While many channel partners still don’t think marketing is worth their time and investment, Intermedia stresses that it has become vital to survival in the digital age.
AUSTIN – At the CompTIA ChannelCon event here, SMB-focused cloud services IT provider Intermedia has announced two new automated marketing campaigns around ransomware and Microsoft Office 365.
“We originally rolled out our Automated Marketing Platform [AMP] a year and a half ago,” said Tim Stanton, Director of Channel Marketing at Intermedia. “We have five campaigns currently, and these two new ones that are coming. They are our first new campaigns in 2017.”
AMP’s objective is to provide Intermedia channel partners with a turnkey way of running effective automated marketing campaigns.
“A lot of solution providers are small shops without a lot of marketing bandwidth to create campaigns, so we have created the campaigns for them,” Stanton said. “They have no mention of Intermedia in them, and partners put their own branding on them. They are completely turnkey, and the partner can launch them in a few minutes.”
The campaigns are each a month long and include emails, landing pages, and social media posts. Intermedia also provides partners with a campaign metric dashboard to track successes, and real-time alerts to allow them to move quickly on hot leads.
Stanton stressed that the campaigns are more than just visually arresting marketing pitches. They allow partners to tell a story to the customer.
“It’s really important for partners to story tell and be able to scale that story telling capability,” he said. “Even larger partners, who have the revenue to support a part-time or even a full-time marketing person, and who tend to be more sophisticated about their marketing as a result, can really benefit from this. Even bigger partners often need help to be able to tell the right story and push the right buttons with customers. That’s what these ‘campaigns-to-go’ are designed to do.”
Stanton said that the ransomware campaign is a good example of effective story telling, rather than simply trying to scare the customer.
“There’s a really robust story here,” he said. “There’s always going to be risk, because ransomware is designed to fool users, and even as people get more educated about it, ransomware is still a threat. We emphasize that the biggest danger isn’t even the ransom, but the potential downtime. We also emphasize that effective backup and restore is the most effective response, and makes it unnecessary to pay a ransom.”
The ransomware campaign uses a built-in interactive calculator to let the campaign recipients assess potential downtime costs. Of course, it also promotes Intermedia’s backup solution and its rapid recovery as the antidote to an attack.
The Office 365 campaign emphasizes that while it’s a great product, it has security gaps which need to be filled, and highlights Intermedia solutions to pair with Office 365 to help protect against these issues.
“This is important for partners, because while Office 365 has become a very big deal, there is little margin in the core product,” Stanton said. “The four-week campaign helps partners tell a story around the gaps that need to be filled, as well as how our backup solutions, email archiving, and more robust encryption can help. It also notes that Office 365 only guarantees three 9s of uptime, while we guarantee five nines.”
Stanton said the campaign recognizes that Intermedia has to help partners to make more money off of Office 365.
“We don’t want them to have to be nickel and diming to get by,” he said.
This kind of campaign is necessary for partner success in the digital age, Stanton stressed.
“We know that a lot of partners still haven’t adopted marketing strategies and don’t consider it to be a core pillar for them, but in the digital transformation age they HAVE to be marketing to fill their pipeline,” he said. “These campaigns help them to do that.”