Marketing the B2B solutions you develop can be a challenge. You need to be precise in your messaging, not overpromise, and use the right tone. Furthermore, you need to reach the right audience, which often includes CIOs, CFOs, and other members of the C-suite who may not notice your email, ad, or tradeshow booth unless you find a way to rise above the noise. Co-marketing with a hardware partner can help you be more successful at getting your messaging out there and elevating your brand.
Make the Most of MDF
If you haven’t looked into market development funds (MDF) from your hardware partners, give them a call. You may be able to secure funding for assets, web development, ads, email campaigns, and more created in conjunction with your partner.
In addition to the funding for professional marketing services, you can also benefit from marketing help from your partners. When you are co-marketing with hardware vendors, they’ll want to ensure that their brands are portrayed accurately. So, they’ll provide you with graphics, logos, and messaging to use – and to capture the attention of your customers and prospects. A well-known partner with a global reach can also lend credibility to your brand.
Co-marketing funded by MDF provides you with an additional advantage: Data. Part of your agreement will be to report on the success of these marketing initiatives, and your partner may do the same. That marketing performance data can provide you with insights into what works with your audience — and what doesn’t — so you can make the most of future campaigns.
If you hesitate to apply for MDF because you’ve been turned down in the past, try again. CRN reports that 60 percent of MDF goes unused because partners don’t take advantage of it or have a clear idea of what they’d do with it. Work with your hardware partner to build a co-marketing strategy, determine a schedule, and then move forward together.
What Are the Most Important Messages to Get Across?
When you’re co-marketing with a hardware partner, your priority should be to communicate to prospects that your software works seamlessly with the hardware. You may be able to imply this by using your hardware partner’s images in your marketing materials or on your website.
However, explicitly explaining the details of your partnership will assure prospects that if they use a system with your software and the partner’s hardware, it will work the way they expect. If you are one of the hardware company’s certified partners or have another designation, share that in your messaging. Testimonies and case studies are also powerful ways to tell the story of how a business used your software with your partner’s hardware to solve problems and achieve business goals.
Also, don’t be shy about recommending a partner’s hardware and having your partner do the same for you. Businesses searching for solutions may not know where to turn when they need a kiosk solution, for example, so they may just reach out to a touchscreen company. If you have a strong partnership with the hardware company, that lead could come your way.
Co-Marketing at Tradeshows
Although the business world involves more digital interaction than ever before, in-person events are here to stay. You can describe IT hardware and how it works with your software in 100 different ways, but nothing will replace allowing a prospect to try it.
Tradeshows give you and your partners a chance to show your solutions to multiple prospects — who are in a fact-finding or purchasing mindset — in a short period. The solution in a tradeshow booth can be the catalyst that starts a conversation about whether it can be customized, maybe to provide more ports. The prospect at the booth may also wonder about cloud storage for their data or whether the solution can be managed centrally. When your team is at the tradeshow with your hardware partner, you can provide them with the information they need to make their purchasing decisions.
Power in Numbers
It’s possible you have a steady stream of names coming into your sales funnel, but wouldn’t you want to take the opportunity to improve it even more? Co-marketing can help you build and fund marketing initiatives, elevate your brand, and make the most of industry events. Start a conversation with your hardware partner today.