White Paper

Channel Marketing Automation

Introduction

This paper provides an overview of how vendors and distributors can deploy the StrategyMix Channel Marketing System to enable their resellers to run multi-touch lead nurturing campaigns that generate qualified leads, very efficiently and at relatively low cost.

We start by listing the many good reasons why you should consider using a channel marketing solution to enable your resellers to do more effective marketing. We then use screen shots to quickly explain how a channel marketing system works.

We also briefly touch on how your resellers can use:

1. Profile surveys to pre-qualify leads
2. Dynamic telesales to follow up leads
3. MQLs to better track marketing effectiveness

And finally, we explain why the StrategyMix Channel Marketing System will considerably increase your reseller participation in your marketing campaigns.

Why bother?

If you agree with the statements below, then you should consider a channel marketing solution:

Your resellers are not very good at marketing. In general, they are more sales orientated.

For example:

1. While you provide your resellers with high quality marketing material, it rarely gets distributed to their best prospects and customers.

2. Your resellers marketing databases are not segmented, not built around target companies and are poorly maintained.

3. Your resellers lack the systems and capability to do effective marketing.

4. Without quality leads your resellers will make fewer sales.

Therefore it is in your interest to enable your resellers to do more effective marketing. One way to do that is to deploy a Channel Marketing System.

The Channel System Concept

The StrategyMix channel marketing system is based on a master system / sub-system infrastructure, as shown below, which links a vendor with any number of resellers.

Master System: The master system is used to efficiently publish campaigns (emails, collateral, profile surveys, logical campaigns, etc) to the reseller sub-systems.

Sub-Systems: Each reseller is provided with their own fully functional StrategyMix marketing system.

Since it is a separate system, we gurantee that the resellers data will NOT be shared with any other reseller or the master system. All campaigns are run from the sub-systems, which gives the resellers maximum flexibility and control. We also provide each reseller with an NDA to further protect their data.

This is very important because the numer 1 reason why resellers will be wary of participating in your marketing programs is because they fear that their data may fall into the hands of other resellers with whom they compete.

Reseller Branding

When considering a channel marketing system, it is important to appreciate that resellers value their brand and want to be seen as independent. For this reason, they will want all the marketing communications that come from their database to look like their own and not those of a vendor.

Interestingly, this is not a view that is accepted by all vendors. Some vendors take the view that their own brand is more important than those of their resellers and that the resellers should feel privileged to be able to promote the vendors brand.

Faced with this kind of arrogance from large vendors, most resellers will keep a low profile. They don't tell the vendors they are wrong. They just decline to participate in their marketing programs or only participate in a half hearted way.

To overcome the "Brand Problem", we provide each reseller with email templates and landing pages that have the same look and feel as their website, as shown by the examples below:

Landing Page Examples

As you can see the Reseller's landing page is based on their own design and not on the design of a vendors' website.

Email Template Examples

And the Reseller's email has their own "look and feel" and not based on a vendors design.

HTML: Any valid HTML can be used within the StrategyMix system so there are no design limitations. However, to promote operational efficiency, it is good practice to minimise the design variance between campaigns.

Fixed Cost Design Fees: You can use any designer to set up your landing pages and email templates or have the StrategyMix designers do this for you at a fixed cost.

Managing an Email Campaign with a Channel Marketing System

In this section, we will "walk through" how you would create an email campaign and then launch it on behalf of multiple resellers simultaneously. This will be of benefit to both parties:

The Vendors will be able to generate leads on behalf of their resellers by helping them implement marketing campaigns to their prospects and customers.

The Resellers will have leads generated on their behalf, using their own database, with very little effort and they will be able to do so, secure in the knowledge that their data is safe and is not accessible by the vendor or any other resellers.

The following 5 step approach shows you how it all works.

Step 1: Create and Publish a Campaign

The vendor creates an email campaign in their Master System. They then use the publish function, as shown below, to "copy" the email campaign to their reseller systems. You can connect to as many reseller systems as you like, even though we only include 2 resellers in the following examples.

When you publish an email the "content" of the email is inserted into the email template for the reseller. The landing pages are dynamic, meaning that the content of the landing page is rendered within the landing page design for each reseller.

Step 2: Test the Email

You should always test an email. This is easy to do. You simply select the Reseller Emails you want to test and the system will send you a sample email for each Reseller.

Step 3: Select Contacts into the Email Campaign

To select contacts into the email campaign, you first click on the select button. This will give you the screen below. You select your list code and submit. This will then select all the contacts in each Reseller System that have the assigned List Code.

Step 4: Launch the Email Campaign

To launch the email campaign, you click on the Send Icon and then follow the instructions as shown below.

Step 5: Review Campaign Results

The vendor can view the aggregate results of all reseller campaigns but is not able to drill down into the contact details.

Review the Email Campaign within the Reseller System

Resellers can only view their own campaign results, as shown below:

Because resellers have access to their own data, they can click on the known opened emails (red arrow above) and drill down to the contact report below:

Each reseller can export their results by clicking on the Export button. Similar reports are available for registrations, survey responses, contact notes, etc.

How to manage Lead Nurturing Campaigns in multiple Reseller Systems

In this section, we walk through the process for publishing a lead nurturing campaign from the master system to multiple reseller systems.

Step 1: Create a Logical Campaign

First you create a lead nurturing or logical campaign in the Master System. You then click on the publish button as shown by the red arrow below.

This will launch a pop-up window as shown below. From here you simply select the systems into which you would like to publish the lead nurturing campaign and press submit.

Step 2: Select Contacts into the Logical Campaign

Each reseller can then select the contacts that they want to be part of the logical campaign by clicking on the red arrow below. They can then launch the campaign at a time which best suits their marketing schedule.

Example Logical Campaign

The example below shows 12 elements of a logical campaign. In this case the campaign interval is set to 14 days. A key feature of a logical campaign is that prospects can start a logical campaign at different times and will step through the campaign elements on a "1-to-1" basis, according to the logical rules of the campaign.

How to use profile surveys to pre-qualify leads

Profile Surveys are short 3 or 4 question surveys that can be attached to the bottom of a registration form. Within the StrategyMix system each reseller can have their own set of profile surveys, which would usually be customised to suit their requirements. So as an example, if Reseller A had a strong focus on Government, then you would expect more Government related questions. Reseller B who might focus on Financial Services could ask a different set of questions.

Profile surveys are used to ensure leads match your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and to obtain evidence that a prospect has a business problem you can solve. They form an important part of the lead qualification process.

Below is an example profile question, which we use ourselves and which you might have already answered:

How to manage dynamic telesales campaigns

There are two types of telemarketing. Traditional Telemarketing where you call down a list, expecting prospects to take your call "out of the blue". Then there is Dynamic Telesales where prospects are only put into a campaign if they take some action that "triggers" them in to a campaign.

Dynamic telesales is more effective, because the calls are more timely and relevant from the perspective of the prospect. This both improves "connection rates" and a prospects' responsiveness to a call.

Resellers can either manage dynamic telesales campaigns for themselves or an external agency, such as StrategyMix, can be engaged and trained to make these calls on their behalf.

How to measure Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

The primary purpose of most reseller marketing is to generate qualified leads.

To ensure that all leads are properly qualified, the StrategyMix system can be customised to include an MQL check list of the key characteristics that constitute a Marketing Qualified Lead for each reseller.

Using MQLs is one of the best ways to measure and monitor the effectiveness of your reseller marketing.

6 ways that StrategyMix can help you encourage your resellers participation in your marketing campaigns

1. Branding

As previously stated, with StrategyMix all emails and landing pages have the look and feel of the reseller. This is important because resellers value their brand identity and want all communications sent from their database to look like their own.

2. Fully Functional StrategyMix Marketing System

If you provide your resellers with a fully functional StrategyMix Marketing System, then they can use it for their other marketing campaigns. All resellers will want to keep their marketing data in one system and they all represent more than one vendor. So the resellers will see value in StrategyMix and will want to participate in the channel program you initiate.

3. Timing and Control

Resellers want to be able to control the timing of all the communications (emails and phone calls) so they fit in with their marketing schedule. With StrategyMix, each reseller can "pause" lead nurturing campaigns when they want to and then "un-pause" them later.

4. Database improvements

All resellers know that their marketing database is poor quality and needs to be improved, so they want help fixing it but it has to be at low cost. StrategyMix can do this using our low cost operations based in the Philippines.

5. CRM Integration

The StrategyMix marketing system can be integrated with your resellers CRM systems, such as Salesforce.com or SugarCRM. Your resellers and especially their sales teams will appreciate the marketing intelligence that is being appended to their key contacts.

6. Reseller Recruitment

Because it is in our interest for your resellers to participate, StrategyMix will help you to recruit your resellers into your marketing programs. So, as an example, if you had a reseller that was "undecided", then we would call them up to explain the benefits. Nobody can explain this kind of concept better than StrategyMix.

Thank you

Thank you for taking the time to read this paper. You should now be in a position to enable your resellers to do more effective marketing. Now is the time to act.

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