Demand continues to be the primary challenge distributors and their partners face. How can you drive demand and generate demand while protecting brand identity? Doing this across large numbers of partners can be really, really hard. As the ecosystem for the channel continues to change, for example with programs like Amazon Business, big multinational companies have created huge distributor networks that work across massive reseller networks. But with this scale comes challenges, especially for the small and mid-sized reseller. As a result, big brands are trying to find new ways to deliver value and drive success.
In this post we’d like to explore how one of our partners, AscendX Digital, is helping to overcome this problem and provide a unique channel model for channel marketing services to B2B brands like HP and TD Synnex.
In the tech space, small and medium sized (SMB) resellers make up 90% of the tech channel market, and they’ve traditionally been underserved by big corporate brands. This has been driven by the fact that smaller resellers don’t often have the marketing resources required to work with one big brand, let alone multiple brands or with multiple marketing programs. To solve this problem, AscendX created a multi-vendor model that enables corporate brands, distributors, and resellers to automate their channel activities. This drives demand and protects the brand.
How does this work and what’s the process for AscendX Digital and its customers?
Through AscendX’s discussions with big brands, it was apparent that these companies struggle to reach the SMB market because of the sheer volume of resellers across the country. The question: how could they add value and differentiate when distribution to these SMB resellers was a big challenge? Distributors aggregate inventory, provide financing, logistics and more, but they tend to lag on the marketing side. This has been disrupted even more with things like Amazon Business. As a result, AscendX created a differentiated service model that helps big brands expand their marketing reach through distributors to thousands of resellers. They help SMB resellers to leverage the marketing investments those big brands have made, and to elevate their own digital presence on their websites and through social media – without the need for any in-house marketing resources.
SMB resellers have on average 8-10 employees (and can go up to 200). They’re small. By connecting the brands and distributors to the resellers through an improved model, the distributor can bring a suite of corporate brands to the resellers, so they have one place to go for the content and for the marketing programs. This eliminates the need to manage multiple marketing programs and demand gen programs. Essentially offering a set-it and forget-it model.
Impartner’s TCMA solution plays a critical role in delivering this service. Many SMBs don’t even have some of the basic social channels that are important to drive demand and sales. Some may only have a website. There’s no e-commerce store, there’s no Twitter feed, and they may or may not be on LinkedIn. By using Impartner, AscendX can offer customers a single centralized location to learn about the program, to embed a single set of code on their sites, and to opt in to participate – and they never have to come back again. The model and platform takes the content from the big corporate brands, syndicates it not only on the reseller websites, but through social channels, which delivers a level of demand they never would have achieved without it.
This results in the SMB resellers getting thousands of impressions and hundreds of new customers onto their websites monthly. And allows for the automation of content on social channels and follower growth (even if they didn’t have these channels previously). In 2020, 80% of the digital customer journey was online and half of Google searches were for local businesses. In the B2B tech space, customers are looking for brand information online and are looking for local resellers to fulfill those needs. This new approach helps the big brands, the distributors and the smaller resellers capitalize on that need. But the journey must be seamless for the reseller. That’s where Impartner delivers immense value.
Resellers don’t have the time or bandwidth to watch for emails or upload content. Impartner helps to automate that entire process, so it’s all done in the background. It’s refreshed, it’s current, and it’s compliant (which is a concern for big brands today). Resellers can finally be part of the digital customer journey without requiring major resources.
How are distributors and resellers reacting to this model?
Distributors are really at the center of this approach. It allows them to offer something new to the resellers. A lot of resellers buy from more than one distributor, and these distributors have teams of people that are champions for a lot of the brands and the resellers. This connective tissue helps drive that process and identify different trends or regions that might be worth targeting. Furthermore, the ability to take corporate brand content (like case studies for example) and push those out to thousands of resellers amplifies the entire demand process and drives credibility for the reseller. Resellers want this marketing support, but they don’t want it siloed through 10 different programs. They want an automated and centralized approach. Distribution can serve as the aggregator for all of that, making sure it resonates with resellers and that it’s efficient.
Interested in hearing the entire discussion with AscendX? Check out the Lessons from the Edge podinar here. Or learn more about Impartner TCMA here.