Ingram Micro has outlined a commitment to building brand awareness through the channel with the launch of Partner Connect, a new digital marketing program.
The offering is designed to allow partners to establish a digital presence in an increasingly crowded marketplace, while leveraging personalised, premium digital marketing content delivered as-a-service.
Launched in beta earlier this year, Partner Connect is now generally available to channel partners in the U.S. and Canada, having already launched in Singapore under the branding Partner MORE, with plans in place for ASEAN in due course. At this stage, no timeline has been outlined for Australia and New Zealand markets.
Yet for Ingram Micro, the commitment to marketing is clear, at a time when the channel is struggling to raise brand awareness and acquire net new customers.
“Making the move to digital marketing is a must for channel partners looking to build their brand and grow their business,” said Dennis Crupi, executive director of marketing at Ingram Micro.
“Supported by Ingram Micro’s world-class and experienced digital marketing team, Partner Connect addresses this gap and simplifies digital content marketing, making it easy for resellers to enhance their digital presence with personalised content, targeted Google Ad Word campaigns and real-time analytics.”
Crupi said Partner Connect “streamlines the intricacies” of a digital marketing campaign by helping channel partners establish a digital presence to promote their company brand, solutions and services to a wider end-user base.
Specifically, the platform is built to allow partners to “quickly automate, customise, personalise and launch” digital marketing campaigns, tapping into a personal dashboard, domain name and real-time analytics.
Ingram Micro’s marketing push follows findings which highlight that the sales and marketing methods that have dominated the channel for decades have become outdated, archaic and bordering on obsolete, with customers turned off to traditional techniques.
According to EDGE Research - commissioned by ARN and Reseller News in Australia and New Zealand - a growing disconnect exists 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.”