Juniper Message to VARs: Time to Invest in Social Media
One of the most intriguing things about this week’s Juniper Networks inaugural Global Partner Conference in Las Vegas is that the focus was largely taken off the technology side of things (not to say that it was absent), with much of the discussion given over to the new marketing strategies that the changing IT marketplace requires. And to that end, Juniper took the opportunity of having the undivided attention of more than a thousand partners to announce the Marketing Concierge platform and InnoVAR training tools.
I had the chance to sit down briefly with Juniper VP of Worldwide Partner Marketing Luanne Tierney, who’s just shy of her one-year mark at the company. When last we spoke, Tierney promised she was going to work on strategies to help partners differentiate themselves, and for Juniper to help them do so. These new announcements represent the culmination of that promise.
Tierney said we now live in a “SoMoGlo” world; that is, social media, mobility and global are the key trends driving modern marketing. For partners to succeed in the new marketplace, they need to succeed at all three. That’s where Juniper’s new initiatives come in, she said.
Marketing Concierge is a full-service offering to help partners co-market with Juniper and develop their sales pitch. That includes everything from refining their social media presence — which Tierney singled out as a cheap and effective way for VARs to boost their signal, even if they have to hire an intern to do it for them — to teaching more effective practices for event management. In the official literature, Juniper describes Marketing Concierge as “[providing] partners with customized content and 24×7 access to Juniper’s marketing experts.”
InnoVAR, meanwhile, is a training program that’s largely along those same lines, with partners getting access to quarterly skills sessions spearheaded by the Juniper Networks partner pros plus the attendant educational materials. And speaking of materials, a Juniper partner iPad app comes with a bevy of marketing presentations and fact sheets VARs can carry with them anywhere.
“We put fantastic things in place for our partners,” she said.
But in short, the market is changing, and the last thing Juniper wants to see are partners left behind. The market’s changing every day, Tierney said, and the savvy partner is the one who learns to master that SoMoGlo world.