Campaign syndication: Show me a path!

On many recent calls with SW channel partners we’ve heard one repetitive question. After explaining the virtue of the campaign syndication (CSS) there comes a moment when they ask: so what’s the next step, how shall we start. I believe this question often goes beyond simple advice like “send us an email and we’ll grant you access”. Knowing that a lot of partners still have little digital marketing experience, such question is actually a quest for best practices or guidance. With multiple and different tactics available in the CSS I understand an uncertainty about which tactic to start with and which one to take as the next. In other words the repetitive question is actually about showing a path.

 

Website is still powerful

When starting with CSS, obviously my first concern might be how to start generating leads in a most effective way. Partners with no digital marketing experience will need some time to learn the platform and to build their own contact database. In these situations starting with the website sounds like a good first step. Recent survey run by Marketing Technology group on LinkedIn rates company websites as the most effective lead generation tactic.

In CSS activation and personalization of a web panel (webpage) is a four step procedure and takes 15min max. The panels are built respecting SEO practices so your pages will be found by search engines and properly ranked. There’s no further maintenance needed and with analytics running on the website (get it from CSS) you’ll start to monitor the traffic and collect the leads immediately.

 

Newsletter or Social Media

Once the website is ready to welcome random visitors you will want to stimulate more traffic there. How do you let the outside world know that what you’ve got there (on the website) is some really great stuff? The two obvious tactics to look at are social media syndication and Discover Performance newsletter.

Both are again extremely easy to use in CSS. Syndicating the newsletter takes half an hour including adding your own content (provided it’s ready and available). Social media syndication is even simpler and can be fully automated if you trust the content generated by HP. Ideally partners would use both but there may be a reason to pick one of them only.

The newsletter comes every two months which is a reasonable periodicity to maintain awareness of prospects and clients. Some analysts rate newsletters as the most influential tactic in the first phase of the buying cycle (awareness phase). But if you still don’t have a solid contact list in CSS, or if your opt-in rate would be seriously spoiled by regular mailing then don’t use it and instead turn to social media.

On the other hand the social media will work with much higher tempo. Up to 20 new posts are loaded onto CSS every two weeks. Efficiency of social media still remains to be proven in B2B but it stays the most affordable tactic. Moreover it comes with a viral effect at low cost so if budget is tight this is the way to go. However if your social media network is small or the followers are not very reactive, it’s advisable to employ the newsletter.

 

Multi-touch Email

At this stage there’s a reasonable chance you already have a solid contact list in CSS with the necessary opt-in validation. Furthermore having executed one or two newsletters you have mastered the syndication platform sufficiently well, so you should start planning the multi-touch email campaign. In terms of personalization effort, the tactic is not much different from the newsletter. It’s more the planning where differences exist. It means the right contacts segment selection, the right timing decision including email sequencing, eventually adaptation in the middle of the execution, etc.

Every quarter HP loads up a set of multi-touch email tactics to cover several portfolio areas. These are usually built around a broader solution topic and correspond with the main portfolio pillars. Depending on your focus domain you will pick one (or more) and execute. Other email campaigns supporting some specific product announcements are also created and available for partners.

 

 

Inbound marketing path.png

 

 

Integrate where you can

Various studies and surveys show that integrating multiple marketing tactics and executing them in as one coherent program brings the best results in terms of impact. Therefore it’s a natural step in the maturity path that marketers will undertake sooner or later.

In the context of CSS that means for example complementing multi-touch email campaigns with online advertisement (pay-per-click) and social media activity. Having the website updated with the campaign relevant assets will further serve the new and existing contacts looking for more information or a track record in the specific domain.

Finally closing the loop with a follow-up activity qualifying further the generated enquiries is a logical extension of a marketing program. That may include an on-site event or a telesales activity both of which can be supported via CSS too.

 

Interested to know more? Email me or follow me on @whypista.

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