Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Battle of Influence

Organizations are continuing to press partners into marketing ecosystems that offer singular value.  While the new and growing market, as seen by Microsoft, IBM, Google, AWS, and others, is working collaboratively or alongside some of the 15,000 SaaS providers 

During an interview with CRN, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, refers to this new movement: “Microsoft wants partners to transform from pure resellers focused on a single product to trusted advisers delivering managed services and creating innovative solutions atop multiple offerings from Microsoft’s increasingly intertwined portfolio.” 

Satya wants SaaS providers and partners to see that engaging in their ecosystem is the optimum maneuver in the battle of influence over the customers.  But, is the influence supported by programmatic marketing support? Are SaaS providers who enter the ecosystem able to create a dialogue with the influencers that drives the sale?  

DEMANDGen Report shares thoughts on the importance of the marketing programs needed to effect the battle of influence. Influencers and buyers need to be targeted early and often, or else opportunities will be missed.

A great example of a marketing program from IBM lies in ARROW’S CURATED CONTENT.  IBM helps educate and engage influencers by discussing the value of 3rd party offerings and how together they achieve the greater goal. They do this as part of a 52-week stream of content with weekly episodes engaging the influencers on the benefits of collaboration and helping them share the needs with their prospects.

IBM shares its marketing materials on Curated Content alongside other providers such as Palo Alto Networks, Red Hat, Dell, and Gigamon.

Take a look at this IBM collaborative stream of content connected to VMWare.  

Step one to this program is to define “The Why”: “IDC finds that by 2024 90% of enterprises will embrace integrated hybrid cloud/multi-cloud tools and strategies to support different applications and use cases.”

Step two: Content that supports the statement.

It’s one thing to present the problem, but providing content that shows it is a valid concern, elevates partners’ capability to be a resource for solutions.

At the PartnerOn Journal, we offer the following diagram, to help providers think through how they will meet the desired outcome.  

The equations is:  Connect + Educate + Outreach + Content = Revenue

Real-life examples of these opportunities exist within TD SYNNEX and ARROW 

As SaaS providers, suppliers, technology vendors, continue to think through the changing marketplace, a new dynamic will be forming.  Where single vendor or solution content marketplaces will fail to offer the partners and SaaS providers their desired outcome. The organizations that work to be part of a larger solution center, will find themselves winning the battle of influence. 

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