Marketing for IT Services and Value-Added Resellers (VARs) is different than marketing for any other business.
VARs must balance relationships with their OEM partners (which usually sell competing solutions and products), win new customers and keep existing customers happy, stay on top of the latest technology so that they aren’t left behind or made irrelevant, and win new customers while keeping existing customers happy.
Most of the time services and product orders for clients are emergency-based, financially motivated, and rarely planned out in advance. This reality leaves even less time for marketing and pitching new customers. Chances are you don’t have a full staff of marketing experts who can fill the gaps that the OEMs have left, and hopefully Sales isn’t in charge of Marketing (we’re just kidding Sales, without you all closing deals there would be no marketing to be done).
The OEM partners are supposed to have partner marketing programs designed to help VARs secure new customers and stay on top of marketing and technology trends, and a few have good programs that are helpful and deliver almost what is promised in terms of marketing and new leads.
Most OEM partners’ channel programs are the red-headed stepchildren of the marketing organization; the brand gets the budgets and the resources, while the channel marketing team gets whatever is created then then try to make that marketing “partner friendly”. And unfortunately, that means leaving a space for the VARs logo in the top left corner on whatever was created.
We know this at Lift Digital because we were there, on several Fortune 100 company’s Channel Partner Marketing Demand Generation teams. So, we feel your pain big time. Which is also why we’re the best marketing partner you can have because we know how to play and win the game.