CHANNEL PARTNERS – ENGAGEMENT IS THE NEW MARKETING

10-12-2018

Thanks to technology, we’re always on the go. Customer interactions are no longer solitary events and keeping in constant engagement with your partners has become the mantra of successful marketing.

The once prevalent “one and done” premise sales have now become obsolete and most organizations in the IT Distribution and Mobility space are now making the shift towards a cloud services revenue model that is recurrent in nature.

In this era of cloud services, customer retention is a challenging task as discontented customers tend to switch to another provider without a second thought. Hence, businesses are now focused on customer engagement that is steered by relationships and trust. To maintain a competitive edge in the market, a customized and integrated approach is crucial.

When it comes to customer engagement, we recommend 3 steps for IT organizations to achieve this goal:

1. CONTENTMENT ANALYSIS – Any strategy first begins with an idea of where the business already is. A winning strategy needs to begin with a marked measurement and for this, it is important you have a clear impression of what customers think of your products, services and company as a whole.

Though there are several ways to arrive at this measure, the basic and easiest is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). This metric which is survey driven, helps you gauge how much a customer is likely to recommend your products and services.

In addition to this, you must ask your customers for qualitative feedback on what they find works best for them and what doesn’t. This collection of useful information will not only aid a better strategy but will also help make better future business decisions.

2. CUSTOMER INTELLIGENCE AND SEGMENTATION – Dealing with customers requires a high level of awareness. You must be able to identify and anticipate their needs and position the current services in such a way that they create positive customer experiences and drive more revenue.

The start of the marketing journey begins with targeting the right personas – IT leaders, CTOs and other influencers. Along with demographics and education, it is necessary to understand your customer’s challenges, goals and mindset.

To better determine who your customers are, you must make use of the resources already handy with your company, listed below.

a. Customer Support Services – Your support team is the go-to team for any customer grievance. Interviewing your support team will give you a wealth of customer data to better tailor your marketing strategy.

b. Surveys – Getting an expansive customer survey will lead you to their pain points and help you deliver better.

c. CRM – Accessing your CRM system for qualitative insights and other data will help you leverage it to your advantage.

d. Marketing Automation Tools – Look for what people are searching. Make use of keywords, interests and other information tracked by automation tools to your benefit.

e. Customer Interactions – Talk with your existing buyers about any challenges and interests. Regular interviewing will help them reveal personalities and typical characteristics that can boost your market knowledge.

f. Sales – Your sales team is your customer’s first point of contact. Talk to them about what they have learnt about customer behaviours and use those insights to better shape your marketing strategy.

3. PERSONALIZED EXPERIENCES - It is no news that personalization enhances customer interest and engagement. Once you have categorized your customers, you must segment targets based on their characteristics. Once these different groups are made, you can deliver specific customer experiences to them.

For example, if you know that a part of your customers is ready to move to the Cloud, they can be prime prospects for your cloud computing services.

Once you have this valuable customer information at hand, you can upgrade customer experience for each identified subset with different personalized plans.

In conclusion, this era belongs to the one who owns the customer experience. Leveraging your customers for advocacy will help scale your marketing campaigns. Work to achieve channel engagement through multi-touch attribution. Seamlessly merge your online and offline resources, gain insights and in no time will you be able to use your best business asset – the channel partners for boundless business growth.