All you need to know about the importance of Digital Marketing can be summed up by Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn. It’s go time.
30 November 2016 | NORM MCCONKEY
You’ve been selling digital technology products for years, but have you been selling them digitally? To a certain extent, we all have some digital processes. We use tools like email and social media platforms like LinkedIn, and maybe your website has some digital workflow. Your sales team probably has a CRM system, but are they using it to its fullest potential?
Digital becomes even more difficult when it’s combined with another word: marketing. Digital Marketing can mean so many things. SEO, SEM, email marketing, social media, e-commerce. There is so much digital marketing noise that it’s easy to lift up your hands and say “I’m ignoring it” (rather than do any of it). Hit the big digital snooze button and ignore it all until these ideas start to become easier to manage.
What’s the case for waking up instead of hitting the snooze button? Profound change. You sell technology, so it’s easy not to get wowed by the latest new product launch. The gutters are littered with dealers that sold Version 1 products to their customers. Maybe they are better known to you now as ex-customers? Digital marketing is not a new product.
Need proof? Microsoft paid $7.2 Billion to acquire Nokia in 2014. It paid $26.2 billion for LinkedIn in 2016. LinkedIn isn’t a product: it’s a social media platform. A product company made its biggest ever acquisition and it wasn’t even a product. That acquisition is a seismic event. The biggest channel product company in technology just went “all-in” on DM.
Digital marketing has changed the way products are bought and sold. Product purchases are no longer sales driven; they are marketing driven. That should scare the heck out of any business that defines itself as a sales-driven organization.
How old are you? How long will it be until you retire? Can your company survive until then without a new strategy? Will you limp to the finish line or will you blow past it and be one of those companies we all admire that transitions to a new generation of management, leaving a company poised for the next 20 years of business?
Are you ready for this, or does that sound like self-serving hyperbole from a company that wants to sell you digital marketing services? Sure, I want to sell you a new e-commerce website. I think that’s the absolute starting point for any company selling technology today. Before that can happen, B2B technology dealers need to learn about all things digital and digital marketing.
This blog and bi-weekly mailer will bring news and insights to technology dealers about trends, statistics, and information about how digital marketing can affect your business.
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About the Author
Norm McConkey has been involved in the print, imaging, and software/tech business since 1993. Holding executive level positions in a number of emerging technology firms, he founded PrintFleet in 2003, and Tangent MTW in 2009. A founding member of the MPSA, an award winning author and presenter, Norm has spoken at various industry events around the world including the Lyra Imaging Symposium, Photizo confernece, ITEX Tradeshow, Regional BTA conferences, Remax Europe, and World Expo. He has been contracted to consult and build go to market and sales training programs with several OEM manufacturers such as Canon USA, and HP, and distributors such as Parts Now and Supplies Network, as well Resellers including Office Depot. Norm’s current project, MPSToolbox (www.mpstoolbox.com), is a software platform which helps technology dealers develop and maintain e-commerce websites.