Ouch! As if trade pubs weren’t getting cut out of enough
loops, a British marketing firm has neatly snipped them out of the role they
used to play communicating product and other information between vendors and resellers.

Mktg Digital, a
marketing services firm with offices in both the UK and France, develops and
deploys Web portals for technology vendors such as Plantronics. These portals hold not only all
the marketing collateral a vendor has developed for a specific product, but can
tailor the content based on the type of collateral the reseller has viewed in
the past.  Resellers can also download
high- or low-resolution copies of the collateral for use on their own Web site
or for the print use. Through pre-arrangements with print-on-demand Web sites),
resellers to print only the collateral they need, when they need it, customized
with their own logo and contact information. This alone can cut 20 to 30
percent from a vendor’s physical mailing costs, no small deal when you’ve got
prospect lists with hundreds of thousands of names.

The portal has workflow capabilities that let a vendor
control, for example, whether the vendor will pay for such printing out of its
own co-marketing budget or let the reseller foot the bill. It can also require
a reseller to, for example, pass a test showing they understand how to sell and
support a new product before allowing them to download collateral about it.

I
find their approach interesting, combining content management capabilities with
a certain level of marketing workflow to control what marketers can do. I also
like the idea of combining outside content, such as reviews from Amazon.com, on
the vendor’s content portal. Right now, there’s no link back to sales systems
to determine what specific resellers sell and no customizing of content based
on which problems
resellers are having
, but those are possibilities for the future.  

Managing Director David Long declined to say how much the
typical portal costs, but says “We
would anticipate a client would experience a (return on investment) within the
first 12 months.” Just another example of how every vendor is now (or should
be) a publisher, and can be with innovative content
management/workflow/publishing tools from vendors large and small.

Author: Bob Scheier
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I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Filed under: IT Marketing

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