Tech Data Canada is ramping up its marketing agency services to solution providers with the launch of its resellerConnect program here in Canada.
Available in the U.S. since last year, resellerConnect is a Tech Data program that aims to help VARs with their marketing challenges, including generating marketing collateral, lead generation programs, even management and Web design.
Greg Myers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Tech Data Canada, said the distributor has long offered some of those services to Canadian VARs on a case-by-case or a la carte basis, the distributor is “determined to drive more of that activity” with the formal launch of resellerConnect.
“It’s a new source of activity for our marketing organization, and we’ll look to deliver value both to the resellers and all to the vendors who count on those resellers for their own success in the market,” Myers said. “We’re going to be more deliberate and market this aggressively through our resellers.”
The program takes advantage of in-Canada resources on Irene Buchan’s marketing team, but also uses resources, both inside Tech Data and external to the distributor, in the U.S. that are dedicated to resellerConnect. Currently, that includes a team of the three inside Tech Data U.S., as well contracted resources that are available to help solution providers with lead development and appointment setting.
While access to help with marketing activities is available to solution providers of all size and scope, the resellerConnect offerings are tailored towards the needs of SMB-focused resellers, Myers said. Beyond the large national solution providers, many VARs struggle with marketing, seeing the need to invest and be active, but finding it hard to dedicate a full-time, or in some cases even a part-time, resource to marketing. This has led to a large number of different models of outsourcing marketing, from channel-centric third party marketing forces, and from distributors, organizations that typically have marketing resources and acumen, and sit at the crucial intersection between vendors and solution providers.
Myers said a major goal of resellerConnect is to identify and take advantage of vendor-provided marketing funds that are available to smaller solution providers, but may go unused today.
“The largest resellers in the land do a good job of utilizing those dollars, but for the vast majority, it’s something that’s under-utilized. But it’s a funding source they can tap into,” Myers said. “They need some support on project management and execution, and we can provide that.”
Although the full rollout of resellerConnect means it will be doing so on a much larger scale, it hopes, many of the marketing activities supported through the program are familiar to the distributor. It already orchestrates and runs events for resellers large and small, and supports some Canadian solution providers on Web design and marketing collateral development, along with other creative services.
But the appointment-setting and lead development services are largely new, and the number of programs it will be able to run for Canadian resellers should rise significantly with the launch of the program.
Tech Data is targeting a broad swath of the solution providers that by from it with the program, although none likely with greater intensity than the members of its TechSelect reseller community. The distributor previewed the program with TechSelect members at its fall community event last month in Las Vegas, and the profile is a good fit – the community is largely SMB-focused solution providers who necessarily, by nature of their membership in the program, have a high affinity for Tech Data Canada.
“Many of our programs are anchored initially in TechSelect, because we have a lot of alignment and engagement that exists there,” Myers said. “We’re trying to find the intersection between vendors’ investments in the channel, and the channel’s need for support to drive high-quality activity.”