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Marketing at Internet speed

Distributor execs provide some advice for solution providers on first steps for marketing

Boston – Marketing a business takes time and money. Selecting initiatives and measuring their subsequent return on investment can be confusing. Think of web design, cold calling, and event organization and management. All are initiatives which should, and apparently will, deliver value, but when and how are key factors.

IT resellers have historically struggled with marketing their businesses. Their focus is traditionally on “active” efforts – sales, hunting, and cash flow management – versus “passive” efforts, such as marketing. Measuring sales efforts is a relatively easy task. Calculating the creative time and energy required to build and manage a marketing campaign seems lengthy and time-consuming, not to mention expensive.

At Ingram Micro’s Venture Tech Network (VTN) conference in Boston this past October, the message to its VTN members and customers was clear, “We are here to help you.” CDN sat down with Mark Snider, Vice-President and General Manager of Ingram Micro Canada, and Canadian Marketing Director, Jennifer Johnson to discuss how Ingram can help its customers and partners better market their organizations.

Johnson brings extensive distribution experience to her role. Her primary goal with this initiative is to help resellers target the, “right folks, with the right message.”

When considering marketing agencies, Johnson offers advice to the channel. “Marketing doesn’t have to be super-costly. Don’t opt for an agency that doesn’t get the channel, doesn’t have connections within the vendor community.”

Ingram’s marketing services are designed for IT resellers. Services include event management, list administering, cold calling, and website design. They can help you create and market a custom-vendor solution, or consult on how to effectively reach your target end-user. And they will measure your efforts, with analytics built-in with each solution.

Before suggesting anything concrete, they will undertake to understand your business and your challenges. From that point, a quotation and recommendations will be proposed. The goal is to propose the best bang for your buck, taking into account sales, marketing, and business development opportunities.

The overarching goal of this initiative is to help you, the reseller, increase your targeted marketing efforts so that you can be more successful.

Ingram’s ability to respond quickly to marketing initiatives is also significant. Offering the ability to marketing to the target market, in a timely manner, will help deliver key benefits.

“Speed is key,” Snider reminds us.