There aren't many organizations out there that want to see lower sales levels when comparing one year's totals to another. It's inevitable that it will happen at some point—growth can't occur forever—but it's not really a goal to be had. A new report from TechTarget, however, suggests that there's a way to help spark some growth in partner sales if it's looking lackluster, and it starts with digital marketing.
Indeed, the TechTarget report laid out what amounts to a three-step plan for boosting partner revenues, starting with digital marketing, and carrying on from there to marketing automation and revenue marketing. But it must start with digital marketing, using tools like webinars and online video, as well as social media marketing campaigns and, yes, even email are all necessary to achieve the best results.
That's great, but just how should it be done? That's a point that TDAgency at Tech Data (News - Alert) vice president Pablo Zurzolo noted, declaring that a good business strategy must have a good marketing strategy to support it, or such strategy won't go very far at all. As Zurzolo noted, the best marketing strategy is just an appropriate setup of standard marketing mix tools that focuses on a particular strategy that has a specific goal in mind.
Here is where the new digital marketing tools can come into play. Reports note that the consumption models for information technology (IT) buying have changed. A Forrester Research (News - Alert) report noted that 74 percent of business buyers conduct over half of the pre-purchase research online, and the chief information officer is now one of five or more people making the purchasing decisions. That calls for a move to digital marketing, just to be where the customer is.
A variety of ways can help accomplish this; one company, Teklinks, started up its own video series called “Tek is the New Black,” an informational video series about technology topics in general, not necessarily relating to only what it provides. This allowed the company to establish itself as a technology expert, which gave its potential customers extra reason to buy from that company. But Teklinks doesn't stop there; it also turns to a social media management tool called Sprout (News - Alert) Social, as well as Eloqua from Oracle for marketing automation, the Hubspot inbound marketing and sales platform, and even the standard Facebook (News - Alert) / LinkedIn / Twitter mix complete with content created by an in-house content writer on a specific schedule.
There are a host of ways to do this. We all know that customers are becoming increasingly “do-it-yourself” oriented when it comes to addressing problems that might be had, so offering the tools for customers to provide that help unaided will likely be rewarded with future sales. Make the videos. Write the blog posts. Run the Q&A sessions, the success stories, and the use cases; don't just tell the user why that particular product is great; show the user immediately and ‘relatably’.
Marketing has long been just as much about art as it is science, and no tactic is completely effective. But for those who understand the state of marketing today, it's clear that it's changing, and that the old methods likely won't work near so well as they once did. Changing marketing for a changing environment only makes sense, and it's digital marketing, followed up by revenue marketing, that will be the most likely source of success.