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 partner could be a game changer for any be to be company. So what if you 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 network faster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BEAB growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BE TOB growth show. Today we 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 time out of your schedule, especially since you are currently on a road trip with 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 to be talking about how to drastically improve your content channel, and so I think this is going to be a really compelling topic. But before we get into the content for today, maybe you can tell our listeners a little about what you 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, so obviously seen a lot of change. And we're an agency that helps product the Maniin content or channel marketing teams look good. Generally we work with mid size to large be tob tech companies and just nothing. An other kind of thing about us is we subscribe to serious decisions, and so do a lot of our clients. So we often use serious frameworks of strategies to help our client solve their problems. Excellent. So,...

David, I have to that's tell our listeners. But beforehand David sent me the most well thought out, comprehensive episode Primer, just incredibly detailed breakdown of what he's going to be talking about today. 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 to drastically improve your content channel. Some of our listeners know as of two years ago, I was very new to to the world of B Tob Sales and marketing. I was learning a lot from scratch. It's not it has nothing to do with my background. So can we even start a little bit with sort 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 focus our 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 part of their revenue. So they're going to have their own direct sales force and then they're going to have this indirect sales force, and these indirect sales force or channel partners, is kind of where I want to focus today. And these are basically independent businesses. These are resellers, they're integrators, their service providers. They ultimately have the relationship with the end user or the end client and they're using the vendor such as a Microsoft or a Citrix or Cisco there using the vendor solution to solve that end users problem. And one of the challenges that a channel marketer has is basically to equip the channel partner with all the content that they need in order to understand the solutions and to know how to sell it. And we'll call that empowerment content. And then the the second the second thing they have to provide is the activation content, which is basically 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 give to the buyer or give to the to the prospect. So, in terms of definitions, again we're going to work focusing here on indirect sales and based on kind of the fact that a channel marketer often has to provide empowerment content as well as activation content. I kind of joke around that channel markers often do twice the work and get half the glory. What I mean by that is there there they have to equip the channel and then ultimately win over the the end user. So you've got two people, are two groups that you have to engage and then if a sales actually made, it's often the partner that gets gets the glory and gets obviously the revenue or the commission or the profits. Yeah, the channel, the channel marker may good to get a healthy pat in the back, but it's a lot of work and not slaily all the glory that another marketer mayors. And you know, accolades don't pay the bills. You know, it's a you know, a pat on the back. 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 their brand 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 is they get so involved in their own brand and their own objectives they assume that the partner has similar objectives or similar goals in terms of selling, and the reality is when you talk to channel partners they're often working with a lot of different vendors and ultimately they're trying to solve a problem for the end user and there they may or may not use your solution or the vendor solution as part of that, as part of the way to solve the problem. We do a lot of interview is with channel partners to kind of get into their mindset understand what they're looking for, and I...

...took a verbatim ones from one of these partners who, and this is his exact quote, my job is not to 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 solutions to solve the problem and I kind of think that underscores this issue that I see sort of in the marketplace. Is when you're when you're creating content for your for your direct sales channel, it's fine for it to be kind of dominated by your brand and it's fine for it to be all about you once you get to that point in the sales cycle, but when you're selling through an indirect partner, ultimately it's their brand a care about, it's about them, it's their relationship. You're simply a tool or an ingredient or or the the technical aspect of the solution, and so I think it's worth remembering that and the implication of that is thinking about even the branding you use for your activation content. Again, we see a lot of part we see a lot of vendors basically just really easily repurposing their direct sales content. Meaning if you're, if you're, say, Microsoft, and all your stuff has Microsoft logos on it everywhere, you're going to give that to the channel partner and maybe make a little bit of room for their logo. And I'm picking on Microsoft, but I'm not. There's there's certainly not the only one that of seen do this. They can take it, they're fine. Yeah, exactly. So. Now, with Microsoft there's a lot of channel partners that have made 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're one of many options and if you if you're putting your content out to your partner and it's only about your brand and you're not really helping them promote their brand, it actually may just get discarded because other partners may be much more flexible in helping the partner promote their own...

...brand. So it's just it's something that something I don't think is thought of a lot. But having done enough interviews and asking the questions around, how would you actually like to receive this content? What sort of branding would you prefer? A lot of partners tell us 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 word document that has just the kind of the core copy. It's images and they'll put it into their own templates, or they want almost equal level of branding it. Again, it depends on the type of content and where it fits in the buying cycle, but something that I think channel markers should consider is the level of branding that they're forwarding onto their partners. That's a really interesting take on it. I mean because you know I'm I'm also thinking to two thoughts immediately spring to mind. You know, number one, you know, what would you say? How much of that is ego on the partner's side? You know, well, we want it to be our brand and you know, you know how much how much much of that is is ego on their part. And number two, you know, is there still then this place 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, is is that an asset? You know, like Oh, like, this is great that you're you know, the bulk of the marketing or the branding is on 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 a credible 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 the vendors. I think it's fine to have your brand all over that stuff because then 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. So there'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 Jin and they're trying to create awareness and they're trying to illustrate their understanding of a customer issue. To use the service decisions terms. They want to loosen the status 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 credibility of a big vendor brand doesn't matter as much. This is where you want the channel partner to be the thought leader and you want to kind of create opportunities for them to look good. Have Start having the conversation with the with the prospect and then, when the time comes to actually start solving for problems and and recommending solutions, that's where your brand can take its place. Got It. 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 made this so easy for me with this, with this breakdown primer, three levels of takeaways. Let's let's start with the basic takeaway. So, if you take 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 relatively new 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 sort of growing that out. That's fine. Talk to them and talking on a regular basis. And the types of things that you want to know is what's on your wish list. So if we could build a channel program or a channel 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 you sell? 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 a request standpoint. But other other things to ask in that conversation. What trends you 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 regulatory issues that we need to be aware of? Are you seeing even more migration to the cloud, whatever, whatever sort of topical or happening trend Wise, those are things worth uncoming. Yeah, what new use cases are you solving for? So you may have been solving for a, B and C six months ago. Is there a new use case? Is there a Danf that have started recently that you're starting to get more and more requests about. And then one other question that I love to ask, given that you have the opportunity of talking to partners, is what are some of the other vendors that you're working with? What are they doing for you? That seems to be working really well. Basically, you're looking for competitive and so here you're trying to understand if you're working with six, seven other vendors who are giving you channel kits, channel content. Is there something that's that's really kind of resonating with your team? Is there a format? Is there a style? Is there some sort of training method that really works for you guys? Is that something you'd like us to consider? Again, you don't get to have a lot of conversations with a channel partner because they're busy, they're selling, they're solving. So when you do, try and get thirty, thirty, forty minutes with them and ask wide range of questions and they're always happy to share because they like it when the vendors to pay attention to them. So make sure to kind of cover a lot of your basis and you use that input and every six months you should be be able to almost demonstrate the progress you've made through some of the inputs that you've received. Yeah, and it and I 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 like getting to know that partner, getting to know their company, and then sort of worked your way out, you know, okay, well, what else can we learn about, you know, your market place? What else can we learn about the people that hears that you're selling to? And then you almost 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 is kind of been a reoccurring theme throughout this throughout this interview. Is really paying attention 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 think it's about it's about their own company, it often really is about the partner and who they're selling to, and so having that conversation focused on those two groups I think. I think it is critical. And then after you've done some conversations, you're going to have a good gage as to WHO's giving you valuable insights and and input in who who do you trust? And what you may want to do is start creating, almost like an advisory board or an advisory group, the small group of partners that you might even validate your ideas with. So if you're going to do this big channel campaign, before you spend a ton of money and resources building this out, maybe share the outline and 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 see yourselves using this? Tell us how you'd use it. What what modifications or what suggestions do you have? It just a good way to kind of keep them engaged with your programs, because once you validate a campaign idea with someone, they're more engaged and when you actually do roll it out, either as a pilot to them or you roll it out in mass, they're more likely to use it. And of course, one massive problem that every channel marker has 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 always a huge issue, and so strongly recommend validating your kits and ideas before you spend a ton of resources building them out. Yeah, yeah, perfect. Well, David, this has been some some tremendous content. Is there anything that 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 to other thing, key points around the around some takeaways here. One is remember the buying cycle when you're building out content. We've seen a lot of content kits that typically just have late stage content, so basically late stage sale sheets and product sheets and misses, all the top of the funnel stuff where helping the partner educate the the prospect of about the problem. That's a common issue we've seen. So we would it's sit we would just advise focus on educational parts of the of the kid as well. So make sure to have enough pieces to support all all stages of the bind cycle. And then the the last point I just like to make is if you've if you're kind of more of an advanced channel marketer, one thing you may want to consider is start segmenting your your channel partners, whether it's by vertical or geography or their size or expertise, and the reason for the segmentation is you can start tailoring the the communications you sent to them. So rather than sending ten emails a court over a month to everybody on your Channel List, you can vent by doing segmentation. You may only sending two or three per month, but they're super relevant. And basically what you want to do is train your channel partners to know that anything that comes from you is excellent, is an excellent read, as a must read, and so fewer, fewer is better. But it needs to be high quality and one way to ensure high quality is relevance, and segmentation helps with that relevance. Yeah, you want it, you want to get that, that Pavlovian response, you know, when they see that you've got some content coming their way and they start salivating because they know that it's going to be good stuff. Exactly. Well, David, you certainly know your 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's listening is interested in finding out more about...

...today's topic, or if they're interested in connecting with you or learning more about get lift, what's the best way for them to go about doing that sures as a few few ways. One is if you want to check out get liftcom channel, you'll find a couple of resources that we put together a specific on on on channel marketing and interact sales. To get in touch with me, I can be reached at David at Getliftcom, easily found on Linkedin and on twitter. You can find me personally at DJP five five or the company at getlift agency. David, thanks again so much for joining us today and a huge thank you, of to your wife as well, who's taking care of your daughter while we have a chance to sort of, you know, get to share your story with our listener. So thank you so much, David. For sure. Yeah, I heard a big time, but but she's used to that, ha ha ha. Cool. Thanks all that. I appreciate it. If you're a BEDB marketer, we want to feature you on sites like Huffington Post, social media examiner and chief marketer. Every week we send out a question related to be to be marketing. We use the responses to those questions to fuel the content we write for really popular websites. To head over to sweet fish MEDIACOM backslash questions and sign up today. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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