Posted: May 20th, 2011 | Author: Eric Nitschke | Filed under: Content Development, Content Strategy, Messaging, Sales Enablement, Social Media, Thought leadership, Uncategorized | Tags: content, content marketing, Sales Enablement | No Comments »
I’m preparing a presentation for channel resellers next week at the Arrow ECS May Days IBM Partner Conference. The title (which was provided for me) is “Using Marketing Plans and Social Media to Create Selling Situations.”
My first thought: “Wow…that could be a pretty broad topic.” In my 15 years of channel marketing, I’ve come to appreciate the differences of marketing at the vendor level versus marketing at the reseller level. With channel resellers, we don’t typically talk about sales enablement, content marketing or strategic asset alignment.
However, my presentation has pretty much followed the same 4 critical components of marketing execution that we talk about at the higher-level vendor level:
- Messaging and positioning
- Asset alignment
- High-value content
- Effective distribution
I’ve developed some slides and content around each of these components,and I think it could really change the way some of these IBM partners manage their marketing endeavors this year. The content is mostly directed toward channel resellers, but there are lessons and ideas for all vendors and companies.
The ideals of content marketing–focusing on customer challenges–remain top of mind for regional resellers, as well as for large vendors.
I’ll update these topics soon, and will let you know how the seminar went!
Posted: May 12th, 2011 | Author: Jim Moliski | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
I just spent three days in Scottsdale at the Sirius Decisions
Summit with hundreds of b-to-b sellers and marketers. I’m more convinced than ever that it’s time to re-think content strategies. According to Jay Gaines
, Sirius’ specialist in demand creation strategies, centralized responsibility for content strategy is becoming a requirement for highly effective b-to-b marketing.
We couldn’t agree more!
When looking at content marketing, sales enablement and account based marketing, the common thread that unites these topics is the need for good content. But responsibility for creating content lives in silos. Here’s an example: how many of your company’s great demand gen pieces get distributed to your salespeople in easy-to-use formats? Clearly there are a lot of good ideas there; shouldn’t your salespeople be equipped to talk about them?
Do any of these statements apply to you?
- “We have too much stuff and we’re creating more all of the time.”
- “Our content portal is like an office refrigerator – nothing ever gets thrown out.”
- “We’re being told to speak customer problems, but all of our content is about products.”
Everyone talks about resource constraints. But these statements are about quality, not quantity.
In my own experience working with dozens of companies in this area, the bigger you are and the more you have to sell, the bigger the problem gets.
Someone needs to lead the charge on fixing this problem. Call it a czar, process owner, facilitator – you need a leader to develop common standards and a systematic approach. Stay tuned to learn more…
Posted: May 10th, 2011 | Author: Jody Canavan | Filed under: Content Development, Content Strategy, Messaging, Sales Enablement, Thought leadership, Uncategorized | Tags: content, Sales Enablement, Twitter | No Comments »
Okay, I admit it − I was poolside one hour after I arrived at the beautiful Fairmont Scottsdale Resort. I smeared on the SPF 45, ordered the resort’s signature margarita and began reading my Summit registration packet.
Let’s face it − we’ve all been to dozens of conferences where the host suggests that if we leave with two new ideas and meet a couple of like-minded peers, we’ve had a successful trip. At first glance, this conference was going to be no different. The longer I sat in the glorious Arizona sunshine, the more I decided that I’d be perfectly willing to sacrifice a couple of keynotes, sessions and tracks for some much needed R&R. So I promised myself that as soon as the conference lost my attention, I would return to the south pool.
I never made it back. Not only did the conference keep my attention, it turned out to be one of the best events I’ve attended in years for quality of content, attendee interest/interaction and for building post-conference momentum.
SiriusDecisions couldn’t be more right when they describe their world as “the place where sales and marketing meet.” Every keynote paired marketing and sales execs who presented how they overcame the challenges associated with aligning their two organizations toward supporting sales and driving increased revenues. Every track reinforced this aligned strategy with analyst perspectives on best practices in demand gen, product marketing, sales process and sales and channel enablement − each followed by practical, proven examples of success.
Most relevant to my world was Marisa Kopec and Joe Galvin’s session on sales enablement, since that’s what we do. In the most attended breakout session of the conference, the duo together shared the nuts and bolts of an effective sales enablement practice. The statistic that hit home for many (and confirmed via live polling) was the fact that the greatest inhibitor to an organization’s sales force achieving quota was their inability to communicate value messages. The need for customer-focused/value-based messaging and content has never been greater, but alongside that need comes the requirement to map those messages to suitable points and conversations in the buyer’s journey − carried forth not only by sellers, but also via various other customer touch-points. This is one area where many organizations continue to struggle. (PS – We do that, too.)
And by the way, this is one of the slides the Kopec/Galvin team presented:
It seems to me Sales Enablement is another place where marketing and sales meet. I’m just sayin’…
I left the Summit with more than a renewed sense of purpose and a full bottle of SPF 45. The next few years are going to be tons of fun as marketing and sales continue to align and sales enablement practices flourish.