The channel has reached out to vendors for digital marketing support, and Dell has shared some of the progress it has made on that front.
The coronavirus pandemic has shed light on many areas and sparked reactions around the world as the channel and customers have moved to plug the gaps and react to accelerating changes.
One of the areas that has consistently been highlighted as an area of concern is digital marketing, and many in the channel fall short in that area. With events canceled, restrictions preventing customer visits, and vendors taking most of the virtual marketing, many in the channel have been left struggling to make a presentation to prospects.
Dell Technologies is a provider that has reacted to the demand for digital marketing support. Speaking in a partner update, its senior vice president of global channels, Cheryl Cook, revealed that after financial aid, the support most demanded by Dell’s partners during Covid-19 had been assistance with digital marketing.
In response, Dell stepped up its activities in that area and has seen strong buy-in from partners.
“We get a lot of feedback from our partners. First, they were only concerned with business continuity and financial viability, and I think that was resolved, but the number two most requested area for help and assistance was digital marketing and virtual selling, ”she said.
“Their sales forces didn’t understand how to navigate [the world of digital marketing], so we energized and published digital marketing guides, virtual sales toolkits, and social sales guides, and hosted webinars with our chief marketing officer and our marketing executives. We put in place a series of resources, ”she added.
Cook said that one of the successful examples of adapting to changing circumstances was the executive information program, which went from a physical event, for which partners and their clients entered the campus and spent time in the labs, to an event in line.
“We have taken that show completely virtual and I think it has been an opportunity for us to reach a wider audience,” she said.
“Customer satisfaction scores and partner satisfaction scores are equal to or better than when we were in person. It’s incredibly effective in helping to keep the business going, so we’ve done a variety of those things that we’ve made available to our partners to help them, “she added.
Dell is not alone in these actions. Many providers have recognized the need for support and have reacted by increasing online resources.
Last month, storage player Spectra Logic launched an enhanced partner program with a heavy emphasis on increasing digital marketing support.
Betsy Doughty, vice president of corporate marketing at Spectra Logic, said the world had been changing for a while, but the pandemic had accelerated things.
“We know that 80% of a client’s research happens before they even speak to a person in a company. So if our channel doesn’t provide the right tools and information, and we don’t rank high in Google searches, we won’t even catch them, “she said.
“But once we capture them, what are we doing to make sure we get them involved and finally they want to have that face-to-face conversation?”