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Channel Surfing: Tell and Show

Bruce R. Stuart, a Channelcorp founder, believes that channel marketing will be one of the key lynchpins of the IT Vendor agenda in 2011.

To be specific, Stuart says channel marketing will be on "the hot seat again in 2011 as vendors are pressured by their partners to show how channel programs increase revenues, decrease expenses and drive capital out of partner business models."

The same can be said for channel partners, VARs, MSPs and their SMB clients.

Smart marketing is one of the last bastions of cost-effective strategies in a downturn. When you can't be aggressive and spend a lot of time and coin on business development, when organizations all up and down the channel are cutting back, the message is key.

This message can be dispensed through social networking, via enlisting partner vendors to include smaller IT shops/

As Joe Nardone of Expert Data Labs pointed out in this Webcast, everyone in the vendor, reseller, managed service provider and SMB client ecosystem should be looking to eliminate or lessen the "techspeak."

If you talk to the average IT service provider, particularly those targeting the SMB space, they'll tell you that the "flux capacitor," "space modulator" talk is lost on most except for developers and administrators themselves.

The key thing to remember for vendors, MSPs and SMBs alike is that most people up and down the channel want to know how a product or service makes their business more efficient and then be shown the technical aspects of such a proposition in a demonstration.

In this case instead of show and tell, it's tell and show.

Smart marketing for a managed service provider should always be framed in everyday terms, highlighted and tailored to the target customer market and specific industry vertical if applicable.

And finally once the message is delivered, then it's important to identify key technology components (backup and storage, security, server space, systems maintenance, full service IT) that make sense for an individual business.

Some say if it doesn't make dollars, it doesn't make sense. Then again, if it doesn't make sense, it doesn't make dollars either.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on July 26, 2010


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