Is the specialization in your IT marketing planned or accidental?
Many IT resellers specialize because of a seemingly random situation or event. For example, a VAR observes that its company has three large customers in the transportation industry and decides to target the logistics sector.
Or, out of a job, an IT manager for a real estate company starts an IT consulting firm in what that person knows best – real estate management systems.
Specialization programs from vendors provide another option. Having the support of a vendor that has identified and produced products for a specific market segment can help resellers significantly, if the right conditions are met.
Use the checklist below to compare such programs for your own IT marketing:
Does this program fit in with your existing customer and solutions? You’ll need a target market for your sales. Either you have these customers now or you know where to find them. Similarly, the specialization should fit your current portfolio of solutions, whether you’re doing your IT marketing by vertical or by value-add technology sectors.
Does this program improve your IT marketing skills? While technical competence is necessary and valuable, specialization by sector and related sales skills are also important, especially for building customer loyalty.
Does this program bring your company clear benefits? The easiest to identify is the financial benefits, such as pricing or financing. Look out for others, such as preferred support status and the vendor certification, to enhance credibility with your clients.
How does this program mesh with a vendor’s direct sales efforts? If a vendor also sells directly, does it involve reseller partners in support and customer handholding? Examine vendor direct sales efforts and consider them an anti-proxy for determining its commitment level to its reseller specialization program.
Does the vendor program provide marketing collateral support? Specialization webpages, white papers, and sector information databases that the vendor makes available to its partners also demonstrate the depth of commitment.
And if you want to dramatically improve your own firm's marketing, while growing your specializations, especially in and around SaaS and IaaS, be sure to enroll now in our free 7-day eCourse: Go-to-Market Strategy 101 for B2B SaaS Startups and Scaleups.