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Canadian Marketing Insights

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AndreaCastillo
Microsoft

You don’t have to be rich to be famous

 

You don’t have to be rich to be famous: Modern b2b marketing musts for partners

 

Partners! Do you want to improve your marketing? Well, the good news, as the old headline goes, is that you don’t have to be rich to be famous. Here are 8 marketing imperatives for partners in search of getting their marketing going!

 

  1. Differentiate sales from marketing
  2. Apply a strategy-first approach
  3. Make a unique promise
  4. Get your house in order
  5. Create original content
  6. Fall in love with social media
  7. Campaign your promise

 

1. Differentiate sales from marketing

 

It may sound obvious but small businesses, including partners, tend to confuse sales and marketing—or lump them together into one thing. In fact, these two complementary, but distinct, disciplines have very different goals, activities, and metrics.

 

  • Marketing uses communication, online and off, to drive demand and build brands.
  • Sales uses promotion, in person and not, to monetize demand and relationships.

While easy to confuse with sales, marketing is even easier to short-shift. It’s the first budget small businesses will cut when they feel a pinch, even if that means cutting off their pipeline of future revenue. Make sure you have a reasonable marketing budget.

 

How much should you invest on your marketing? As much as you can muster. Two to three percent of total revenue is one rule of thumb.

 

2. Apply a strategy-first approach

 

Instead of jumping into tactical activity, like rebooting your website, for example, you should start with a crisp, clear marketing plan. Who are your target audiences?

 

When you think about your audience, it helps to get specific. Do you need to market to IT managers? Chief executive officers? Build an “FBI profile” of your audience, complete with psychographic, demographic, and geographic data.

 

The more you know about your audience, the more relevant you can make your communication. And the more you will learn about where and how to market to these audiences to ensure you reach them with the right message.

 

According to PACT Advertising- an agency dedicated to  campaign marketing and content developtment, that also joined one of our Marketing series for partner marketers in the past months, shared the “7 things you need in a marketing plan”:  objectives, audiences, competitors, opportunity, strategy, tactics, and measurement. Learn more by watching the on-demand session here

 

3. Make a unique promise

 

Start by understanding the different between your logo and your brand. Your logo is the graphic representation of your brand. But your brand is much more than that. It is the promise you make and keep in the marketplace. When all goes well, your brand pitches a tent in the minds of your most important audiences, including employees.

 

Do you do or offer anything that truly sets you apart? Partners can create and market their own branded products and services built on Microsoft technology, including Office 365 and Dynamics 365.

 

Be careful about the number of brands you try to build. Just building one great brand takes years of work and, usually, financial investment. Instead of trying to manage a portfolio of brands, focus on building one brand and extended it.

 

Watch out for weak brand positioning, like calling yourself a “leader” or having X number years of experience. Cliché promises like those mean a lot less to prospects than you might assume.

 

4. Get your house in order

 

Now, bring that new promise to life across your “inbound” communication channels. Prioritize the most important places to communicate based on your audience. Make sure you reboot your website, social media landing pages, collateral material, business voice mail, email signature, and other key day-to-day touchpoints.

 

Make sure your website works properly on all devices, especially phones. Statista reports that, as of January 2019, around 29 percent of online traffic in Canada is generated by mobile phones.

 

If you need to do one thing well, make it your website. In the business-to-business world, your website presence can make all the difference. Make sure you keep it current and load it up with content your target audiences will search for and care about.

 

5. Create original content

 

Just as advertising plays an important role in your marketing, so too should original content. For partners, original content can take shape in a blog, a webinar, a podcast, articles, tips, ebooks/whitepapers, newsletters, videos, live streams, and all kinds of other content platforms and tactics.

 

When it comes to content, business professionals tend to hold high standards. They get turned off by jargon, hyperbole, acronyms, and predictable stock images. Quality counts!

 

Remember: nobody wants to read or watch advertising. They want helpful content that revolves around their needs and wants, not yours. So, make sure your content tackles subject matter that’s relevant to them and doesn’t sound like a one long sales pitch.

 

You don’t have to go it alone. Content marketing specialists, including full-service creative agencies, can produce winning creative for you.

 

6. Fall in love with social media

 

Love it or hate it, social media is wildly popular in Canada, across all ages, genders, and industries. Your customers and prospects use social networks, even if you don’t. And while you can “pay to play” at these networks, you can also use them, for free, to promote your brand and drive demand of your offerings. So, use them!

 

When it comes to content, business professionals tend to hold high standards. They get turned off by jargon, hyperbole, acronyms, and predictable stock images. Quality counts!

 

Did you know that LinkedIn can do a lot for you than just identifying prospects or potential employees? You can join and start groups, publish full length blog posts, solicit recommendations, and provide support to your customers.

 

With more than 562 million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Take advantage of this powerful platform.

 

7. Campaign your promise

 

With all your touchpoints rebooted, you can turn your attention to campaigning or “outbound” marketing with confidence. You can run targeted digital display ads, search ads, and use remarketing, email, and other techniques to generate interest. You can also run advertising on social media channels, including LinkedIn, to attract prospects.

 

Do you do any PR? You can use public relations to generate interest and exposure for your offer in traditional and online media, including blogs.

 

With all your touchpoints rebooted, you can turn your attention to campaigning or “outbound” marketing with confidence. You can run targeted digital display ads, search ads, and use remarketing, email, and other techniques to generate interest. You can also run advertising on social media channels, including LinkedIn, to attract prospects.

 

For best results, try to achieve an always-on presence in the marketplace. Don’t let your blog, website, or social channels go too long without love.

 

 

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