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A day in the digital life of an IBM Business Partner
I have had many good marketing sessions with IBM Business Partners in my role as Co-Marketing Program Manager, but this last one broke the mold!
I’d like to thank Maude Goulet, Director, Marketing and Communications at NOVIPRO, who allowed me into their offices for the day so I could ‘spy’ on their digital marketing efforts and understand what a typical day looks like for one of our IBM Business Partners. (And a special thanks to my IBM colleague Maureen Haeger for the original idea and encouraging me to pursue it!)
I learned something as soon as I walked into NOVIPRO’s offices at 8:45 a.m.: Achieving social success has to begin as a corporate culture. Passing by their cafeteria, I noticed that their marketing, sales and technical teams were immersed in intense discussion—the spirit was palpable. Sitting down in Maude’s office, she explained to me that NOVIPRO is building out an internal documented strategy for their social guidelines, an exercise that is simply extending their social corporate culture to their digital networks. Today, half of their 70 employees are actively engaged in social networks—and that’s something to be proud of!
Listen and Engage
I watched as their marketing team of two gets down to business, jumping into their regular morning acrobatics—logging onto Facebook and LinkedIn to see what’s going on, and searching in Twitter for anything related to NOVIPRO. Their time spent on digital channels is never without engagement, consistently responding to all notifications, as well as marketing email requests for more information. Ever since they implemented digital marketing practices and modernized their website, they receive about two or three requests a week! Says Maude, “It’s only when you start building out digital practices that you realize that leads are much stronger when they come in from the web versus traditional marketing tactics, because the customer has initiated the buying cycle themselves. I also feel much more in direct contact with my customers than ever before.’’
NOVIPRO uses digital to enhance their traditional marketing efforts—digital integrates into existing marketing practices, and doesn’t evaporate them. For their upcoming System Z event—(which has since taken place and was very successful)—they start preparing their invitations which will be sent out via their email automation tool: Email marketer. After the email campaign is launched, they will closely monitor the open rate, click-throughs and bounce backs, the latter immediately updated in their CRM. Pre-scheduling Tweets via Hootsuite will be a priority for NOVIPRO to create a buzz around their event. Maude says, ”An integrated digital multiple touch campaign increases the success of the campaign/event exponentially. For example, we’ve seen great results just leveraging Google Adwords into digital campaigns. Actually, we would love education from IBM on how build out even better integrated digital campaigns!” Maude, your message was heard, and something tells me that you just added to my to-do list!
Attention – marketing messages needed!
‘’As an IBM Business Partner, I do feel that we need to be trained on how to go to market to attract new customers. We, as marketing teams, need education that caters to marketing messages versus solution-oriented messages that have traditionally been built out for the sales teams. For example, what are the key messages to initially interest new prospects and customers in POWER8? We need marketing messages across the solutions and business units.’’ Again, great feedback Maude!
Knowing what is working and what is not working is KEY
Google Analytics is big on NOVIPRO’s weekly activities. Today, they consult the top 10 pages viewed most and the amount of time spent on page to see what content is resonating with their customers. They just posted a new blog and now they need to track where the traffic is coming from (third-party sites, social networks, email, advertising campaigns, etc). Knowing what’s working and what’s not working helps them edit their content on the fly—always aligning with their SEO and keyword strategy. They grab most content from social networks, while also leveraging the content available from IBM Digital Content Marketing tools.
For the last 2 years, Maude has participated in South by Southwest (an annual digital conference in Texas), which has helped her become more creative and fearless with her digital go-to-market strategy. NOVIPRO knows that their next step is marketing automation, which will help them track the path of the customer, build workflows, rules and send alerts, thus strengthening their marketing and sales teams’ alignment and truly help in reporting ROI.
NOVIPRO, thank you for letting me tell your story! For all IBM Business Partners who are at different phases of your digital marketing journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us as you continue to push the boundaries on your digital strategies. If you have suggestions, questions or digital practices you would like to share, please don’t hesitate to do so by using the comments feature below. We are all living this digital journey together—and in working together, perhaps we can make this a win-win for everyone.
Faye Calwell (@caldwellfaye)