Feature: Marketing is the key to success

In a competitive landscape, marketing is the key to success, says Christopher Wellbelove DL, senior marketing consultant, Partner Plus at BT Wholesale.


For businesses, investment in digital connectivity and communications is non-negotiable – it’s the future of work and crucial for operating in today’s world. However, recent research by BT Wholesale shows that – considering the uncertainly that the UK has faced in the last few years – cost control is the number one priority. That being said, businesses need to be able to trust channel players to provide genuine value, beyond just a good price.

Within today’s competitive marketplace, it’s great to see that 88% of end-users are satisfied with their technology partner. Clearly this value is being realised. There’s a danger of getting too complacent though – no matter how satisfied your customer base is now, if you do not harness the right marketing tools, you could lose out in the future.

This is business critical for smaller channel companies who are struggling to cut through the noise. You might provide the best customer experience and offer innovative technology solutions, but if you’re not investing in your marketing strategy – how will businesses know?

Embracing the channel’s appetite for investment

It’s good news for the channel that businesses have a big appetite for spending. In fact, over 70% of businesses are looking to invest in mobile connectivity this year, followed closely by cybersecurity and VoIP. Realistically, technology is so integral to enhancing and protecting business activity that it simply isn’t an option not to invest.

Additionally, the decommissioning of the PSTN in December 2025 is propelling investment into all-IP technologies. Channel partners who have helped customers start migrating early are reaping the benefits of a diversified portfolio, increased customer stickiness and greater revenue.

It’s clear that there is a huge opportunity for channel partners to establish themselves as the communications supplier to help businesses navigate their technology needs. To convince new prospects, as well as re-affirm current customers, that you’re the provider to do this, you need to have your marketing on point.

Unleashing the power of marketing

Channel companies must seize this investment momentum. Whilst larger, well-known companies synonymous with telecoms might have a clear advantage, marketing can open new doors for all channel partners.

Marketing is important for three key reasons:

  1. To increase your customer base – an important goal for smaller and independent channel companies in particular – you must grow your brand awareness and recognition
  2. To position you as being open to customer dialogue and show that you’re making the time to understand customer needs, priorities and issues
  3. To retain and upsell to your current customer base, making sure you get the most out of the opportunities that the move to all-IP brings

Despite this, many channel players don’t have a dedicated marketing resource. And we’ve found that 73% of channel partners said they are experiencing a shortage of in-house marketing skills.

A new era of marketing for a new era of connectivity

According to the research, digital channels are dominating the marketing game. Most important is an up-to-date and easy to navigate website. Your website should clearly explain who you are, what you do, what you can offer to business customers and how to be contacted. Failure to invest in a professional website can send a negative message to prospective customers and could be the difference between winning and losing a client.

Customer reviews are sought after by businesses looking to invest in new technology. If you don’t already, you must make it easy for your customers to provide feedback, either via an email or on the website itself. Positive customer reviews will position you as a consultative partner and showcase your understanding of customer needs. You should also look to develop case studies, which take reviews one step further. This third-party endorsement can help to soothe uncertainties and differentiate you amongst your competitors.

Social media platforms will also enhance your marketing strategy, but it’s crucial you consider how you can best utilise them to work for you and your customers. To tie your website and social channels together, content is king. From whitepapers to research reports, content can help to nurture customers through their purchasing journey and strengthen your position as a consultative partner.

All this is well and good, but if you’re not easily found through search (e.g. Google), then this could be a wasted effort. Almost half of all business respondents referenced search as one of their top three channels. It remains important that you pay attention to and look to boost your profile against key search terms that your prospects and customers but be searching for.

Mastering the marketing game

It’s clear that channel companies need to develop a long-term, multi-channel strategy that supports their business objectives and highlights their strengths. Understanding where your marketing approach is missing the mark is crucial. Channel companies should review their current strategy, if they have one, and assess what is needed to finetune it.

A multi-channel approach combining a slick website, honest customer reviews and case studies, content, social media, and search is the gold standard. A strategy like this will position a channel company as the go-to communications provider, in a sea of options.

The new era of connectivity is here, and channel partners have a unique opportunity to showcase what they can offer. By investing in marketing, partners will possess the key to unlock new customers, greater revenue, and increased brand awareness.

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