When channels are talked about in the overall marketing mix, elements like content marketing, email, social media, and video often come to mind. While these are important channels that we cover extensively through our PRVibes blog and newsletter, there’s another channel that deserves some attention: The publication companies that provide news, analysis and research about the indirect sales channels serving the AI, cloud, mobile, wireless and telecom industries.
These channels include resellers, agents, value-added resellers, systems integrators, cloud service providers, managed service providers, dealers and others that provide products, solutions and services to enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, service providers, and oftentimes end users.
Indirect channels are an important outlet to help companies reach deeper into the enterprise—channel partners know who your potential customers are and how to help you reach them. They can help you break into the right markets and provide additional expertise and resources alongside your sales team. But first you need to find and attract the right partners. Channel publications can help you do that.
Here are six reasons a channel strategy should be a part of your overall marketing mix:
1) In addition to channel news, such as partner programs and new partnerships, they also dive deeply into the technologies shaping the market, covering everything from IoT to 5G to security to UCaaS. If you have expertise in one of the areas the channel publication focuses on, you can take advantage to add your own expertise to the conversation.
2) They write original news stories and frequently pick up press releases. If you have news that has channel connections, channel publications are a great way to help share your news beyond your typical industry publications.
3) They often accept contributed articles. The topic needs to be spot-on, but many channel publications accept Thought Leadership articles from the vendors and service provider with great stories to tell.
4) They build frequent lists. Channel publications often share the love to a broader community with lists such as hottest companies to watch in a certain technology area. Some even go broader and create lists based on the news of the week, including companies that brought their “A game” that week, and so on. They celebrate the vendors as well as the channel companies themselves.
5) They have excellent annual awards programs. Just about every publication that covers the channel has one or more awards programs (along with subsequent marketing opportunities) that can help your company grab attention. These are not just related to technology or products, but also include vendor-, MSP-, executive-, and women-based awards.
6) They run frequent live and virtual events. In some cases, speaking sessions and exhibit hall space are open to vendors. Some are fee-based, but others run call for speakers and select a certain percentage of speakers from submissions.
When plotting out your overall marketing mix, don’t overlook the channel publications—they could be a valuable partner in your next big sale.
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