I spend most of my time (hopefully) inspiring Xerox channel partners to pay closer attention to their digital presence as a ‘strategic whole’ rather than a cluster of tactics. When it comes to digital marketing, I believe that channel partners need to get the foundation of their website right first, before investing in online paid activity, and eventually onto social media.
Marketing automation – more than just automated emails
Having got your website foundation in place, how do you bring it all together and, for want of a better cliché, join the dots? The answer I give is marketing automation. The typical response I get is often something like…
“Marketing automation? I thought that was for sending out email newsletters.”
As sweeping statements go this is partially right. More accurately, marketing automation allows you to send and present the content that is most likely to move each contact along their specific buyer journey – not just the same email content to your entire database every week.
Learning about your visitors
Not only can you customise the content, more importantly, you can actually measure how effective it was. If we take your website (and the content on it) as the ‘destination’, your first goal is to get people there. You do that by using a combination of outbound marketing tactics such as email newsletters with inbound marketing tactics such as search engines, website referrals, paid advertising, and yes, social media.
Once a visitor arrives on your site or downloads your content, how do you know which tactic worked best? What things did the visitor download before picking up the phone to arrange a meeting? What pages did they visit before completing your ‘request more information’ form?
Using digital marketing automation for insights
Whilst at a Xerox channel partner marketing day, I spoke to Bjarke Nyby, Marketing Manager for Xerox channel partners in the Nordic region about this challenge. He told me about Finland-based Xerox Concessionaire, Document House who has found a solution that is making a big difference to their business.
Document House has been working with Xerox since 1991 – so they are celebrating their 25th year anniversary this year – which coincidentally is when I joined Xerox – proving that digital marketing is not just for the millennials!
By implementing hubspot – an inbound marketing software solution, the Document House marketing team can experiment with different types of marketing tactics to learn exactly which ones work best for their prospects. Those insights and experiences give them a unique understanding of their customers’ needs and habits – and yes, a competitive edge.
In the following video, Jarkko Ollikainen (CEO), Kaj Seeste (Marketing Director), and Elina Porkka (Content Marketing Manager), share the Document House’s digital marketing journey in their own words. For anyone unable to watch the video I have included the transcript below.ARVE Error: need id and provider
Jarkko Ollikainen (JO) CEO Document House
Document House is an IT service company that concentrates on documents. Established 25 years ago, originally purely a Xerox partner, today its focus is on services and digitalisation.
Earlier we contacted our customers using e-mail, newsletters and of course the telephone.
The challenge with traditional e-mail campaigns is that you get so many e-mails that nobody reads them.
Kaj Seeste (KS) Marketing Director, Document House
Nowadays customers look for a lot of information independently before they make a purchase decision.
That is why we can, with the help of marketing automation, offer various guides and contact points to find information before the customer makes a purchase decision – and of course, it helps us too, as they know that we offer these solutions when they are ready to make a decision.
Marketing automation is an important part of the sales process and when you communicate with the customers with the traditional telephone or e-mails, it is difficult to reach them.
Elina Porkka (EP) Content Marketing Manager, Document House
With the help of this new marketing system we can send to the customer various, very well targeted materials, e.g. blogs, downloadable guides, e-books, checklists, reference cases depending on what the customers have been interested in.
We see very clearly which materials interest our customers, and then we can expand that conversation with them digitally. LinkedIn is a good channel for reaching many decision makers and for our part, we can then tell them about the type of solutions that exist.
Our customers now get better quality material than before, as we can choose the content according to the situation of the customer.
We can pass to our sales people this type of information that our marketing has checked thoroughly in advance so that the sales people can speak about the right issues
…The customers have felt that these new messages of ours respond to their needs and that way they get help for solving their problems.
It is very important for the customer that when our sales team contacts them that the customer is already waiting for that contact and we can offer just the right information that the customer needs at that point.
Research shows that people look all the time for more information online – our customers do so too. That is why it is really important that the content produced by us is available at every stage of the customer’s decision-making process.
With the help of marketing automation, we have managed to get our marketing and sales closer to each other. Marketing supports the activities of sales. That is clearly the direction that the world is moving in.
Bringing it all together
Today’s B2B buyer research is typically self-directed, using search as a starting point. By investing in marketing automation, the Document House marketing team have built a strong platform from which to give their salespeople the best possible leads – and their customers the best possible service. Document House is setting a great example for all channel partners and I’m excited to see where marketing automation takes them.
Become a Xerox channel partner
If you’ve been inspired by this Document House example of digital mastery, why not visit the Xerox Global Partner Portal to find out how you can become a Xerox channel partner. We have tools and resources to help you master your digital marketing journey and our highly motivated team of business managers just like Bjarke can help your business thrive selling Xerox products, services, and solutions.
Subscribe to the Channel Partner Connection and receive email updates when we publish a new article.