Survey: 48.6% of Digital Marketers Admit Incompetence

According to a survey by Smart Insights, 48.6% of marketing respondents answered, “I need to improve my depth of knowledge,” across seven key digital marketing areas, on average:

DisciplinesNeeds improvement
Social media marketing47%
Search engine marketing (SEO and PPC)51%
Public Relations (PR)39%
Digital strategy53%
Design (web, mobile, multichannel)42%
CRM and big data58%
Content marketing50%
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5 Fundamentals for Marketing Success

5-fundamentals-for-marketing-successDuring my morning quiet time when I read through my Feedly articles I came across this short, but sweet article from Entrepreneur.com: 5 Fundamentals Successful Entrepreneurs Build Into Their Strategy.

Although seemingly pedestrian, the 5 fundamentals felt all too familiar to me when I realized that I have been following this advice for a long time. Not just when starting new businesses, but also when starting a significant initiative within a business.

Hasn’t every new major business initiative been like starting a new mini-business?

I don’t think you’ll find this a stretch.  If your IT Reseller business has been around for a while, you likely started with break-fix solutions or consulting projects. What was it like when you first entered into managed services or took on a new proficiency like cloud? I remember these milestones from my own VAR experiences.

You needed a dedicated business plan for it, didn’t you? You had to figure out the partnerships, offerings, pricing, technology, integration, personnel, operations and go-to-market. And we all know it doesn’t end at “figuring out” because as you execute you’ll surely have to revisit each multiple times. Read More →

Marketing 101 from Ingram Micro

marketing-101IT manufacturers and distributors are speaking out more and more about the importance of a structured marketing program for VARs and IT resellers.

Here are the key points from a recent Ingram Micro interview with ChannelPro:

  • A plan is as simple as four things. It’s what, who, how, and when. (VCM agrees and it all starts with WHY?)
  • Define your targets within your audience/influence
  • Find out where your target is learning online and focus your marketing there
  • Hold yourself accountable to a timeline
  • It’s critical to brand and differentiate your expertise—don’t “race to the bottom of a price”
  • The majority of SMBs do NOT use price as their first criterion—relationship comes FIRST
  • Don’t try to be all things to all people. To be an expert, limit what you talk about.
  • Keep it simple and just focus on your customers, decision makers, and influencers.
  • It’s not an option to say you don’t have time. Hire an agency like VAR Channel Marketing!
  • Marketing doesn’t happen as a one off. You have to consistently market.
  • Start with your website and perfect your brand messaging there. Make sure it’s clear.
  • VARs seem obsessed with lead generation, but content and the four W’s must come first.
    • VCM customers that invest the time to develop who, what, why and take a holistic, authentic and consistent approach to marketing have the best results by far! Marketing in a vacuum simply does not work.

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