Dell EMC has launched its first partner marketing summit across Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), bringing together over 100 channel marketers for a three-day conference in Vietnam.
Under the banner of SPARK, the event brought together regional partners across the Dell EMC ecosystem, including distributors, titanium, platinum and authorised resellers, alongside the vendor’s global and regional marketing leadership team.
"SPARK was a great first for Dell EMC to spearhead conversations on effective marketing and deeper engagement with our partner marketing community,” said Karinne Brannigan, senior vice president of marketing, APJ, Dell EMC. "The channel is a very important go-to-market strategy for us, marketing becomes critical.
"It has been an inspiring three days hearing feedback and best practices from our partner and distributor marketers in growing the channel business.
“We want to continue to empower our partners with the knowledge, tools and information to help them understand the strength of Dell Technologies portfolio of brands and in turn build stronger and more sustainable brands for their organisations."
The launch of SPARK is well-timed, as the sales and marketing methods that have dominated the channel for decades become outdated, archaic and bordering on obsolete, with customers turned off to traditional techniques.
A damning assessment of partner capabilities perhaps, but EDGE Research - commissioned by sister publications ARN and Reseller News in Australia and New Zealand - findings highlight a growing disconnect between how partners attract, acquire and engage with end-users.
Driven by disconnected yet long-established practices, customer dollars are being diverted away from partner purses through legacy sales tactics and a perpetual cycle of marketing mediocrity.
“Customer acquisition and engagement is the new sales and marketing,” said Mark Iles, executive analyst at Tech Research Asia. “Partners must rethink how they go to market because so far, they haven’t reinvented themselves.
“Most partners have head of sales and head of marketing roles but today, those titles make no sense. They shouldn’t have either because they are very traditional approaches, the focus should instead be around creating customer acquisition and engagement positions.
“This isn’t telesales, partners should be doing very specific targeting of customers with content that is directly relevant to them. And then once in a sale situation, ensure you have people capable of understanding the solution.”
Specific to SPARK, the event held several keynotes, roundtables and breakout tracks on the vendor’s overall business strategy and joint marketing transformation with regional partners.
This was driven by guest speaker Paul Muller, co-founder of Denting the Universe, who outlined how brands can create and execute effective sales programs.
There were also sessions from the vendor’s channel and digital marketing teams on the best practices channel partners can follow to maximise return on investment.
Furthermore, the event recognised 12 regional partners for excellence in channel marketing strategies at a gala dinner and awards night.
“As our partners continue to work to grow their business within the Dell EMC partner program, marketing is an important aspect of that growth,” said Sudip Saha, senior director of APJ partner marketing, Dell EMC.
“We are committed to supporting our partner’s growth not only by enabling them to offer transformation solutions but also by enabling their sales and positioning to reflect that innovation.
"We are energised by the many insightful conversations at SPARK, and look forward to continuing working collectively with our partners to seize opportunities in the market, and win together."
The 12 partners recognised by the vendor for excellence in areas such as market development fund (MDF) management, digital marketing and overall marketing innovation and creativity were:
Excellence in MDF Management: ECS ASTAR Sdn. Bhd. (Distributor) - Malaysia
Excellence in MDF Management: Net One Systems (Solution Provider) - Japan
Excellence in Marketing Impact to Business: Team Computers (Solution Provider) - India
Excellence in Digital Marketing: Integrated Computer Systems (Solution Provider) - Philippines
Excellence in Digital Marketing: SCG Solutions (Distributor) - Korea
Excellence in Marketing Innovation: Ingram Micro Australia (Distributor) - A/NZ
Excellence in Marketing Innovation: Networld Corporation (Distributor) - Japan
Excellence in Marketing Innovation: Redington India (Distributor) - India
Marketing Champion of the Year: Dicker Data (Distributor) - A/NZ
Marketing Champion of the Year: Eastern Networks Co.(Solution Provider) - Korea
Marketing Champion of the Year: Itochu Techno - Solutions (Solution Provider) - Japan
Marketing Champion of the Year: VST ECS (Distributor) - Thailand