512: 3 Ways to Drastically Improve Your Content Channel w/ David Pereira

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to David Pereira, President of GET LIFT Agency.

A relationship with the right referral partnercould be a game changer for any be to be company. So what ifyou could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast,invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral networkfaster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to theBEAB growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosivegrowth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you'vecome to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let'sget into the show. Welcome back to the BE TOB growth show. Todaywe are joined by David Pereira. David is the president of get lift agency. David, welcome to the show. Hey, thanks very much, Jonathan. I'm happy to be here right well. I really appreciate you taking some timeout of your schedule, especially since you are currently on a road tripwith your wife and child. So an extra special thanks for taking some time. I'm really glad that we're able to connect today and we're actually going tobe talking about how to drastically improve your content channel, and so I thinkthis is going to be a really compelling topic. But before we get intothe content for today, maybe you can tell our listeners a little about whatyou and the and the GETLIFT agency team are up to these days. Sure. So, WE'RE A B TOB agency. We're based in Toronto and Austin.I've been around for sixteen years, since two thousand and one, soobviously seen a lot of change. And we're an agency that helps product theManiin content or channel marketing teams look good. Generally we work with mid size tolarge be tob tech companies and just nothing. An other kind of thingabout us is we subscribe to serious decisions, and so do a lot of ourclients. So we often use serious frameworks of strategies to help our clientsolve their problems. Excellent. So,...

David, I have to that's tellour listeners. But beforehand David sent me the most well thought out, comprehensiveepisode Primer, just incredibly detailed breakdown of what he's going to be talking abouttoday. It's making my job so, so very easy. So, David, that's in. That's incredible and, as we're talking today about how todrastically improve your content channel. Some of our listeners know as of two yearsago, I was very new to to the world of B Tob Sales andmarketing. I was learning a lot from scratch. It's not it has nothingto do with my background. So can we even start a little bit withsort of defining what we're talking about here, with the idea of content channel marketing? Yeah, sure. So basically where I like to kind of focusour conversation is with, more so the indirect channel partners or interact sales.So a lot of large tech companies, think of the Microsoft, CISCO'S CITRIX, all these large companies, they rely on channel partners as a big partof their revenue. So they're going to have their own direct sales force andthen they're going to have this indirect sales force, and these indirect sales forceor channel partners, is kind of where I want to focus today. Andthese are basically independent businesses. These are resellers, they're integrators, their serviceproviders. They ultimately have the relationship with the end user or the end clientand they're using the vendor such as a Microsoft or a Citrix or Cisco thereusing the vendor solution to solve that end users problem. And one of thechallenges that a channel marketer has is basically to equip the channel partner with allthe content that they need in order to understand the solutions and to know howto sell it. And we'll call that empowerment content. And then the thesecond the second thing they have to provide is the activation content, which isbasically the content which you would think of...

...as sort of emails, white papers, in for graphics, the Co branded stuff that the channel partner would giveto the buyer or give to the to the prospect. So, in termsof definitions, again we're going to work focusing here on indirect sales and basedon kind of the fact that a channel marketer often has to provide empowerment contentas well as activation content. I kind of joke around that channel markers oftendo twice the work and get half the glory. What I mean by thatis there there they have to equip the channel and then ultimately win over thethe end user. So you've got two people, are two groups that youhave to engage and then if a sales actually made, it's often the partnerthat gets gets the glory and gets obviously the revenue or the commission or theprofits. Yeah, the channel, the channel marker may good to get ahealthy pat in the back, but it's a lot of work and not slailyall the glory that another marketer mayors. And you know, accolades don't paythe bills. You know, it's a you know, a pat on theback. It may feel good at the time but yeah, I see said. All Right, so you've got this idea channel marketers twice the work,half the glory they're making. They're making two sales. But you know,you also were making a point offline that about the the partners are selling theirbrand and not yours. So let's talk about that a little bit. Yes, I think a mistake that a lot of a lot of companies make isthey get so involved in their own brand and their own objectives they assume thatthe partner has similar objectives or similar goals in terms of selling, and thereality is when you talk to channel partners they're often working with a lot ofdifferent vendors and ultimately they're trying to solve a problem for the end user andthere they may or may not use your solution or the vendor solution as partof that, as part of the way to solve the problem. We doa lot of interview is with channel partners to kind of get into their mindsetunderstand what they're looking for, and I...

...took a verbatim ones from one ofthese partners who, and this is his exact quote, my job is notto promote your brand. I don't think of my company as simply your reseller. My company solves problems for our clients. We just happen to use your solutionsto solve the problem and I kind of think that underscores this issue thatI see sort of in the marketplace. Is when you're when you're creating contentfor your for your direct sales channel, it's fine for it to be kindof dominated by your brand and it's fine for it to be all about youonce you get to that point in the sales cycle, but when you're sellingthrough an indirect partner, ultimately it's their brand a care about, it's aboutthem, it's their relationship. You're simply a tool or an ingredient or orthe the technical aspect of the solution, and so I think it's worth rememberingthat and the implication of that is thinking about even the branding you use foryour activation content. Again, we see a lot of part we see alot of vendors basically just really easily repurposing their direct sales content. Meaning ifyou're, if you're, say, Microsoft, and all your stuff has Microsoft logoson it everywhere, you're going to give that to the channel partner andmaybe make a little bit of room for their logo. And I'm picking onMicrosoft, but I'm not. There's there's certainly not the only one that ofseen do this. They can take it, they're fine. Yeah, exactly.So. Now, with Microsoft there's a lot of channel partners that havemade a lot of money off the backs of Microsoft by being dedicated Microsoft resellers. But there's a lot of there's a lot of vendors out there where you'reone of many options and if you if you're putting your content out to yourpartner and it's only about your brand and you're not really helping them promote theirbrand, it actually may just get discarded because other partners may be much moreflexible in helping the partner promote their own...

...brand. So it's just it's somethingthat something I don't think is thought of a lot. But having done enoughinterviews and asking the questions around, how would you actually like to receive thiscontent? What sort of branding would you prefer? A lot of partners tellus when they have a certain level of sophistication and can do their own marketing, a lot of partners have told us they would actually prefer a raw worddocument that has just the kind of the core copy. It's images and they'llput it into their own templates, or they want almost equal level of brandingit. Again, it depends on the type of content and where it fitsin the buying cycle, but something that I think channel markers should consider isthe level of branding that they're forwarding onto their partners. That's a really interestingtake on it. I mean because you know I'm I'm also thinking to twothoughts immediately spring to mind. You know, number one, you know, whatwould you say? How much of that is ego on the partner's side? You know, well, we want it to be our brand and youknow, you know how much how much much of that is is ego ontheir part. And number two, you know, is there still then thisplace for vendors who have established themselves as a powerhouse, as a reliable company. As as you know, they've built market trust and you know, isis that an asset? You know, like Oh, like, this isgreat that you're you know, the bulk of the marketing or the branding ison them, because this is a company people already know and like and trust. Yeah, great question. So here's the way I think about that.I think the companies that have built their built a market share, have acredible product out there when you're doing mid and late funnel type of content,so more of the proof points around the solution and the proof points around thevendors. I think it's fine to have your brand all over that stuff becausethen you're then your channel partner can turn around to their prospect and say,yeah, we're using a Microsoft product here, you have nothing to worry about,or we're using Cisco or Citrix,...

...a Della, whoever right. Sothere's plenty of room for that, I think, lower in the funnel,but top of the funnel, where the partners trying to do the man Jinand they're trying to create awareness and they're trying to illustrate their understanding of acustomer issue. To use the service decisions terms. They want to loosen thestatus quot they basically want to provoke and get people thinking about, Hey,I actually might have an issue here that requires attention. That's where the credibilityof a big vendor brand doesn't matter as much. This is where you wantthe channel partner to be the thought leader and you want to kind of createopportunities for them to look good. Have Start having the conversation with the withthe prospect and then, when the time comes to actually start solving for problemsand and recommending solutions, that's where your brand can take its place. GotIt. Got It. That makes a lot of sense. So, Dave, let's let's talk about takeaways. Then and again, you've just you've madethis so easy for me with this, with this breakdown primer, three levelsof takeaways. Let's let's start with the basic takeaway. So, if youtake away nothing else from today's episode, what should our listeners take away?Sure so, if if you are just starting a channel program or your relativelynew to it, the first thing I would advise is regularly interview channel partners. And so if you have a small group of partners and you're just sortof growing that out. That's fine. Talk to them and talking on aregular basis. And the types of things that you want to know is what'son your wish list. So if we could build a channel program or achannel Kit for you to solve for this problem, what would be in it? What would you would you use a powerpoint presentation? Is that how yousell? Is that how you talk to your client? Do you need salesheets? Do you need social social post? What would be helpful to you?What's in your wish list? So that's from a that's almost from like arequest standpoint. But other other things to ask in that conversation. What trendsyou see in the last six months?...

So as you're talking to your prospects, as there been any big change in the market? Is there any regulatoryissues that we need to be aware of? Are you seeing even more migration tothe cloud, whatever, whatever sort of topical or happening trend Wise,those are things worth uncoming. Yeah, what new use cases are you solvingfor? So you may have been solving for a, B and C sixmonths ago. Is there a new use case? Is there a Danf thathave started recently that you're starting to get more and more requests about. Andthen one other question that I love to ask, given that you have theopportunity of talking to partners, is what are some of the other vendors thatyou're working with? What are they doing for you? That seems to beworking really well. Basically, you're looking for competitive and so here you're tryingto understand if you're working with six, seven other vendors who are giving youchannel kits, channel content. Is there something that's that's really kind of resonatingwith your team? Is there a format? Is there a style? Is theresome sort of training method that really works for you guys? Is thatsomething you'd like us to consider? Again, you don't get to have a lotof conversations with a channel partner because they're busy, they're selling, they'resolving. So when you do, try and get thirty, thirty, fortyminutes with them and ask wide range of questions and they're always happy to sharebecause they like it when the vendors to pay attention to them. So makesure to kind of cover a lot of your basis and you use that inputand every six months you should be be able to almost demonstrate the progress you'vemade through some of the inputs that you've received. Yeah, and it andI like to how it. You know, when you're talking about talk to them. You started off with the focus on getting to it almost felt likegetting to know that partner, getting to know their company, and then sortof worked your way out, you know, okay, well, what else canwe learn about, you know, your market place? What else canwe learn about the people that hears that you're selling to? And then youalmost brought it back to the company again.

You know, well, okay,what methods work best for you? What are you currently working on?So, I mean it definitely felt very partner centric, which I think iskind of been a reoccurring theme throughout this throughout this interview. Is really payingattention to them, and that's part of that. Is the conversation exactly right. It really is all about them. As much as channel markers often thinkit's about it's about their own company, it often really is about the partnerand who they're selling to, and so having that conversation focused on those twogroups I think. I think it is critical. And then after you've donesome conversations, you're going to have a good gage as to WHO's giving youvaluable insights and and input in who who do you trust? And what youmay want to do is start creating, almost like an advisory board or anadvisory group, the small group of partners that you might even validate your ideaswith. So if you're going to do this big channel campaign, before youspend a ton of money and resources building this out, maybe share the outlineand the objectives with this partners and say, is this something you would use?Does this solve a problem for you? Could you so? Could you seeyourselves using this? Tell us how you'd use it. What what modificationsor what suggestions do you have? It just a good way to kind ofkeep them engaged with your programs, because once you validate a campaign idea withsomeone, they're more engaged and when you actually do roll it out, eitheras a pilot to them or you roll it out in mass, they're morelikely to use it. And of course, one massive problem that every channel markerhas is engagement with their partners. They produce a ton of content,they produce a ton of resources and getting the partners to use it is alwaysa huge issue, and so strongly recommend validating your kits and ideas before youspend a ton of resources building them out. Yeah, yeah, perfect. Well, David, this has been some some tremendous content. Is there anythingthat we didn't get a chance to touch on before I let you go today? Just a couple other points if if...

...you're beyond kind of the basics toother thing, key points around the around some takeaways here. One is rememberthe buying cycle when you're building out content. We've seen a lot of content kitsthat typically just have late stage content, so basically late stage sale sheets andproduct sheets and misses, all the top of the funnel stuff where helpingthe partner educate the the prospect of about the problem. That's a common issuewe've seen. So we would it's sit we would just advise focus on educationalparts of the of the kid as well. So make sure to have enough piecesto support all all stages of the bind cycle. And then the thelast point I just like to make is if you've if you're kind of moreof an advanced channel marketer, one thing you may want to consider is startsegmenting your your channel partners, whether it's by vertical or geography or their sizeor expertise, and the reason for the segmentation is you can start tailoring thethe communications you sent to them. So rather than sending ten emails a courtover a month to everybody on your Channel List, you can vent by doingsegmentation. You may only sending two or three per month, but they're superrelevant. And basically what you want to do is train your channel partners toknow that anything that comes from you is excellent, is an excellent read,as a must read, and so fewer, fewer is better. But it needsto be high quality and one way to ensure high quality is relevance,and segmentation helps with that relevance. Yeah, you want it, you want toget that, that Pavlovian response, you know, when they see thatyou've got some content coming their way and they start salivating because they know thatit's going to be good stuff. Exactly. Well, David, you certainly knowyour stuff, forward and back. Where's this has been some tremendous content. We really do appreciate you taking time at your schedule. If anyone that'slistening is interested in finding out more about...

...today's topic, or if they're interestedin connecting with you or learning more about get lift, what's the best wayfor them to go about doing that sures as a few few ways. Oneis if you want to check out get liftcom channel, you'll find a coupleof resources that we put together a specific on on on channel marketing and interactsales. To get in touch with me, I can be reached at David atGetliftcom, easily found on Linkedin and on twitter. You can find mepersonally at DJP five five or the company at getlift agency. David, thanksagain so much for joining us today and a huge thank you, of toyour wife as well, who's taking care of your daughter while we have achance to sort of, you know, get to share your story with ourlistener. So thank you so much, David. For sure. Yeah,I heard a big time, but but she's used to that, ha haha. Cool. Thanks all that. I appreciate it. If you're aBEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like Huffington Post, socialmedia examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related tobe to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel thecontent we write for really popular websites. To head over to sweet fish MEDIACOMbackslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Untilnext time,.

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