Five Key Branding Considerations To Ensure M&A Success

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Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) play a key strategic role for organisations looking to maintain a competitive advantage in their industry for many years.

However, there are some key steps that must be taken to give these deals the best chance of success, particularly around marketplace positioning and stakeholder engagement. These two factors are heavily influenced by the way an organisation positions its brand.

With this in mind, we’ve identified five brand considerations that an owner or founder should develop as part of their M&A plan in order to support a successful outcome.

1. Develop a brand roadmap

Critical to the success of a merger and acquisition, the fundamentals of a brand transformation must be in-place as early as possible during the process. The best way to do this is to create a clear plan that so that you know how, what and who you need to manage and communicate to during the process. This doesn’t necessarily mean communicating as early on in the process as possible – because that might unnecessarily unsettle staff – but there should be a roadmap that indicates when terms of agreement are expected to be signed and how internal and external stakeholders will be managed at this point.

2. Consider your competitors

An often overlooked, but key consideration to any M&A process, is the reaction that both you and your partner’s competition will have to the news of your merger or acquisition. Not only are you expanding your business offerings and capabilities, but you’re also increasing the competition that you face in your market.

  • How will the competition react?
  • What do you need to do to prepare?
  • Are there any negative aspects of the deal that a competitor might highlight?
  • How will your new offerings compare to theirs?

It’s important to preempt any issues that might arise and proactively communicate the strength of your offering, demonstrating its strength to both your clients and the wider market, whether through media outreach, digital marketing channels, direct marketing campaigns and events.

3. Consider your clients

No matter its size, audience, history or demographic, a company will always be defined by its actions, not its words. How a company engages with its clients shows what it truly represents. You must think carefully about how you communicate with both existing and future clients. There are often many different segments within a client base, and communicating with them all individually demonstrates sensitivity to their specific needs. The M&A process affords you the opportunity to make a statement with your new brand and enhance the service you deliver, creating new and unique value. 

4. Define a vision for your employees

During the M&A process, it’s vital to establish a position about the new brand that gives employees something to engage with and believe in. When it comes to defining your brand vision, remember that for employees, a brand is often an emotional trigger. If you’re asking them to walk away from something they helped to build, you need to give them something to walk towards that is equally, if not more, compelling.

5. Communicate your message

It is important to create a consistent narrative to help your stakeholders understand what a deal means to them, both in the short and long term. You need to have clearly defined messaging for all of your audiences, from your future and current clients, to your investors and your employees. For example, both your employees and clients will be concerned about consistency and disruption to the business, but perhaps for different reasons. Employees will be primarily concerned with job security and culture, whereas clients are more likely to be concerned about quality of service. Your messaging will need to reflect these nuances.

Branding plays an undervalued role in the success of the M&A process, and communication is key to brand success, both internally and externally. This falls under the scope of a skilled and experienced marketing team, something that is often beyond the capabilities of most internal resources. By outsourcing your marketing requirements to a Virtual Marketing service, you gain access to a wide range of skilled industry experts, allowing you to focus on building your business and becoming an attractive M&A opportunity.

View our Virtual Marketing page to learn more about the services we offer.

Zoe MerchantFive Key Branding Considerations To Ensure M&A Success
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Six Ways To Increase Your Twitter Following

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If used correctly, Twitter can be an influential tool for businesses. It can generate leads, enhance branding, and help you to form connections with potential clients or people relevant to your company, within your field. For all of this to happen though, you need to build up your followers.

Some B2B businesses suggest Twitter isn’t worth a company’s time and effort but Kelly Jo Horton’s article 10 Things B2B Marketers Should Be doing On Twitter discusses a study of 500 adults who follow small and medium sized business on Twitter that discovered:

72% of followers are more likely to buy something from a business they follow.

86% of followers are more likely to visit a business if a friend recommends it.

86% of followers feel more connected with business after following them.

With these results in mind, it’s easy to argue that Twitter is a useful tool to add into the B2B marketing mix. Here are six ways to quickly and simply increase your Twitter following.

Follow more people

This may seem obvious, but you might be surprised by how many people just expect others to follow them automatically. It’s a simple equation: The more people you follow; the more people will follow you back. Plus, more people will learn about your business. Even if they don’t follow back, they now know about you.

Optimise your Twitter bio

Users want to know who you are and what you’re about. They want to know what type of content you will be adding to their feed. Keep it simple, professional and ensure it fully represents your businesses.

Join a Twitter chat

Twitter chats are relatively new, but they can be very effective at finding relevant people to follow and communicate with within your industry. They allow you to learn new things and even show off your expertise. If you’re interested in learning more, why not check out The top 13 Twitter Chats for B2B professionals.  

Follow users who follow your followers

Your followers are interested in your content. Therefore, there is a high chance that their followers will be too. So why not follow them?

You can do this manually, but it can take time, so you can also invest in a range of tools which can quickly do this for you. Tweepi is just one example. For a small fee a month, it will search for followers interested in your topic and engage with users by mentioning them in posts.

This can be a lot quicker than doing it manually and, especially if you work in a fast pace environment, it can be a life saver. Tweepi offers a free package for first time users.

Time relevant content

There is a lot of pressure today to relentlessly come up with ideas that result in interesting content. Twitter also helps in this area, as news breaks on Twitter. To achieve great results with your content you need to be able to embrace in an agile way. Don’t stick to a strict plan of content. Respond, engage and adapt to the latest trends and topics on a day to day basics.

Clean out your list!

It may sound silly but it is important. If the number of people that you follow is higher than the number of people that follow you, then it’s time to clean out your list!

This means getting rid of old accounts, and making sure the ones you follow are actually still active/relevant. If they haven’t tweeted in over three months, I would advise you to unfollow. If you have followed an account which is not relevant to your industry, unfollow them. They are no use to you.

Overall, clearing out your list means getting rid of anyone who hasn’t or won’t take interest in your content. It’s also a good idea to unfollow anyone who hasn’t bothered to follow you back after a notice period of about three weeks. If they don’t want you, you don’t want them.

Once you’ve finished, look for new people that may be of interest and follow them. But try and keep the number of followers you have, higher than the number of accounts that you are following.

To summarise my top six tips that will help you to maximise your Twitter following:

  1. Tweet a lot
  2. Follow relevant accounts
  3. Use great content
  4. Unfollow when needed
  5. Time relevant content
  6. Be active.

It won’t take long and will make a big difference. Twitter has been proven to be an extremely useful tool for B2B marketers, so don’t miss out on it.

Contact the Bright Team to see how we can help you to further optimise your social channels for best results.

Chris PetherbridgeSix Ways To Increase Your Twitter Following
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With Social Media, let’s take over the world

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Pinky: Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight? Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky – try to take over the world!

This could be a typical conversation between two B2C marketers, anywhere in the world, who are primed and ready to use every weapon at their disposal to reach their audience. This is pretty much what the likes of Coca-Cola, Nike and other giant consumer brands have done –– taken over the world.

But what if this could also be true for B2B companies? You’re probably not buying it – so let me explain.

Since the emergence of Social Media channels, some B2B companies have spotted the opportunity to reach their audiences – LinkedIn, SlideShare and Twitter are examples of where B2B brands have begun to take the space. There seems to be an unwritten agreement that only the so-called “professional” Social Media channels are valuable or – fit for purpose – for B2B brands.

Although this statement probably held some weight when B2B content was limited to serious content, we certainly have the right to challenge this status-quo and question its validity.

Bring your audience where you want them to be

Most people will tell you that you need to be where your audience is, but it is equally important to be able to take your audience to places that they haven’t yet been. On the so-called professional Social Media channels, you can find both serious and story-telling content. But why not use non-professional Social Media channels as a chance to connect with customers on a deeper emotional level?

Many of us would be annoyed by a B2B white paper pop-up promotion on Facebook or a 6 second salesy B2B promotional video on Instagram. But that does not mean that we cannot use these channels to offer something different, something fitting, to connect with the audiences accessing these platforms. It is not to say that we should all-together abandon the so-called professional platforms – but we should complement them with other social media channels. The end goal is to create a strategy that encourages the creation of a personalised digital ecosystem, to further fulfil economic and branded goals.

This no doubt comes with great challenges for B2B companies because you will need to have a pretty strong Social Media strategy to do so. But some socalled “un-sexy B2B industries” have already succeeded.

Social Media is like playing Jazz

Maersk is one of the best examples of a successful brand on social media. Jonathan Wichmann, the Social Media leader has managed to make the shipping industry ‘sexy’ and has created a very strong brand. They have created a fine balance juggling between professional and non-professional platforms, to create different experiences for different audiences. And to avoid straying into the territory of dry, boring and safe posts on Social Media, remember his quote:

“As a jazz musician you respond to the moment and the vibe. Great jazz musicians play a new version every time. You get closer to the audience. Continuing the jazz analogy: There is a lot of improvisation in it. You just need a clearly defined structure. You must not try to control it just as you cannot control the rhythm of jazz. It evolves with the situation and the audience’s feedback, like the most advanced kind of rhythmical music.”

Zoe MerchantWith Social Media, let’s take over the world
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The B2B Brand. The Great Forgotten

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At Bright Innovation, we feel it’s time to address a point that many B2B companies keep on missing. For the last 20 years we have been moving away from a purely commercial relationship between businesses, and the individual is right back at the centre of the B2B relationship. Businesses aren’t talking to businesses, this is no longer a purely transactional relationship, now people are talking to people.

Emotions have a significant impact on purchasing behaviour and are no longer just for the B2C market. It is now more important than ever that brands resonate with their audience and go beyond price. With a plethora of tools in the market place and ever expanding digital capabilities, B2B companies are in a prime position to make this shift; place their brand at the heart of their marketing, enabling them to trigger and respond to prospect emotions.

In this eBook, we demonstrate why it is so important to ensure your brand creates an emotional connection with your audience:

  • Demystifying the B2B brand
  • Who are these creatures we call B2B customers?
  • The digital crusade
  • Content reigns supreme! Oh no…not again
  • With social media, let’s take over the world
Zoe MerchantThe B2B Brand. The Great Forgotten
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The Digital Crusade

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The digital revolution may be over, but the evolution has just begun. With B2B lagging behind on the communication front, the potential for exploration is without boundaries. Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to target and analyse the impact of campaigns in extreme detail. However, approaching digital channels solely from Marketing and Commercial angles is not enough.

As Google stated a few years ago in their B2B research: in a competitive environment with more and more mature B2B customers, the companies to come out on top will be those that put in the ground work to secure the status of their B2B brand. The brand is the competitive advantage. B2B customers will pay a lot more attention to you if you are more than just another name and logo – the symbolic meaning behind being a brand really is key. The digital era has opened up endless ways for companies to reach out and communicate with their public, and B2B companies need to see this as an opportunity to build and strengthen their brand.

The B2B game has changed

The days when B2B relied upon a utilitarian image, centred on a basic website, a few press releases here and there, and the usual trade show outings, should be long gone. However, it doesn’t take a lot of Googling to discover that a worrying number of big brands have yet to get the memo. It’s time to experiment and to create a universe of experience for customers through the provision of both serious content and brand narrative.

Using digital streams (to create a brand) will allow you to provide tailored brand experiences, and to create a strong relationship with your customer. Your strategy should allow digital channels to complement one another, and for content to be distilled to the audience in a way that is right for the channel. Your strategy should also help to provide a brand experience that connects the online and offline worlds. Successfully doing this will create interactions and synergies that become sources of added value for your users. So, the objective is this: to put customers and prospects at the heart of your brand.

Learn more about “The B2B Brand: The Great Forgotten”

Zoe MerchantThe Digital Crusade
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The B2B Brand: The Great Forgotten

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First things first, you might be wondering why you should bother spending your time reading this pretty long piece on the importance of brand value for B2B companies. And to be fair, that’s a pretty good question!

I am not an academic, and we all know that there are already tonnes of articles and white papers on the subject. That being said, I have mostly worked with B2B companies from the very start of my career, and I would like to use this opportunity to address a point that I think a lot of B2B businesses keep on missing.

Over the past 40 years, we have seen the continued introduction of new definitions for the concept of the ‘brand’; each one another attempt to best capture its essence. Sometimes we connect to a definition intuitively, and immediately identify with their ethos. Other times we’d like to give whoever coined it a short sharp shake. Either way, they all are ultimately useful in keeping us on our toes – and encouraging a healthy level of debate.

We instantly recognise the brand concept when we think about huge B2C companies like Nike or Apple – but can we do the same with B2B companies? B2B brands have not yet all reached the same level of maturity in marketing terms. Whilst some have a strong reputation, thanks to some serious investment in strong communication campaigns, others are struggling to break away and create their own space. Niche market specialists are often all together too silent, or their efforts are not targeted, which is like herding cats.

Whilst the Marketing and Communications function has long since been considered a highly standardised and essential cog in the B2C world, this couldn’t be further from the truth for B2B companies.

Imagine for a second that someone asked you for your definition of a B2B brand and you answered: “something that captures a sense of brand identity, reputation and value in a business to business relationship”. You would probably be met with a blank look or a sorry smile. If we are being totally honest, most of us would most likely reply with something like: “ something to do with a product in a trade exchange between two companies?” and leave it at that. Communication is still often seen purely as a cost, whilst marketing is virtually non-existent, and far too unprofessional when it comes to anything that isn’t product related. At a time when traditional economic patterns are being challenged, B2B companies need to start seeing their brand as a key asset for success. They should constantly be on the look out for new, more effective, creative and measurable tools to help push their brands.

Today’s customer has changed drastically. They are increasingly demanding, critical and disloyal. They juggle between smartphones, tablets and laptops and have access to a lot more information than we had 10 years ago. Nowadays, it is the customer who calls the shots and decides where, when and how things happen – whether you like it or not! Are B2B customers really that different from B2C customers? Does this shift in behaviour effect B2B companies the same way it does B2C brands? Are B2B companies in a weaker position to respond to this increasingly exacting customer?

B2C customers are often understood as a group of sensitive, cognitive, affective and sophisticated individuals; interesting yet complex to comprehend. However, in many people’s minds, the B2B customer is not even human – more like a robot programmed to make rational choices.

Enough with the caricature! If you truly believe that for some reason, a superior power removed the B2B customer of all emotion, and that they are individuals free from neuroses unlike the rest of us, then expect to receive that sorry smile from me! Of course, B2C and B2B customers are different in some ways, but to disregard the role that emotion plays in influencing B2B purchasing behaviour is just absurd. Thankfully, the myth of the unfeeling B2B consumer is slowly crumbling, and the emotional aspect of the decision making process is becoming more widely acknowledged. B2B companies such as IBM, Maersk and General Electric are at the forefront of their brand building missions, but most B2B companies still have some way to go.

Emotions are what organise our thoughts and effect our judgements and decisions. In the land of B2C, many marketers understand that emotions often trigger the urge to buy. Through their communications, they rouse emotional responses in the right hemisphere of the brain. They play on feelings of fear, love, desire, guilt, pride or even a sense of exclusivity.

When we decide to buy a new product, we are motivated by both rational and irrational choices, with the latter, (often but not always) the dominant impulse. This is why some of the best forms of communication are the ones that touch the heart and not the brain – they create an emotional need and stimulate a logical and rational justification. Put simply, it is important to understand that emotions trigger the consumer affective state, adding to the potential creation of a positive attitude towards your brand.

In B2B, we’re currently facing a growing homogenisation of offerings and customers. Unless you are a specialist in a niche market, it is increasingly difficult to compete solely on quality, price and delivery. There’s now a need to find another level on which to compete – and communication is one of the unexploited arenas in which B2B companies should prepare to do battle.

Zoe MerchantThe B2B Brand: The Great Forgotten
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Why Minimum Viable Marketing works

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In our eBook, you’ll learn why, for many business, marketing is failing and how it can be adapted and made far more effective using agile principles:

  • Agile: it’s not just about speed?
  • The art of agile lies in changing your approach
  • The era of Minimum Viable Marketing
  • Who says size matters?
  • In summary: what does this mean for me?
Lydia KirbyWhy Minimum Viable Marketing works
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Using Minimum Viable Marketing™ To Drive Rapid Results

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Minimum Viable Marketing™ (MVM) is a new marketing methodology based on continual improvement to maximise results and return from marketing effort and investment. Bright Innovation wanted to share our experiences of working in this new way with senior executives from tech firms and get their perspective on how marketing can underpin business growth, so we hosted a dinner in July 2015.

How tech and consulting firms are using Minimum Viable Marketing™ to drive success

The dinner was attended by business leaders and entrepreneurs from various consulting and tech firms including TCSBCGCommonMS and Attenda.

At the event, held in a private dinning room at Jason Atherton’s beautiful Berners Tavern restaurant, Bright Innovation introduced how MVM is designed to explore ideas, create marketing messages, establish tactics and execute fast, so each element can be validated, measured and improved in market.

Mike Altendorf, investor, columnist and non-exec & advisor

Mike Altendorf – guest, investor, columnist, non-exec & advisor commented “These days effective marketing is critical for businesses of all sizes but the pace of change is so fast these days that to be effective it has to be agile. The days of five-year plans and 12-month product launch timelines are long gone. These days it is about speed, responsiveness, relevance and accountability.”

Richard Poole, Founding Partner at Fluxx

Bright Innovation invited clients to join the dinner to talk about their experiences of MVM in action. First up was Richard Poole, Founding Partner at Fluxx, a leading innovation consultancy talking about the heritage behind MVM, explaining how Minimum Viable Product and lean methods has changed the manufacturing industry and how effective it can be to apply those same ideas to marketing services to get the best outcome and reduce wastage.

Richard highlighted how Fluxx has benefited from rapidly consolidating its market position through a robust marketing mix with each element being proven and built on to support ambitious business growth. Fluxx has had excellent results through the consistency of communication and original content that is a key part of the marketing programme combined with exclusive events that underpin it’s brand building with the right audience.

Barry Hayes, Executive Director of Flo Group

This was followed by discussions with Barry Hayes, Executive Director of Flo Group, a global logistics consultancy, who have transformed not just their brand but also its approach demand generation and how they work with Alliance partners.

Through working with Bright Innovation and an MVM approach to marketing Flo Group have created a strong and differentiated brand, established successful demand generation campaigns that support its sales pipeline and growth targets plus built a strong event presence at key trade shows and conferences across EMEA.

Flo Group has also benefited from improvements to its strategy to Alliance partnerships and has secured significant funding for marketing through its proven approach to demand generation.

Lively discussions accompanied the dinner and explored how MVM can support business goals with key focus on how high growth consulting and tech firms can exploit this new way of working.

The three key pillars of marketing

The combined focus on the three key pillars of marketing a modern business should focus efforts around to quickly brand build, create demand and secure talent into ambitious firms was supported by the results of the marketing investment Fluxx and Flo Group have achieved.

Izzy Fox, Head of Venture Capital Investments, White Cloud Capital

Izzy Fox – guest and Head of Venture Capital Investments, White Cloud Capital commented “The start-ups we work with are coming out of an environment in which there is no distinction between digital and non-digital. They expect to be able to take their story out across any channel, at any time and to be continually responding to feedback in the market to adjust and rework products and services and how they market them. The old segmented, inflexible and siloed approach just doesn’t fit into the world we now operate in.”

MVM brings a fresh approach that firms can take advantage of to secure results from marketing and gain a greater understanding of what works best with key audiences.

For more information about our unique MVM methodology or to discuss how we might be able to help you, contact us.

Zoe MerchantUsing Minimum Viable Marketing™ To Drive Rapid Results
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The SMART Guide to Building Successful Alliances

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Organisations of all sizes often find it difficult to get the most out of their alliance relationships. A productive relationship is one where your marketing strategy aligns well with your alliance objectives, and you can work together towards a common goal. Where you are clear on your target audience, and your marketing activities are integrated into a strategic plan that supports both your organisational objectives and those of your alliance partners.

Strategy

Share a common objective for your marketing activity that satisfies the alliance goals – and your own.

When you bring up the topic of alliance marketing it is always met with a whole range of reactions, but a common thread that seems to be present in many of the conversations I have had, is the difficulty in aligning an alliance marketing plan with that of your organisation’s. Frequently, co-marketing is seen as a parallel activity to your strategic marketing plan, with the two streams very rarely integrated into a cohesive plan of action.

This doesn’t have to be the case. Marketing teams should work closely with their alliance partners, share their business plans and jointly identify ways in which they can collaborate to achieve a common goal. This may be a simplistic view, and I can already hear the nay-sayers heckling at the back …

“You try selling product to a business audience”; “All they want is licensing, they’re not interested in services”; “They don’t understand my business” … But it can be done, and working together to identify your common objectives is a key step towards building stronger alliances.

When Mavenwire wanted to strengthen their relationship with Oracle, they engaged with Bright Innovation to manage and execute a range of marketing activities to generate revenue and build brand awareness. A joint campaign approach combined Oracle products with Mavenwire’s delivery expertise to offer prospects a complete solution, enabling them to identify new sales opportunities and win new business jointly with the Oracle sales team.

Messaging

When working with most alliance marketing teams, they will be able to provide you with a wealth of material to use in your marketing activity, such as collateral, competitive information, product features and benefits. Every other partner will also have access to the same information.

It is important that you go to market with messaging that clearly differentiates you.

If you are reselling product, what value is your organisation adding to the process? If you are a systems integrator, what experience, frameworks, methodologies can you offer that others may not be able to. It is your key differentiators that your messaging needs to communicate in order to stand out from the hundreds of other partners.

Audience

On occasion, your alliance partner may work with you to develop a plan and even provide you with a database of contacts ready to market to.

At this point, you must assess whether this fits in with your target audience, and carefully evaluate whether you proceed with the newly gifted database you have just acquired, or invest in building your own data set that matches your target profile perfectly.

Often, a little time and investment here can save a lot of pain further down the line when the results are not as expected. It is important to have clarity in who your target audience is, and why.

Reporting

Communicating effectively with your alliance partners is always a difficult balance between over-communicating irrelevant details and not sharing the results of your marketing activity at all.

If you are churning out a raft of activity each quarter, your alliance partner may not necessarily need to know every single detail about the tactics you’ve deployed, what articles have been published, client engagements, down to each technical detail.

However, a regular flow of concise and relevant communications can be a hugely effectively way to market to your alliance partner. A one page summary of who you’ve targeted, using the same terminology (and acronyms), who you’ve engaged with, revenue generated, and key messages is often sufficient enough to keep your key alliance contacts up to date, without inundating them with detail.

Tactics

Another theme that’s often arises is marketing teams being driven to adopt tactics that may not necessarily prove effective for their business. For example, webinars can be a great way of engaging with your audience, raising your brand and profile within certain communities and building a wealth of content that can be distributed across multiple channels. However, they are not appropriate for all messaging and audiences.

If your organisation is trying to position itself as a market leader, perhaps some value-driven thought leadership would be more effective? Maybe consider a highly-targeted digital campaign?

When planning which tactics to use in your co-marketing plan, you need to make sure these support your brand and positioning in the market and are consistent with your marketing activities.

Our Minimum Viable Marketing™ approach allows you to quickly identify which tactics will be most valuable by experimenting and then removing, and/or improving, elements of your marketing plan that do not work as well as expected.

Marketing can be highly effective when structured as an integrated campaign, incorporating many different routes to market. The key point here is that each element of the plan must work together to increase momentum. A poorly executed tactical campaign will only serve as a distraction from core activities and yield below average results.

With over 20 years experience working with alliance partners, the Bright Innovation team understands the challenges involved when working with alliances, and some of the most common pitfalls made by organisations.

We have taken this experience and knowledge, and developed a set of services that enable our clients to overcome these challenges and build successful alliance relationships.

Chris PetherbridgeThe SMART Guide to Building Successful Alliances
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To or through Partner Marketing – What’s the difference?

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Guest Blog:  Jacqui Sasserath is the founder of Channeliser, a matching service for IT companies looking for IT partners. In this blog, Jacqui describes the 3 key actions to create a strong and successful marketing partnership.

We @channeliser are frequently asked what is the most effective use of marketing spend?

1. Should we focus on partner enablement and building understanding of our proposition so that they can, in turn take the message to their customers?
2. Or should we be generating demand with direct prospecting and customer marketing?
3. Or perhaps a hybrid of the two – operating a marketing campaign to customers but doing it “through” my partners?

And the answer is simple – know your partners!

Capture the “to partner” value proposition

You know the value of your product to the customer, so now is the time to re-evaluate what is the value to the partner?

It will be something quite different. Try and list the 5 things that could turn a partner’s head and capture their attention about your offering – it may be as simple as incentives, it may be the lack of complexity and ease of doing business with you and it may delve into the technical functionality.

Remember most good resellers have many other vendors vying for their attention and resources so you need to standout and really have an engaging message as to why a partnership is of benefit to all.

Profile your partners

Now turn your attention to the complex matrix that is your partner community. Individual profiling should help you see if they target a specific vertical, do they operate in a niche sector, or focus on small businesses, or only deploy in the cloud and what other vendor products make up their portfolio and proposition.

This vital exercise is something frequently forgotten but is absolutely essential to ensure you are getting the most from the market opportunity. Having partners that sell into different market segments will not only keep them happy as they will not compete too heavily with other partners but will also ensure you are spreading your marketing messages across the widest possible market opportuni