Channel Marketer Report


Star2Star Implements Zift Platform to Support Marketing-Oriented Partners

Star2Star, a provider of full spectrum communications solutions, is enabling its increasingly marketing-aware partners with a comprehensive set of user-friendly channel marketing and management tools.

In addition to providing partners with the capability to optimize their own marketing activities, the new solutions also enable the Star2Star marketing team to expand the level of channel support it offers.

As the market for communications technology becomes more saturated, said Star2Star CMO David Portnowitz, “partners are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from the competition through marketing. We needed a solution that could scale to gives our partners an avenue to do some marketing on their own because our partners are getting more and more marketing savvy.”

But the company also needed a solution that could enable its own marketing team to provide more support for other partners. For many partners, “social media, SEM, SEO, and PPC are still overwhelming,” he added. “So, we’re trying to take that off their plate and provide those services whenever we can.”

In May, Star2Star announced its implementation of channel marketing and management technology by Zift Solutions. Its partners now have access to Zift’s through-partner marketing automation solution, campaign marketplace, and expert services program.

David Portnowitz, CMO, Star2Star

“It’s a pretty significant investment,” said Portnowitz. “It’s something we feel very strongly that our partner community wanted and is taking advantage of. They’re able to view all their MDF and co-op funds. And they’re able to co-brand documents themselves and build multi-touch campaigns,” he added.

The new solutions are enabling the Star2Star marketing team to provide the company’s 400-plus channel partners with more support as well.  “Our partners use us like an agency, which we see as a huge differentiator for Star2Star,” said Portnowitz. “We offer everything from web content, to event planning, to analysts, to video creation, basically social media creation, content creation, and graphic designs. We also help partners develop multi-touch campaigns and customize marketing plans.

“So it really made sense for us to find a back-end system that would give us the flexibility and the tools needed to support a business of our size. The Zift solution gave us the ability to scale our marketing services in a way that we couldn’t do before,” he added.

Partner adoption has exceeded expectation, said Portnowitz. With Zift, the company hosted educational webinars and training sessions to introduce partners to the platform and staff members were assigned to contact partners and on-board them. “It’s been exciting for us to see partners in there and using the platform,” he said.

Portnowitz will monitor a variety of data points to measure Star2Star’s return on investment in the Zift implementation. “Are the partners that are using the platform generating more revenue? Are they getting more eyeballs? More brand awareness? Are they generating more leads that are turning into eventual customers? These are the things that we’ll be looking at specifically,” he said.