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ANALYTICS Executive Perspective SOCIAL Worldwide

Are you using social media to drive demand and your sales pipeline?

Social media has quickly changed the way we communicate and interact. It’s opened up doors to collaborate in ways we couldn’t have imagined a decade ago. But social media is so much more than simply a way to communicate. It’s quickly evolving to become a strategic way for businesses to drive demand.

Think about it…when you make a purchase, do you go online to check your options, get opinions and arm yourself with information? Of course you do. Your prospects are buying in the digital world, too, and they want real-time information. In fact, 79 percent of buyers now start their evaluation with an online search.*

Social media has changed the marketing landscape. When you tap into its potential, prospects looking for information on the web will find you. For instance, Creative Computing—an IBM Business Partner—benefits from using social media and automation capabilities to post digital content:

Using IBM’s Digital Content Marketing platform has been a powerful tool in propelling our outbound marketing presence. Its friendly management interface and robust asset library allow us to easily integrate social media and other content across a variety of platforms. We have seen a 20x increase in twitter followers and an overall increase in traffic since employing this underutilized weapon in IBM’s vast marketing arsenal.”—David R. Doucette, President/CEO, Creative Computing

Here’s how you can prepare to do business in today’s social age and drive real demand:

  1. Leverage social listening—Tuning in to social media conversations helps you to understand what prospects are asking for and to shape the conversation.
  2. Get engaged and create a following with social media—Tweeting and posting on social media sites drives awareness of your expertise, positions you as a thought leader and can get you a seat at the table when prospects need solution providers. It also helps you recruit solution partners with expertise you may need.
  3. Syndicate content and get started with IBM’s help—Save time and integrate IBM social content into your mix of tactics. The Social Automation component of the IBM Digital Content Marketing (DCM) platform makes it easy for you to access, customize, organize and auto-send pre-created tweets by tags within the system, like cloud, mobile and analytics.
  4. Watch the DCM Social Automation on demand webcast – Learn the features of DCM, how to sign up and how to use the social automation capability. Watch the webcast and visit PartnerWorld for more information.

We’re very excited to help you maximize your digital marketing plans and drive pipeline. I look forward to your feedback—please get in touch by using the comments feature below.

Mike Gerentine (@mgerentine)


*source: Sirius Decisions “Social Marketing and Sales Best Practices in B2B Channels”, April 2014

Michael Gerentine is Vice President, Software Channel Sales, IBM Global Business Partners. He is in charge of managing software partners across the IBM channel, a global business that spans several IBM business divisions, including Watson and IBM Cloud. He helps channel partners better understand IBM's strategy, adopt new technologies and deliver solutions to clients, all while helping drive mutual sales success for the ecosystem. Previously, Michael served as Vice President of Marketing, IBM Global Business Partners, where he developed and led marketing efforts for the IBM Business Partner channel.

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