ESET, an IT security company, is empowering its partners and resellers in North America by providing access to a complete end-to-end marketing partner automation platform. The ESET Marketing Center, which is built on the Mindmatrix platform, allows partners to brand content and resources, deploy email campaigns and manage their prospect database.
After announcing a record 40% year-over-year increase in channel partner growth, in 2017, the company launched a new Partner Council, an advisory group of 10 active partners initially who would participate in quarterly calls and get a first-look at new products and technologies. ESET said it would use the feedback to refine product roadmaps, help shape the supporting content and ultimately better enable its partners’ sales teams.
Hope McCluskey, director of partner marketing and events, ESET North America, said input from the council informed the development of the ESET Marketing Center. “With the partner council, we’re always talking about better ways for our partners to market their business, and they were always looking for different tools. They had input on the Market Center, for sure, and were some of the first partners that were on the tool.”
The ESET Marketing Center, which is free for all US, Canadian and Caribbean partners purchasing directly from ESET, features an easy-to-use console, said the company in a press release. Once partners set up their profiles, all assets are automatically co-branded and tracked back to the partners allowing them to review data and manage leads. Partners retain full control and privacy of their customer and prospect database.
Since its launch in April, McCluskey described the adoption rate as “strong.” To ensure that partners continue or begin to use the ESET Marketing Center, the company is maintaining an robust onboarding effort.
“We have ongoing communication via newsletters through webinars. We’ve had a lot of customized one-on-one discussions, and in addition, we’ve put together what we’re calling ‘training bytes,’ three to four-minute tips-and-tricks videos on getting the most out of the Marketing Center.
“It’s really been about repetition,” she emphasized, “making sure that we’re talking to the partners at every event we go to, and any time we have interaction. Even our sales organization is talking to the partners about the Market Center. So, it’s not just coming from a marketing perspective.”
Partner organizations are increasingly receptive to the message, said McCluskey. ESET strives to provide a lot of education about why marketing it important, why it needs to be done consistently, and why partners need to manage their databases better.
Because more partners recognize the need to market themselves more aggressively, getting those messages across is a little easier, she acknowledged. As the business landscape changes for partners, especially managed service providers, more are taking charge of their marketing programs. “They’re a newer for breed of reseller, and rather than being reactive, they do understand the value of proactively making sure that they know how to market their business.”
The company is increasingly creating more resources for its channel partners to help them grow and succeed while enabling them to become a trusted security advisor. ESET is expanding its library of collateral, shifting away from product-centric messaging to customer-focused topics.
“That’s definitely the direction we’re heading, especially within vertical markets. So we’re talking about the pain points in healthcare, or how to tackle the challenges associated with ransomware or data privacy. We work closely with our internal researchers and make sure we have information on the latest trends and cyber threats in order to deliver timely information,” she explained
ESET is building programs to help partners promote these new assets. “Currently we’re putting together campaigns-in-a-box that will bundle activities such as drip, landing page, banners, social media et cetera.”
McCluskey noted that packaged campaigns also help ESET explain basic marketing practices to less experiences partners. With the campaigns-in-a-box, “we’re really trying to help them understand what it takes to put a marketing plan together, and to have consistency within your messaging. And then, what do you do next, how did you follow-up on leads and how do you continue the communication and the dialogue?”
McCluskey will be measuring the success of the ESET Marketing Center based on adoption rates, campaigns deployed and total number of leads. But for right now, she said, driving even more adoption is key. “When you ask ‘What do partners need to do to get the most out of the Marketing Center,’ they need to use it.