combine to deliver the full value to customers. These docs should be required reading for everyone on your sales and marketing teams. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 19, 2015 at 1:13 PM0 comments