This week we're shining the spotlight on Presidio, an IT connectivity solution provider focused on helping customers understand and improve their company's backbone through networking, cloud, mobility and security and data center solutions. Presidio also offers a number of services including hardware and software development, cloud and hosting services, operational support services and more. The company was named as a Global End User Computing Partner of the Year at the VMware Partner Exchange 2014.
The VAR Guy sat down with Jill Atcheson, director of Digital Marketing at Presidio, to talk about the ins and outs of the company's marketing strategy and best practices for success.
TVG: What type and how much marketing does your company do in an average month?
Atcheson: Presidio deploys an integrated marketing model and has become quite active in digital marketing as a leading channel for the organization. This orchestration between traditional marketing tactics (like email and events) and online marketing programs (like SEO/SEM and social) has allowed us to extend our audience reach much farther than a single channel could provide. It’s also improving the overall client experience with our brand. Content marketing is at the core of our marketing programs, which is helping us fuel our local demand-generation activities as well as our website, organic search, social media promotion and lead nurture programs. Woven into all of this is our internal marketing communications, ensuring that our local field sales and marketing teams are educated and aware of our constantly growing resources and materials within reach.
TVG: What has been the most successful method of marketing for your company?
Atcheson: “Success” is so broadly defined in marketing. We’ve had so many impactful marketing programs across Presidio. I’d like to think that digital marketing is starting to make a bottom-line impact, as we have seen some resounding success as we’ve shifted gears and prioritized the channel in the past 18 months. Last year, Presidio created a brand new role within the organization to lead our digital strategy and vision. It’s been working! In the last year, Presidio has been recognized by the Content Marketing Institute for Best Overall Website and Best Website Design and received the Outstanding Website Award from the Web Marketing Association in 2013. The American Marketing Association has also awarded Presidio with two AMA Baltimore Marketing Excellence Awards based on our digital programs.
TVG: How do you measure the success of your marketing efforts?
Atcheson: We’re focused on how bottom-line revenue impacts all of our marketing efforts. Working the lead funnel from the bottom up, it’s clear that we need to focus on top-of-funnel, inbound marketing efforts to drive us toward these revenue goals. Marketing Qualified Leads become a critical metric for us as we start to understand the association between campaign response and qualified opportunities. Sales Qualified Leads and Forecasted Revenue then helps us determine the impact of each marketing effort and how to recalibrate or reinvest in each to achieve optimal results in the future. Taking time to pre-define KPIs and performance metrics are so important to understanding individual campaign success and overall program effects.
TVG: Do you have an in-house marketing program or do you outsource?
Atcheson: We have a blended model. Business core competencies and hands-on marketing expertise, essentially the folks that really get our business, our kept as in-house resources. We leverage the support of third parties and agencies for more hands-on program management and facilitation where we don’t have the internal reach to support.
TVG: What advice would you have for VARs/solution providers that don’t have a regular marketing program in place?
Atcheson: Planning is key! My advice is to create a strategy, define your goals, set measurable objectives and then use this as a benchmark for all of your decision-making moving forward. The great thing about having a plan is that you don’t lose sight of the end goal or get distracted by things that "don’t matter." You shift from being reactive to proactive and are more resourceful and impactful in the end. There is always room to tweak or modify a plan as you go, but having a solid structure in place before execution is the key to success. You and your teams understand where the ship is sailing and you empower your contributors to course-correct when necessary.