Carsten Reisinger - stock.adobe.
One of the developments across the channel during the coronavirus crisis has been the acceleration of digital marketing efforts.
The channel has been advised by vendors to brush up their digital marketing skills to ensure they can continue to reach out to customers and prospects during the lockdown.
Recent examples include Dell and IBM, which used the partner keynote at last month’s Think event to point the channel towards its free My Digital Marketing platform, which could help them put together campaigns to reach out to customers.
Other vendors have also noticed an increase in demand and partner interaction with digital marketing tools.
Alex Walsh, manager of channels UK&I at Veeam, said his company had seen an increase in partner interaction with its marketing concierge offering.
The vendor uses this service to give resellers the option to share campaigns that it has already put together to keep customers informed, which can be presented under the partner’s own branding.
“It allows them to deliver email campaigns around issues like GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation] and ransomware or programmes around specific alliance vendors, such as Microsoft,” said Walsh.
“They can see there is a level of support there from Veeam and that we are there ready to support them.”
According to a recent poll of European sales leaders by Showpad, almost half (43%) saw enabling remote selling as their number one priority. That was accompanied by the twin challenge of increasing seller productivity.
In the UK, respondents said motivating and training sales teams was their third most important concern. There has also been a reaction to that, with vendors ramping up the online training and virtual certifications that resellers can put their staff through.
Veeam has also been encouraging partners to get trained up during the lockdown and has seen increasing demand for training and enablement tools.
“We planned quite early on to make sure we were supporting the channel in the right way with enablement tools,” said Walsh.
SAS was recently designated a leader in Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hub, with the vendor commenting on the need, particularly in the current situation, to embrace digital marketing.
“Capturing customer attention is more than a differentiator for brands – it is the difference between success and failure,” said Tiffany Carpenter, head of customer intelligence at SAS UK & Ireland. “Those that manage to offer a truly personalised customer experience are rewarded handsomely with long-term customer loyalty.
“Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, delivering carefully crafted customer interaction is more important than ever.”
Even before the coronavirus hit, most vendors had started to develop digital marketing tools for partners to use and were signposting them as an increasingly important means of getting through to customers.
When Cisco launched its Marketing Velocity programme in July last year, the vendor made it clear that digital was becoming more important.