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.

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.

The High Cost of Partner Sales Conferences

Budgeting

Among brands, it’s quite common for large reseller partners to ask you to sponsor their sales kickoff events. The primary reason resellers seek brand sponsors is to pay for the event. The travel costs to fly in their sales reps, the venue for the conference, and the food and beverage expenses add up. The secondary motivation is to get brands to fund sales incentives to motivate their sales reps. With their direction and approval, sales incentives become a powerful tool to help resellers motivate their teams. These aren’t secrets, but it helps to understand that the brand's primary objective (driving more revenue and growth through that partner) isn’t directly aligned with what the reseller is trying to do at their conference.

Announcing Our Channel Marketing Book, Marketing Multiplied

Channel Marketing

After more than a year of writing and editing, we’re excited to announce that our book, Marketing Multiplied: A real-world guide to Channel Marketing for beginners, practitioners, and executives, will be available in early 2018.

At Averetek, we believe in a marketing approach centered on teaching. We try to share what we know with our clients, prospects, and partners every day. We do this through conversations, emails, blog articles, and eBooks. But all that teaching content comes in small parts. No single piece of content laid out a complete framework for how best to deliver channel marketing, not one that we had created, and nothing from other sources.

We searched Amazon to see what books already exist on the topic of channel marketing and there were none. Knowing that no one goes to school for channel marketing (and we have yet to find a college course that contains this subject) and seeing how hard channel professionals work to figure out how to be successful, we saw an opportunity.

The Ultimate Incentive – The Big Box of Awesome

Channel Incentives

As you plan for the new year, consider the role that incentives can play in driving interest in your programs. As marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk says often, we’re all day trading on people’s attention. Want to capture the attention of your channel partners or channel managers? Put together The Big Box of Awesome, a ridiculous prize package comprised of a 4K television, a gaming console, headphones, games, and DVDs and create ways for people to earn chances to win the ultimate incentive. For a couple thousand dollars in prizes, you can motivate people to participate in learning activities, create marketing campaigns, and generate sales opportunities from leads.

Are You and Your Partners Ready for the GDPR Dip?

GDPR

For any company who markets to citizens of the European Union, GDPR compliance presents a new set of challenges.

The European Parliament adopted The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in April 2016. GDPR has provisions that require businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of European Union (EU) citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.

GDPR is scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018. The penalties for non-compliance are severe. Organizations can be fined up to 4% of annual global revenue for breaching GDPR or €20 Million, whichever is greater.

GRPR affects companies of all sizes, whether they have a presence in the EU or not.