Last week I saw Magic Johnson deliver a keynote on marketing at the Sirius Decisions Summit in Nashville. If you’re not a marketing or sales geek, Sirius Decisions is an analyst-driven consulting firm that focuses on helping businesses improve sales and marketing operations with better processes and technologies. Exciting stuff for us marketing geeks, but Magic Johnson?
The first interview in our series on The Channel’s Biggest Marketing Challenges is with? Chris Becwar,? Senior Director of Marketing at? CCI Global Channel Management. Chris is an expert on channel partner enablement, incentives and performance management, and we discuss these topics in the context of all the disruption driven by cloud migration. Which of your partners will? help you? succeed, and which will hold you back? as the market shifts towards everything as a service??
Verizon finally announced their Software Defined Networking (SDN) roadmap yesterday, and while they may be playing catchup to AT&T on SDN,? it’s a shot across the bow for IT vendors as well as their channel marketing teams. In embracing SDN Verizon, like AT&T, has made it clear that they no longer view hardware as strategic, but as a commodity upon which they intend to build value for their customers.
If you’ve ever managed a big project you know many little things can go wrong on the way to that moment of truth when you hope, ultimately, everything goes right. If you’ve managed a lot of big projects, you know how painful it can be when that ultimate moment of truth blows up in your face.? In business, big projects are a part of daily life. We make products, we launch campaigns, we engineer production processes. Big money is at stake, as well as careers and companies. So how do you avoid falling flat on your face?
Over the seven years we’ve been working with companies to incorporate social media into their marketing mix, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the way companies approach social marketing. Mostly for the better. But one area where we still see companies struggling is in deciding who should speak for the company in social media.
There’s a dangerous? undercurrent we see developing among channel? marketing organizations? trying to deal with the? confusing landscape of social media options? that can? best be called “Checking Off the Social Media Box.” Everyone knows social media is important, but it’s hard to pin down exactly where it adds the most value, so business objectives get over-simplified to reduce the confusion.
The Wall Street Journal released an article Monday hyping a Gallup report on the “Myth of Social Media”. The report and the article are so flawed? it’s an embarrassment to both organizations. Half of the buzz making the rounds this week manages to find the one kernel of blindingly obvious truth in the article, that social media marketing is about quality of engagement, not likes and follows. But many people are blindly retweeting the link-bait title of Gallup’s report, that the influence of social media is a myth, and it’s Gallup’s report that deserves to be busted.?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve heard a growing drumbeat of complaints about marketing in the IT channel. I’ve heard it from channel managers, field marketers, partner marketing and sales teams. I’ve heard it phrased a dozen different ways. I’ve heard it applied to email, digital, events and telesales. But the message is always the same: “We’re not getting the traction from marketing programs we’ve always counted on.”