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Asigra Enhances Partner Program To Optimize Marketing And Sales Efforts

More buyers are utilizing search engines, social media and other research strategies to learn about solutions. Due to these behaviors, manufacturers must work harder to ensure their partners have the most effective collateral and marketing resources to go to market.

Asigra, a provider of enterprise cloud backup, recovery and restore software, recently unveiled multiple enhancements to its Hybrid Partner Program to improve partners’ sales and marketing performance.

“We wanted to be able to help them develop marketing plans and accelerate their overall go-to-market strategies,” Tracy Staniland, Senior Director of Corporate Marketing for Asigra, told Channel Marketer Report. “We want to have a business partnership with our partners, from a sales, marketing and technology perspective. It’s really about the value beyond software that we deliver to partners.”

Asigra implemented Zift Solutions, a content syndication and marketing automation platform, as well as turnkey cloud backup and recovery demand generation campaigns. As a result, partners can customize and co-brand assets created by Asigra’s marketing team, as well as create and schedule lead nurturing campaigns.

To ensure partners are using content effectively, Asigra “acts as their virtual marketing team,” Staniland said. “We do monthly calls with partners to help them develop marketing plans and templates, which are rolled out via automated marketing campaigns.” As a result, partners receive constant consultation on a variety of disciplines. A select few partners also engaged with Channel Maven Consulting leveraging their One-2-One Partner Support program. These partners got a deeper dive into how to optimize their web site and social media activities, leading to more prospect engagement.

Asigra also holds monthly webinars to better educate partners. “These webinars are either product focused or sales and marketing focused,” Staniland said. “We’re always looking to provide them with resources they can use in their day to day operations that can help them from a sales and marketing perspective.”

Making Education A Priority
Through an ongoing relationship with Channel Maven Consulting, Asigra is consistently training and educating partners on inbound marketing strategies, such as SEO and social media.

Channel Maven has experience working with companies similar to our partners, who tend to be technologists first,” Staniland explained. “These partners may not always have a marketing team, or the capacity internally to do marketing. We wanted to provide them turnkey support to teach them how to leverage content effectively.”

While educating partners may seem like a daunting process, it is more beneficial to overall sales in the long-term, explained Heather K. Margolis, Founder and President of Channel Maven Consulting. “It’s much more scalable and you can cover far more ground if you’re actually empowering your partners to do marketing activities,” she said. “Some companies just need the education, support and resources to help them become marketers.”

For example, BUMI (Backup My Info!) has been an Asigra partner since its inception in 2002. Touting only a small team to plan and execute campaigns, as well as track results, BUMI’s marketing resources “are as stretched as they could go,” according to Kendra Webb-Scott, Marketing Manager at BUMI. “Asigra helps us by providing additional knowledge and advice based on their experiences.”

With Channel Maven Consulting, Asigra offered BUMI extensive help with social media and provided best practices to improve its company newsletter. Channel Maven educated BUMI via weekly calls to optimize web site SEO and email campaigns, Webb-Scott added.

Channel Maven also helped BUMI create a more concise LinkedIn strategy by advising employees on which groups to join on the social network. Moreover, the consultancy recommended timely and relevant articles to post, which helped fuel BUMI’s thought leadership positioning.

Integrating Education Into On-Boarding
Training is essential in partners’ ability to tackle sales and marketing opportunities. With a new on-boarding process in tow, Asigra helps new partners accelerate their time to market, helping them generate revenue faster and become educated on best practices in a more time efficient manner.

Throughout a 90-day process, new partners receive in-depth education on sales, products, and marketing plan development. Organizations also are trained on how to operate the Zift Solutions platform to access and customize resources, and plan campaigns, according to Staniland.

“We try to help them map out their marketing activities so that when they hit 90 day mark within the on-boarding process, they’re already starting to go to market,” Staniland explained. For example, partners can begin to introduce their new service offerings from Asigra to their existing customer and prospect databases, increasing likelihood that they’ll have new opportunities in their pipeline once on-boarding is complete, she added.

“One of the most valuable things manufacturers can provide to their partners is education on how to do marketing, whether it’s a blog, webinar or article,” Margolis reported. “While your partners may really appreciate some of the resources, making sure they know how to use them and have the bandwidth to use the resources. You have to take baby steps so you don’t overwhelm your partners.”

Putting Content Into Focus
Industry analysts and benchmark research are reaffirming content’s role in buyer decision-making, and how overall education on an industry pain point or trend can reposition a vendor or solution provider as a thought leader.

“Organizations really need to make sure they have content their prospects want to download, read and somehow absorb, and are willing to give their contact information in return for it,” Margolis advised. But for some organizations, she added, time simply cannot be allotted for content strategizing, writing and designing.

To ensure optimal content is generated and shared among partners, Asigra leverages feedback strategies, such as online surveys, social media and partner events. As a result, the company can pinpoint the demand for specific content forms, such as infographics, white papers and videos, and share collateral that is most successful for sales and marketing efforts.

“Asigra has been a big help in providing a lot of useful content that effectively supplements our own,” Webb-Scott added. “They have created different collateral across industries so we can lean on them to provide additional resources to fuel our sales and marketing efforts.”

Creating A Channel Community
Developing a network of connected and engaged partners is essential to channel loyalty. The Asigra Cloud Backup Partner Summit allows this connection and communication to take place, covering sales and marketing best practices, among other key topics.

Beyond the annual summit, Asigra wanted to continue the dialogue between partners worldwide. With its new online partner forum, organizations can have conversations on a variety of topics behind a password-protected area.

“Peer-to-peer networking is priceless to our partners,” Staniland said. “The fact that they can interact with other executives on how they have resolved challenges and dealt with certain aspects of their business is something they appreciate. The online forum allows our partners to continue those conversations online throughout the year and share competitive and product insights.

Due to the constant communication between Asigra and its partner ecosystem, the company’s program is always evolving. By consistently interviewing partners and leveraging feedback for potential enhancements, partner programs are “Not once and done,” Staniland advised. “Companies need to look to their partner community and ask them for feedback, whether in survey, face to face, or in a partner advisory council, to determine whether marketing programs and materials are working.”



About Alicia Fiorletta

Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.

View all posts by Alicia Fiorletta →

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