When Marisol Buchanan, CEO of Premikati, a business consulting and services company, signed up for an audit of her company’s Web digital marketing presence, the results weren’t surprising. Embarrassing maybe. But not unexpected. Like many small channel partners, Premikati didn’t have many resources to boost its digital profile. And the company was not taking advantage of the many affordable — if not free — opportunities that would make it much easier for clients and prospects to find them on the Web.
Buchanan suspected that Premikati was keeping a very-low digital profile. But with the results of the audit, a no-cost partner program benefit offered by SAP, the business applications and technology provider, she had the information she needed to get funds to boost the company’s marketing activity.
With a new Executive Vice President of Marketing, Michael Buczynski, Premikati began to implement the recommendations that resulted from the SAP audit. During an SAP Partner Live webcast and in a call with CMR, Buczynski, shared how the free digital audit and participation in SAP’s Lead Master Program, helped Premikati dramatically elevate its profile.
First things first, SAP helped Premikati develop a concise mission statement, that both sales and marketing would share across all digital assets. Then with a greater focus on social sharing, especially on LinkedIn, the company saw quick gains in traffic, sales and pipeline.
In the first year, said Buczynski, Premikati boosted the number of LinkedIn followers 1,100%. Overall engagement in social media skyrocketed 800%. Website visits climbed 1,200%. And click-through rates, said Buczynski, were through the roof.
Prior to taking advantage of SAP’s free digital audit and participation in its Lead Master program, Premikati’s lead generation capabilities were not unlike many small partner companies. What many partners don’t fully understand, Global Channel Marketing Director at SAP Hy Pailakian told CMR, is that their digital presence “should be something that is generating leads for you, or at least moving those leads that you’ve already generated forward to the next phase of the customer journey.”
For many partners, the fixes that will boost a digital presence are easy to implement and affordable. “There’s a ton of low hanging fruit,” he said. “Many partners don’t have meta tag titles or descriptions on their sites. Or poorly build websites have SEO crushing load times. In one instance, a well-intended partner was featuring massive, very high-quality images on its website thinking it was a best practice. When smaller versions of the images replaced the larger one, the website’s load time dropped dramatically, resulting in higher search rankings.”
Level one audits are intended to make sure partners are doing “the basics better,” said Pailakian. The audits require partners to answer 57 yes-or-no questions. After a review of the responses by SAP, partners are sent a report that begins with a review of their results. Partners may elect to take a deeper dive into the report – it can run 30 pages – to learn why the questions and their responses are important.
The report provides insights into the partners’ search engine optimization status, the structure of its website, and usage of social media. The latter tends to be the greatest weakness, said Pailakian. “Sadly, a lot of partners just are not paying attention enough to their social media presence. Sometimes they don’t even have social media presence. It’s absolutely a crucial part of the customer journey to have presence on social media.”
At Premikati, Buczynski is amplifying the benefits achieved through the initial digital audit by implementing practices gleaned from SAP’s Lead Masters program. Available for a small charge that does qualify for MDF reimbursement, the customized program is designed to teach partners how to become their own lead generation engine. Focusing on little or no cost activities, Lead Master includes a fully customizable SAP delivered 8-part live webinar series, and 12 month-post-delivery marketing support and consulting.
The free digital audit and the low-cost Lead Masters program reflect the significant investment SAP is making in its partners, said Pailakian.
While Premikati boosted its digital audit score relatively quickly, Buczynski said partners need to strive for steady improvement over time. “We didn’t go from a score of 14 to a 95 in a month,” he said. “It takes a while to build a plan, do it consistently and develop your processes. But you do see the fruits of your labor.”