Channel Marketer Report


ChannelChat: How Blancco’s Matt Sturges Is Boosting Partner Engagement with Through-Channel Marketing Automation Technology

Matt Sturges, VP of North America and Global Channel Sales, Blancco Technology Group

In March, Zift Solutions announced that Blancco Technology Group was using Zift Channel as a Service to support partners and streamline its robust, global channel program.

In a press release, Matt Sturges, VP of North America and Global Channel Sales at Blancco Technology Group, said “With Zift Solutions, Blancco can deliver a world-class partner experience to our VARs and distributors working around the world — and have closed-loop visibility to measure results. Zift Solutions delivered the technology, best practices and support to build our channel program with confidence, along with superior partner-first services to ensure success from the start.”

In a conversation with CMR, Sturges talked more about enhancing his channel marketing stack to support his world-wide partner organization.

CMR — What were some of the key reasons why Blannco decided to invest in Zift Channel as a Service solution, especially the Through-Channel Marketing Automation (TPMA) capabilities?

Matt Sturges — Our goal is to enable partners to both generate and nurture their own leads/drive own pipeline with our support. In addition, we want to offer our more ‘boutique’ partners the ability to do more marketing activities without the need for an extensive marketing team. We like how the Zift Solution acts as an extension of the Blancco marketing engine.

Although the Blancco solution set is very horizontal and applicable to many markets, our primary partner base is focused in the MSP and security space so we wanted to bring in a solution that could provide us with more lead generation support for these types of partners.

Through Zift Solutions’ marketing automation and delivery, we can really help drive the educational message for our partners about Blancco, specifically, why their customers need secure erasure and how we can be a part of their overall security offering.

CMR — As you considered your investment in TPMA, what were some of the most important features requested by your partners, or that you believed your partners wanted?

Matt Sturges –– We spent the last year surveying our global partnerbase how we could assist them in their selling efforts.  Zift’s capabilities around website syndication (showcase pages), pre-canned messaging for campaigns, marketing and sales enablement content and the ability to personalize it, tracking and analytics stood out.

Our goal is to streamline the messaging and efforts for our partner ecosystem to ensure a seamless experience when launching campaigns around secure data erasure and santization.

CMR — Partner engagement in vendor-driven marketing activities is generally very low. Do you have an expectation that many more partners will participate in your through-channel marketing programs?

Matt Sturges — Definitely!  Our expectation is that the Zift Solutions will allow Blancco to increase the amount of communication we have with our partners, as well as give them the materials to easily drive their own campaigns and marketing activities. The most important thing is giving them access to a simpler way of communicating to their clients that make sense and resonates to our ultimate goal – lead generation.

CMR — As a global company, I expect that a big challenge is providing partners around the world with marketing materials and messages that resonate with their local customers. Is that a challenge that Zift Solution will help you address? In any regions in particular?

Zift solutionsMatt Sturges — Yes. Especially in EMEA where we are dealing with a number of different languages and go-to-market strategies. The platform allows our partners to take email messaging we have created in English and then localize them before sending them out which is a huge improvement on our previous processes.

CMR — What are some of the KPIs that you will be measuring to determine the success of your TPMA capabilities?

Matt Sturges — Increased lead generation, larger overall deal size, and stronger partnerships with ecosystem.

CMR — It’s early, for sure, but what has been the initial reaction from the partner community to your roll-out of TPMA capabilities? Any signs that you are on the right track?

Matt Sturges — Yes, overall they are very impressed. We have a world-class channel program and this is the right investment at the right time. The ability to localize our content for use by our partners is a great offering and one that has been a common request. The concept of predesigned messaging from the specialist and a tool to help them drive leads is exactly what they have been asking for. We’re very excited about our engagement with Zift Solutions and our ability to offer a strong marketing offering for our partners that they’ll use to help us drive demand and lead generation.