If you’re a major software supplier, how do you help empower your reseller business partners to sell more of your product?
Help them get on top of their marketing.
Of course, not every Australian mid-market enterprise software reseller has the scale or ambition to employ a full-time marketing function. So, that’s why MYOB invited The Walk to come up to their Partner Connect conference in Noosa to talk about what marketing really is, and what it can do.
The enterprise software partner business is unique. Reselling an existing product that’s continuously improving, being supported by the software brand and their cohorts and then providing the professional services and implementation and support for the software provides fertile ground for a solid business.
“Focusing on a particular audience, industry or geography is a great strategy for creating standout when you’re basically selling an equivalent product to all your competitors.”
Co-Founder & Digital Director
But the result can be that businesses become reliant on their supplier’s support and lose sight of how they could be growing their brand, generating more leads, expanding market share, and ultimately building success for their business.
In this context, MYOB provide excellent support from a product standpoint, helping businesses to move deployments of their MYOB Advanced and Exo software. They simultaneously sell their own brand above the line with smart and effective campaigns. But for partners, the focus really needs to fall on how they promote themselves as unique within their market, creating demand not just for the software, but for their specific services and deployment of that software.
So, Nick and Jo took the hit in the name of great marketing, trading the cold nights of autumnal Melbourne for balmy Noosa on Australia’s beautiful sunshine coast. Champions.
Helping businesses to help themselves
At the conference were key staff from MYOB and all the leading business partners from Australia and New Zealand. Amongst a smattering of full-time marketers, many of the attendees were business owners, savvy folks who have built their success from the ground up.
The team presented to 160 MYOB partners and staff on how they could leverage marketing to achieve the success they’re targeting. The conference is attended by MYOB’s leading partners from around Australia. They’re savvy business people and all run very successful businesses.
One of the key points in the presentation was to help the business partners understand and reframe their idea of what marketing is. Ads on Google, right? Many MYOB business partners have tried their own marketing in some shape or form, but few had really done it to the point where it catalysed into something that was meaningful for the business. The danger of not committing to a strategy and following through is that the chances of success are much lower. In chatting with business partners, Nick and Jo found that the underlying cynicism created by these incomplete marketing experiments had certainly scarred one or two of the audience, and steered some of them away from giving it the credence that it deserves.
The presentation made it clear that, when done right, marketing is a growth engine, aligning with business objectives and delivering return on investment. Specifically, they spoke about how focusing on a particular audience, industry or geography is a great strategy for creating standout when you’re basically selling the equivalent product to all your competitors. Local area marketing can help businesses become known in a specific area or segment, increasing their brand affinity in these niche spaces.
The hope is that by helping the business partners to better understand the power of marketing and how to approach it, they will become empowered to grow their successes with a well-considered, strategically sounded marketing campaign that really delivers results, even if they have limited experience with marketing or a tight budget.
Leading by example
Nick also took the room through a case study where he described a successful project where we helped a client achieve great success in their niche market with a product that also has a long purchase cycle and requires significant initial investment, plus ongoing costs to upkeep. You can read more about this case study here.
The truth is that when you focus on the specific needs of your audience and how your product meets these needs, all you need to do is to get in front of them and you’ll be in consideration. By generating brand awareness and trust, in a market where the potential customer’s need may not be immediate, keeping a brand top of mind is imperative for making the sale when the time comes that they are ready to buy.
Get into it, get integrated
It wouldn’t be The Walk if we hadn’t also introduced the concept of integrated marketing. With any marketing effort, big, small, local or international, the effects of multiple touches on efficacy is impressive. The importance of delivering a coherent, honest and compelling message across these media is also essential. For many of the MYOB business partners who’s marketing efforts had been minimal to date, the proof points around multi-channel, media agnostic, integrated marketing were quite compelling.
It was a great pleasure and a privilege to be invited to present at the conference, so thanks to MYOB, who proved to be very gracious hosts. From the conversations we had with business partners who approached us afterwards, it was clear that what we had to say had resonated and sparked some interest and excitement for how marketing can help their business performance and their ambition meet at the top.