Mike Moore, Averetek

Mike Moore, Averetek

Mike Moore serves as Averetek's VP of Channel Strategy. Mike has spent twenty-three years in the IT channel as a channel partner and as a channel and field marketer for software companies like Microsoft, GE Healthcare, and Progress Software.

Event-Only Marketing Doesn't Lead to Growth

Partner Marketing, Channel Partners, Marketing Planning

For many channel partners, their entire marketing strategy is based on hosting events. Steakhouse dinners, golf outings, and sporting events account for the majority of their "marketing" activity. There are at least two ways to evaluate this approach. From an optimistic point of view, the events can be looked as a fun way to engage prospects. From a more pessimistic point of view, these events can be seen as a huge waste of money and time on an unqualified audience.

Whichever side you sit on, these events don't support scalable growth because of several fundamental flaws:

Improve Partner Communications Using Lessons from YouTubers

Partner Communication

Attendance for monthly partner update calls is at an all-time low. And it’s no wonder. Channel partners, like everyone else, have many priorities competing for their time. Why should they spend an hour with you once a month or even once a quarter? Why not just wait for the recording? We’re all so used to Netflix binge watching and other on-demand content that there’s very little need to gather together for live experiences.

But when people do gather together, live, there’s an opportunity to share energy and that’s the number one thing you should be trying to do with your partners.

Chatbots in the Channel

Channel Partners, Chatbots

When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, there are several applications that are becoming common due to the low cost and accessibility of AI-based platforms from Microsoft, IBM, Google, and Amazon. Among the many opportunities for sales and marketing, chatbots and virtual assistants are emerging as a way for companies to provide better customer service at a lower cost.

For brands who go to market with and through channel partners, chatbots can be utilized to service your channel partners and their customers and prospects.

7 Scenarios for Blockchain in the Channel

Channel Marketing, Channel Partners, Blockchain

With mainstream awareness of blockchain-based products and services increasing thanks to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, there’s a lot of buzz about the decentralized technology but very little understanding of what it is and its potential as a disruptive force.

I have been spending some time thinking about what blockchain-based channel tools could mean for brands and their channel partners. All relationships require trust to be successful. And transactions of any kind between two parties require trust, but it’s not always easy, especially given the ups and downs of typical business relationships.

According to Mike Orcutt writing for the MIT Technology Review, “the whole point of using a blockchain is to let people—in particular, people who don’t trust one another—share valuable data in a secure, tamper proof way.”

Blockchain-based systems are potential game-changers for indirect channels. They offer the potential for transparent, trusted and accountable partnerships. But they don’t exist yet, so for now, it’s interesting to consider the possibilities.

There Are Two Types of CMOs When It Comes to Channel Marketing. Which Is Yours?

Channel Strategy, Inbound Channel Marketing, Executive Engagement

No matter what role you hold in your company, having the support of the C-level executive you roll up into makes your job easier, especially when it comes to securing funds and resources for programs and campaigns. But before you go make your pitch, it’s important to consider who you’re presenting to. A common theme I’ve noticed among channel marketers is that they say their Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) fall into one of two categories: CMOs who “get” the channel and those who don’t.

CMOs who “get” the channel understand the role of channel partners as they relate to the strategic aspects of partners as a route to market as well as how best to leverage channel partners specifically for sales and marketing execution. These CMOs typically have a background where they have worked with channel partners at some point in their career, whether their past roles were in field marketing or in a specific channel marketing role that put them in close contact with partners.

Announcing the Channel Scorecard, a Tool to Benchmark Programs

Best Practices, Channel Strategy

One of the themes we discuss in Marketing Multiplied: A real-world guide to Channel Marketing for beginners, practitioners, and executives is that many of us in the channel are somewhat unsure of whether we’re performing well. After all, like many careers, there’s no manual that comes with the job.

In discussing this challenge with some channel peers, we came up with the idea for a scorecard tool that channel professionals could use to self-assess their efforts across a series of categories. The premise is simple enough: answer a few questions, figure out where you stand, and get some advice about how to get to the next level.

The Influence of Natural Selection on Partner Marketing

Channel Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Channel Strategy

In a recent LinkedIn post, Larry Walsh, CEO and Chief Analyst of The 2112 Group shared his perspective that brands aren’t responsible for transforming their partners’ businesses. As the tech industry shifts its delivery of solutions to the cloud, and as customers shift their buying preferences from purchases (capital expenses) to subscriptions (operating expenses) channel partners must evolve their sales processes, compensation, and solution delivery models to suit the needs of modern buyers. Not making these changes will cause partners to lose relevance in the market and they’re likely to shrink rather than grow their customer base.

Walsh suggests that there is a role for brands to play, but it’s different than taking responsibility.

When Is It the Right Time to Pilot in Channel Marketing?

Channel Strategy

There are times when running a pilot is the best way to move an idea forward.

Calling something a pilot gives it a particular connotation.

A pilot is an experiment. A pilot is temporary. A pilot involves risk.

Your internal standards for approving budget may be different for a pilot versus a full-fledged program.

The external reception for a pilot may be more forgiving.

But you may also see hesitation when recruiting participants.

Why get too invested in a pilot program that may never come to fruition?

Alexa, Help Me Build a Great Channel Program

Partner Communication

Half the battle in the channel is attracting and holding partner interest. If you can connect with partners, share a message of value with them – something that will help them in their jobs, then you will gain loyalty and support for your initiatives. Creating content that partners will consume is the goal, but it’s also a moving target. Like any marketing audience, you need to put content where your audience will consume it.

For our own marketing, as well as to test out ideas that we think will work for channel marketing, we’ve expanded our communication channels in the last year. Since we know email is challenging, we focused on channels that incorporate on-demand consumption of audio and video content.