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November 23, 2009
channel-marketing-budgetHas anyone formed a Channel Support Group yet? We all know that The Channel has always been seen as secondary to corporate activities and marketing. The Channel gets less budget for marketing activities or has to re-purpose the corporate marketing content that was not exactly partner friendly or has to defend their partners against channel conflict with the direct sales team. It is a huge struggle and one that we, as channel professionals, take in stride. But is a shift starting?
I’m now consulting so I get to see inside many different channel organizations and I wonder if The Channel’s time has come. Don’t get me wrong, I still see channel conflict and hear of struggles with channel budgets but I get the sense that IT organizations are finally seeing the immense value of the channel and their partners.
Without calling out specific organizations some examples include:
Channel Summits continuing to happen while Sales Kick-offs are postponed due to budget
Expenditures around New Media “To and Through” partners
Partner responses to a survey that Channel Conflict is actually down (you heard it here first!)
Maybe it’s not every organization but I’m encouraged that some of the larger IT vendors are putting partners first in their marketing, providing more support, and protecting their partners from direct sales conflict.
Are others seeing a trend? Is The Channel finally getting more attention?
Contributing blogger Heather K. Margolis, the Channel Maven, has led channel programs for major IT companies. She also has extensive lead generation and marketing experience. Follow The VAR Guy via RSS; Facebook; Identi.ca; Twitter; and via his Newsletter; Webcasts and Resource Center. Plus, visit www.VARtweet.com.
Heather K. Margolis, a self proclaimed “recovering channel professional,” founded Channel Maven in early 2009. Heather is passionate about enabling vendors and their channel partners to drive more business through their channel programs. Having led channel programs for companies like EMC, EqualLogic and Dell, Heather helps channel organizations of all sizes build smarter channel programs, manage channel relationships to find added value, and engage their communities through social and traditional media. Heather regularly speaks to manufacturer and channel partner audiences about getting the most from social and traditional media. She also speaks to a variety of audiences about entrepreneurship, building a service business, and B2B strategy.
A proud alum of Babson’s MBA program, Heather grew up in Massachusetts and now calls beautiful Boulder, Colorado, home where she and her husband (and dog Zoe) can be found hiking, foodie-ing, or attempting to tear up the slopes.
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