WOTC West 2023 Roundup - CRN In Depth: On-Site


In a crowded space to market and sell solutions in, vendors are getting creative and thinking ahead about how to capture their audience’s attention. “Vendors are thinking of creative ways to collaborate with their partners. Traditionally vendors would interact with them via shows and emails. With these new ecosystem lines of business applications, which is a partner-first tool, vendors are now able to meet them where they work,” said Christine Ululati, VP of vendor partnerships for Glasshive. Ululati along with Alex Stanton, senior director of partner marketing at Arctic Wolf and Elisa Esposito, director of marketing programs at Konica Minolta spoke on a panel at CRN parent company The Channel Company’s Women of the Channel Summit West event in Palm Springs, Calif. last week to discuss channel marketing trends. The panel was moderated by Adelaide Reilly, global SVP of customer digital experience for The Channel Company. “Video continues to explode,” said Reilly. “I was reading a study online recently that said people are now consuming about 17 hours of video a week. We know from the CRN readership survey that 53 percent of our audience love to consume video.” Esposito said Konica Minolta has learned to narrow down its marketing videos to get to the meat of the message to capture the audience. “Try to put the content in there, make it easy for them to just quickly get it and think about what will really resonate with the customer and not trying to think that you’ve got to put the whole kitchen sink in there,” she said. From video to automation to personalization, here are five channel marketing trends vendors can use to drive revenue and scale their businesses. Personalization Esposito: Konica Minolta recently launched a program for its dealer channel, where there are different levels of dealers. There was one program where the dealers really needed more hand holding to get them to the next level. The only way to do that was to look at the data, take the data, scrub it and build a program that we felt would be achievable for them. All of it was based on building dashboards. It’s all about their revenue. We’re showing total revenue, production revenue, hardware revenue…so don’t just have one product. We sell over 600 different products to our dealers so we have to combine it all and make sense of it. And then it’s how do they know where they are. Leaving it up to our managers doesn’t always necessarily work, because they have maybe multiple dealers to get to. By using the dashboard, creating calculators, it’s all online, it’s live and automated. It’s been working great and we’ve seen such an incline in their tiers. Stanton: As consumers, we expect the personalized experience. It’s different for our partners. We are in the cybersecurity space which is an increasing concern for all businesses. Because of that, the space is very noisy. As a solution, we need to make sure that our partners are getting the information when they need it, how they need it, how they want it and at the time that’s right for them. It’s got to cut through the noise, so not only do you need this unicorn solution for cybersecurity you need to provide an experience that keeps you top of mind and gains the mind share needed to drive the loyalty. It’s increasingly important to not take the one-size-fits-all approach. Video Ululati: Video is playing an important role now more than ever. What’s happening is the channel is being flooded with so many different solutions for partners to sell. First it was networking, now it’s cloud, it’s cybersecurity and hyper automation. Their solutions stack is growing and it’s getting harder to sell. The great thing about video is it never gets tired of perfectly presenting the perfect solution 24/7. In this day and age of AI and ChatGPT I think it’s a great way to retain your authenticity because AI can’t produce its own video…yet. Esposito: I’ve learned that product videos don’t do as well as case study videos. What we did is go out and get case studies from our customers, but the rates would drop. So I said, ‘Let’s do little snippets.’ Because if I can’t catch you in the first three seconds, you’re not going to watch this video. We have to look at where is the actual meat of the video, pull it out, do that little snippet, make it about us, make it about them and all of a sudden the rates just kept going up. It was really rethinking that you don’t have to tell the entire story in the video. Try to put the content in there, make it easy for them to just quickly get it and think about what will really resonates with the customer and not trying to think that you’ve got to put the whole kitchen sink in there. Marketing Efforts Catered To Mid-Tier Partners Stanton: When Arctic Wolf looks at its tiered programs, partners keep growing because they are getting the resources they need to climb. The middle tier easily gets left behind. We need to look at what benefits and resources we’re

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