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.
Social media is a significant opportunity for the channel, because it provides a way to attract and empower partners with a new marketing capability, the activity of social marketing can significantly amplify the company’s reach, and the inherent engagement involved in socializing the channel supports better relationships between the company and it’s channel partners.
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.”
For seven years now, we’ve been delivering social media intelligence to some of the world’s largest brands, and we’ve watched marketers struggle with the concept of segmentation in social media. Segmentation is one of the fundamental principals of good marketing–the idea of dividing customers with similar needs and attributes into groups for more targeted marketing. Demographics, psychographics and behavioral economics are all time-tested techniques for segmenting markets in meaningful ways, and marketers have done backflips trying to apply them to social media.