Brand Innovators, an event series for brand marketers, recently announced its lineup for its Brand Innovators BtoB Summit in New York City, taking place on June 10. Among those selected to speak are marketing leaders from top B2B brands like General Electric, Qualcomm, CA Technologies, DuPont, and more. Featured among this list of speakers is Ingram Micro Cloud’s Global Digital Marketing Manager, Kyle Peterson.
Kyle Peterson joined Ingram Micro Cloud in January 2015 and leads efforts to increase awareness to the Cloud Marketplace across social and digital media properties with special attention to lead generation, customer retention, user experience, and more. Considering that IDC reported that online leads were 20% more likely to convert to sales than traditional leads, we thought it would be beneficial to sit down with Kyle and discuss how cloud channel partners can leverage digital and content marketing tactics to get ahead of the competition.
- What is content marketing and how do you think it plays a role in information technology?
In the B2B space, content marketing is really two pronged. The content we create needs to be explanatory of the business that we do and it also needs to be valuable to our customer’s business. This means we need to understand what information our customers are missing and how we can deliver it in a manageable and authentic way. Information technology, like any specialized field, requires a high level of expertise before one can even understand the content that is being delivered. It is our job as B2B marketers to walk the line between developing content that is unique to our customers and digestible enough for us to relate to potential new clients.
- Where do you think content marketing is heading and how does technology play a role?
Content is being consumed at a rapid pace, even in the B2B space. Companies are now being challenged to deliver valuable information all the time, in every place. Marketers need to anticipate where customers and leads are hanging out and make sure that they always have something and relevant to consume. Technology plays a key role in being able to automate and track marketing efforts across every channel. With tools like Microsoft Dynamics, we can instantly deploy integrated marketing campaigns and analyze performance in real-time to see if we need to pivot.
- Much is made about creating and distributing meaningful Can you tell us more what it means to create “meaningful” content?
Quite simply, meaningful content is information that is going to help your audience achieve their goals. In B2B, this is content that will help drive sales or optimize business practices. In our case, we are the trusted advisor for the trusted advisor.
- In 2015, digital marketing is an essential component to any business. How do value-added resellers (VARs) use digital marketing to get leads?
Digital marketing is by far one of the most effective methods of driving new business. I think it is important to first determine how you can make your business more attractive to leads. Customers are doing extensive due diligence and research before ever making contact, and VARs need to make sure that their digital properties are up to industry standard. Next, they should leverage some valuable content with calls-to-action for those leads to submit their information and get in touch with the VAR. It is also imperative to keep in mind which channel that you are communicating on as each one is vastly different. Develop a unique brand voice for your website, blog, social media, video, etc., and you will be able to gain the trust of potential customers.
- As marketing evolves, how do you define ROI in the IT/Cloud space? What matters from a content and digital marketing perspective?
Marketing is always one of the biggest cost centers for a business, and it is important to justify or subsidize the spending that we do. Firstly, we must look at what we are trying to achieve and how we will do it. After that, we assess if there are any monetization opportunities like a co-op campaign or product integration with one of our partners. If we can break even, we move forward. If it looks like the marketing activity is going to cost money, then we need to use available technology to “close the loop” and quantify the ROI at the end of the campaign. Sometimes this is a bit of trial and error, but with so much data readily available it is easy to understand what works and what doesn’t.
- How does Ingram Micro Cloud leverage digital marketing to help VARs achieve their goals?
Two words: Cloud Marketplace. Ingram Micro Cloud has developed a stellar platform where VARs and MSPs can manage their entire business from a single online portal. Not only can they provision, manage, and deploy cloud solutions at the click-of-a-button, but customers can request and order the products that they need in real-time. This goes back to the customer wanting to shop around online and do their own due diligence. Ingram Micro Cloud has delivered a custom solution for VARs and MSPs to help them save time, money, and differentiate themselves from the competition.
You can also connect with Kyle on Twitter: @KyleGPeterson.