It may sound trite, but marketing may be the secret sauce you’re looking for to maintain and extend your revenue growth. As a reseller, you’re in a great position to leverage the relationships you have with your vendors to help drive your mutual goals through effective marketing. I know what you’re thinking – TOO EXPENSIVE and TIME CONSUMING – but you may be surprised how easy marketing can be if you learn to take advantage of your vendors’ MDF (marketing development funds). Securing those dollars doesn’t have to be a headache – especially if you follow a few simple steps.
Start with a goal. Want to earn more wallet share with existing customers? Need to ramp up efforts to fill your customer pipeline? Identify your goal, and then write up a simple, short business proposition that quickly explains that goal to your vendor partner. Be sure to include your marketing ideas for meeting that objective and the anticipated ROI (more products sold, more customers in the fold, a deeper dive with existing clients, etc.).
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Vendors will happily support the tried and true success story. Because your happy customers often refer to the vendor solution that helped you deliver results, success stories are a perfect fit for MDF. Not only can you include case studies on your website or in emails, your vendor partners are likely to showcase them as well, adding to your credibility.
Upgrading your website? If you include a page that highlights a particular vendor solution, you should ask for MDF. If you can, extend the reach of that project with co-branded print collateral that drives customers to that custom web page.
Share Your Expertise. Many solutions providers host “lunch & learns” to offer value to their existing customers and court prospects. Most of the time, these include some sort of technology demo and that has vendor-funded support written all over it! Don’t be afraid to pitch a lunch & learn and secure MDF to cover the cost of that event. Just be sure you follow up with the ROI so the vendor knows what the event net them and how it grew your business.
Got Creative? Many vendors and distributors offer creative services to their partners. Creative support can range from pre-written marketing collateral that just needs a logo and some minor personalization to a fully staffed creative team that develops and produces branded marketing materials on your behalf.
If all this seems overwhelming, just take that first step toward success by identifying a goal — it can be a small one — and writing a proposal. As you get more comfortable with the process, you’ll start to see opportunity everywhere. And just like that, you’re on your way. If you still aren’t sure where to start – engage your Ingram Micro sales rep or contact our Creative Services Agency. Both are a great resource for Ingram Micro channel partners.
Authored by John Fago, Sr. Director, Channel Marketing, Ingram Micro North America