How to Give Your Channel Partners the (Digital) Love They Deserve

Digital strategies and programs can help your channel partners deliver more value.
Well-supported partners – whether they’re resellers, distributors, agencies, brokers, or advisors – drive revenue, provide customer support, and advance local relationships. But their contributions have the potential to go way beyond that.

Because they’re on the front lines with buyers, partners get a front row seat to customer demands for new products and services – as well as to customer frustrations with existing products and services. That means partners can play an essential role in resolving conflicts as well as shaping future innovations and offerings.

Partners also have a strong, unfettered understanding of your firm’s strengths and weaknesses. They understand – perhaps better then you do – your market position and where you fit in the competitive landscape. Since they partner with your company, as well as with other firms, they tacitly know who is the best fit for certain buyer situations and why.

Tapping this type of insight from your partners can advance your firm’s understanding of market and buyer needs – and can help you exceed market demand and stand out in a crowd.

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7 Key Trends in Online B2B Customer Communities

The Big List of B2B Online Customer Communities is the most comprehensive list of online B2B customer communities in the world.

It includes big companies, small companies, foundations, and non-profits. We first created The Big List in 2011, featuring 94 communities …and the findings went viral. In 2014, we initiated the process again and the list grew to 126. For the 2016 edition, we are pleased to note that identifying new communities is no longer a challenge! In fact, online communities are now a mainstay of competitive advantage for many B2B firms. So, rather than create a database this year, we analyzed the list of 126 to see how they have changed over time.

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It’s Time To Get Serious About Social!

Social media has evolved from a broadcast marketing opportunity to something that can be leveraged to serve customers, inform product and service innovations, reduce costs, and boost shareholder value. There are deep analytics to gather and understand, dynamic web sites to create (and recreate), and customer experiences to define – all while remembering to do social good, and be inclusive and diverse. It’s technical, creative, data-driven, and customer-centric. It’s impossible to be an expert at one’s own job because there are far too many micro-specialties to govern over. And it’s absolutely exhausting.
What is a marketing leader to do?

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#RepresentationMatters, Your Guide to Inclusive Marketing

Inclusive Marketing strives to create a visual culture that is more representative. Inclusion is different than diversity. Diversity has become an empty term in most organizations, often denoting little more than the checking of boxes and meeting of quotas. It depends on making one group—say men, or white people—the default and everyone else the other. Conversely, inclusion speaks to the quality of experience, where multiple perspectives are sought out and treated equitably.

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Social Selling – Let’s Get a Few Things Straight

The first step to becoming an effective social seller is to understand that social selling is a complement to traditional sales methods—not a revolutionary approach that replaces them. At the end of the day, it is still about connecting people to people, and people to data. Social selling, due to its ability to enhance the customer journey, is an incredibly powerful sales tool. But, like any tool, its value and utility are ultimately tied to the skills of the individual employing it.

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You Say You Want a (Customer Experience) Revolution?

The customer has been king for a while, but he certainly hasn’t had a castle. To date, there hasn’t been a single, unified place where a company or organization can interact with the customer, listen to his desires, and orchestrate the fulfillment of his needs. Now, new research conducted by Leader Networks and CMX Media suggests that a customer experience revolution is underway and that the customer has been ensconced in his rightful place: the online community.

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New Report: Keys to Community Readiness and Growth

New Research Report: Keys to Community Readiness and Growth. Of the more than 400 marketing and community practitioners who participated in the study, two-thirds are currently running a branded online community, and one-third are considering one but haven’t launched one to date. Study participants came from both business to business and business to consumer organizations and ranged in size from under 100 to over 50,000 full-time employees.

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2016: Welcome to the Year of Social Business Strategy

Today, CMOs are squarely at the helm of their companies’ social business initiatives.

Fast forward to 2016. CMOs are now well acquainted with social media’s organizational impact. They’re no longer using it as a mere broadcast marketing mechanism. They’re leveraging social media across the enterprise – to serve customers, inform product and service innovations, reduce costs, and boost shareholder value.

As the market has matured, I have adapted and refined our Social Business Strategy Map to reflect the new insights I’ve gained through helping hundreds of organizations become social businesses.

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Robin Carey Danced on the Stage of Life

Beautiful. Visionary. Witty. Feminist. Passionate. Loved. Robin Fray Carey danced on the stage of life. She changed created the social media industry. Her love of her family and her work was the passion that drove her to be the industry icon she became. She had the power to convene.

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Why Inclusive Marketing should be on Your Agenda for 2016

Race. Gender. Sexuality. Class. Immigration status. Religion. Ethnicity. Ability. What do any of these have to do with marketing?  Quite a bit, actually.  Marketing has always been focused on demographics – targeting groups of people based on specific perceived characteristics (Think “Baby Boomers” or “Working Moms”). However, the pre-packaged approach is not viable for two […]

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