In 2013 Marketing communications collateral that builds product awareness for an audience of channel partners must be redesigned. While product comparisons may still provide useful topics, we think that the actual basis of comparison presented by product awareness collateral needs a renovation.
For example, no one has an interest in a comparison of product features outside of the context of a discussion of solutions. Therefore, we think it makes sense for product awareness collateral to present the most popular solutions that can make use of a specific product, or, for that matter, its competitors. Certainly it is safe to present important features within the context of a presentation of popular solutions. Further, a product to product comparison based upon features within a success story, case study, or other solution document can be useful.
But some mention, as well, should be made in the product awareness document as to why cited solutions have attracted market popularity. Invariably, this type of mention will include some reference to broad benefits. We think the more successful of these marketing communications efforts will include some cost information within the benefit presentation.
After all, enterprise IT organizations, in 2013, are still looking as intently, as ever, to reduce the cost of computing solutions. Channel partners providing these organizations with solutions should be comfortable and familiar with this type of benefits discussion. Therefore, providing the benefit background to solutions should be very useful for prospective channel partners.
In the interests of keeping marketing communication terse and strictly on point, we think it makes sense to provide channel partners with several pieces of product awareness collateral, perhaps 2 case studies (or in depth presentations of popular solutions), a product brochure, and, of most importance, a product summary document. This product summary document should be largely composed of bullets (or other very short summary statements that present key points about products) that reference points illustrated elsewhere in the product kit.
It is important to set realistic expectations for the results of a product awareness campaign. Certainly, the best gauge of the success of the campaign should be sales. If there is no other way to gauge the effectiveness of a marketing communications campaign, intended to promote product awareness on the part of channel partners, then an analysis of sales figures should provide indication of whether the campaign has worked, or not. If sales are growing, and sales growth can be attributed to better understanding of product positioning, then we think ISVs should consider this type of product awareness campaign to be a success.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved