Articles By Robin Robins

5 List Management Tips That Will Make Your Marketing And Your Business More Valuable

Last week I revealed to you that the secret to above-average results in your business is the care, development and management of your list (click here if you missed it). Now that you know the secret and you’ve had some time to think about it, you’re probably wondering what you can do to make your list a true asset.

Here’s a quick list of disciplines for list management that you might post up somewhere as a reminder to you and your marketing team:

    1. GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE STAYS. Someone needs to own the cleaning, updating and segmenting of every new lead that comes into your organization. This is especially true if you’re doing a lot of marketing and generating any significant number of leads. Otherwise your list will be full of duplicates, spam, not-right-fit prospects and other useless contacts, giving you false numbers, slowing down your sales team and clogging up all marketing efforts.

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This Is The Single Most Valuable And Important Marketing Asset In Your Organization

Hearken unto me as I reveal THE secret shared by highly successful marketers, sales professionals and industry leaders that is completely missed by the masses. This IS the difference between businesses that enjoy above-average results and return in their marketing and the vast mediocre majority. What is it?

They are obsessed with the care, development and management of their LIST.

Without a doubt, your list is the single biggest asset to you as a salesperson, marketer or CEO. If you were to sell your company, what is the buyer REALLY buying? Your software licenses? Your employees? Your office furniture? Nope. They’re buying your CUSTOMERS, which is another way of saying your “list.” The more productive a relationship you have with your list – specifically, how responsive they are to you – the easier, more lucrative, more stable your business becomes.

But is YOUR list an actual asset?

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Where 93% Of IT Channel Vendors Waste HUGE Buckets Of Marketing Dollars And Opportunities

Wasting Marketing DollarsThe other day I conducted a marketing experiment.

I took 3 different industry publications at random and reviewed each ad that was placed. In total, there were 43, and most were full-page ads. The shocker? Only 4 made ANY attempt at an offer to drive the reader (prospect) to take some kind of action so they could generate a lead. Unfortunately, even those 4 were fatally flawed because their “offer” required you to be a current client (for example, one offered a special credit for every new device deployed; the others were discounts for making a purchase). So what’s so bad about all of this? If you don’t instantly know, you REALLY need to read this…

Let’s start with the full-page ads that made no attempt whatsoever to generate a lead. I’m confident that if I quizzed their marketing departments, I’d hear that age-old logic of “It’s branding” and therefore the ads are not required to do anything else but emblazon the logo and familiarize the world with their company name. But what is the purpose of THAT? Isn’t the ultimate purpose of all marketing and advertising to persuade a prospective buyer to do business with you? And if that logic holds true, then why wouldn’t you at least design the ad to drive the reader to some meaningful action to engage with you, where they can then be developed into a paying client?

That’s called “lead generation” marketing. When done right, you can quickly build a list of qualified prospects and drive interested buyers to your sales team who can then turn them into paying clients. (By the way, ask any commissioned salesperson or leader in your organization with a big, fat quota hanging over their head if they agree with me on this point. Trust me, they do.) Read full article and comment →

The 2 Biggest Marketing Mistakes Vendors In The Channel Routinely Make That Cost Them Dearly

Crying at workA few months back, one of the vendors in the channel inquired about having me do a webinar  on marketing for their resellers partners. Like many, they rely on their resellers to do their own marketing to fuel sales – and like all IT channel vendors, they were frustrated with their reseller partners lack of marketing and sales efforts. Hence the call with me.

To get a sense of the project scope, I asked about their list. They had just over 5,000 partners and a list of close to 80,000 e-mails. This is good! When I asked how many of their partners they were able to get on their last three webinars they conducted they replied, “About 40 to 50.” Um, wait a minute… I asked again, “Do you mean 400 to 500?” No, he clarified, 40 to 50. Apparently he didn’t realize how abysmal that number is. So I asked, “Besides e-mail, how do you communicate with your partners? Do you do any offline marketing? Phone calls? Newsletters? Anything?” He said, “We definitely don’t do offline. Just e-mail. But we get a 30% open rate!” I didn’t say it, but I thought it: he’s essentially saying 70% of his partner base never sees ANY communication from him – and not only is he okay with that, but he’s bragging about it.

Therein lie two of the biggest mistakes I see channel vendors making when it comes to marketing – 1) they fail to communicate with their partners using multi-media, including and especially offline, with over reliance on e-mail, and 2) they fail to hold the interest of their resellers (clients) because they fail to send interesting, relevant information and content.

So why should they care about this? Because maintaining and sustaining a productive relationship with your clients where they want to pay attention to you IS the secret sauce for ANY business’s success. In this hyper-connected but overwhelmingly distracted world our clients live in, ATTENTION is by far our most precious commodity – and it must be EARNED. Read full article and comment →

The Secret To Getting New Partners To Actually BE PRODUCTIVE

Money MakerOne of the most often overlooked, and therefore neglected, obstacles for many companies is consumption. Specifically, getting your clients/resellers to use what you just sold them.

When sales are made (new partners brought onboard), life is celebrated. Goals are hit, bonuses paid and everyone is happy, right?

Well, not so much.

In talking with dozens of vendors in this channel who depend on their resellers to actually sell, a HUGE problem that doesn’t often get discussed publicly is how 70% to 90% of their partners are, essentially, worthless non-producers.

Therefore, for every 100 they bring on, only about 10 to 30 are really moving the needle; the rest are just inflating the numbers to make the investors and marketing teams happy.

The incorrect assumption fueling this is that because someone purchased something and PAID for it, they’ll use it. Yet nothing is further from the truth, particularly things that create work and/or require a change in business model, habits, workload, etc., which is always the case when a channel vendor is selling a new solution.

Heck, over $1 BILLION in gift cards goes unspent every year, nearly one-third of those given – and that’s FREE MONEY! Even going to the store to shop is “more work” than it’s worth. When you couple human nature with purchases where “some assembly is required,” you’re fighting an uphill battle. You mean this doesn’t just work out of the box? I have to read instructions to make this work? Screw it… Read full article and comment →

14 Questions You Should Ask Any Company Before Sponsoring Their Event

VendorsWithout a doubt, sponsoring targeted IT industry events should be in the marketing budgets for any company serious about selling through VARs and MSPs. For starters, it is one of the fastest ways to gain brand recognition, launch new products, generate LEADS and SALES, as well as engage current clients. Events give you the unique opportunity to gauge industry interest direct by having productive conversations with the decision makers you’re trying to attract (after all, they can’t hide behind a voice mail or spam filter, and they are more likely to have longer conversations with you). It’s also a tremendous way to “spy” on your competition, stay on top of industry trends and news, and keep a pulse on what’s going on “out there” in this fast-changing, ever-evolving industry. Further, many MSPs and IT services CEOs come to events to “shop,” actively LOOKING for new companies’ products and services.

But sponsoring events can be costly, which is why you want to choose carefully which events you sponsor. “Cheap” sponsorships and “affordable” events aren’t always the “best.” After all, you get what you pay for, as we all know, AND you are aligning YOUR BRAND with the branding of the event. If the event is not too stellar from the attendee standpoint, you get unfairly lumped into their failure. Read full article and comment →