Comms Business Editor Ian Hunter attended the ShoreTel Accelerate Marketing Knowledge seminar held in Leicester last month for their channel partners to find out how the vendor is helping resellers develop their business.
As technology vendors have both developed and refined their channel marketing strategies over the past few years the need for a refined yet bespoke marketing approach has emerged as top priority. The vendor who manages to encourage, educate and inspire their partners to create and execute joint marketing activities will be the big winner with increased brand awareness plus channel based return in the marketing funnel.
ShoreTel’s Accelerate Marketing Knowledge Series is a 100% fully funded, managed programme of packaged marketing activities and collateral that provides a strategic insight and focuses upon delivering joint sales opportunities. The programme was developed upon the premise of educating channel marketing professionals with the very latest industry ideas, concepts and practises.
ShoreTel’s approach is based on developing marketing skills and learning’s from one event to the next with two driving factors; ensuring partners attend all events to aid personal development, and building a community that is both competitive but also able to differentiate themselves (from a marketing perspective) in order to address more of the market. The event series started in November 2010 and the vendor holds two events per year, every 6 months. The agenda is developed collaboratively with some of the best industry marketers.
This programme had two specific goals: to increase the marketing skill levels of ShoreTel partners while also increasing awareness, consideration and marketing pipeline for ShoreTel via an increased number of joint marketing campaigns.
ShoreTel’s Accelerate Marketing Knowledge Series is aimed at those people within ShoreTel’s partner community who influence or perform a marketing function. The agenda topics and speakers are designed to appeal to Managing Directors, Marketing Directors, Marketing Managers and Executives. The agenda items, timings and presenters are deliberately designed to be both compelling and action orientated. For channel marketers to gain access to the knowledge and learn from the experience of these industry leaders is unprecedented for a technology vendor to offer at no cost to their partners. This important element helped to create a successful set of events simply with the calibre of presenters who also attended free of charge.
The programme series gives the partner the knowledge and the courage combined with a generous 100% funding offer to take a chance and create a ShoreTel joint marketing campaign that demonstrates the true value of partnership.
Andrew Gray, EMEA Marketing Director at ShoreTel said, “This was the first Accelerate Marketing event that I have attended since joining ShoreTel in September 2012. I was very pleased to be able to explain my strategic plans and priorities for the year ahead, and I was delighted to see Marketing managers in the audience from almost all of our key UK distributors and resellers. My intention is to make each event more compelling than the last.
ShoreTel is the leading provider of brilliantly simple unified communications solutions and it’s very important that our partner Marketing community are given the opportunity to understand – and question – the company’s plans for market focus, brand promotion and campaigns. We also have some highly innovative product developments coming to market in the next few months and events such as the Accelerate Marketing day enable the ShoreTel executive team to give our valued partners an advanced insight into our roadmap.
Our solutions give users full control to engage and collaborate, no matter the time, place or device, for the lowest cost and demand on IT resources in the industry. I look forward to sharing our 2013 successes with our partners when the forum meets again in the Autumn.”
Comms Business Magazine Editor Ian Hunter, who also presented a session to delegates on what the press were looking for from resellers, also spoke to many of the ShoreTel delegates during the day to get immediate feedback from the coal face.
“Knowledge Series #6 was a fantastic event that managed to retain the typically high standards we have come to expect from ShoreTel. All speakers were knowledgeable and informative whilst taking time to answer each partners questions thoroughly. Thanks to everyone involved for putting on such a great day.” Jonathan Moran- Marketing Manager for Armstrong/Solar Communications
“Yet again ShoreTel, in their continual effort to assist their partners with Marketing best practice, have presented relevant up to date information from industry leading experts, regarding all aspects of the marketing mix from social media, direct campaigns, telesales, electronic, lead profiling and qualification, and product updates. All this done in a day in which ShoreTel partners and distributors alike were able to get together and give their feedback on what and how these solutions work best. It was a very productive day that reaffirmed how easy it is to work with ShoreTel and their brilliantly simple unified communications solutions. Thanks guys.” James Bowes, MD, Lily Systems
“Thank you ShoreTel for the excellent event. The presenters were all of a very high quality and the knowledge transfer exceeded seminars I would expect to pay to attend.
The event was a very productive use of my time and far exceeded my expectations. It is very encouraging to see a vendor offer this type of innovative marketing program to their channel partners.” Stuart Legg, Sales & Marketing Director, Proximity Communications
“The team from Prodec Networks thoroughly enjoyed the ShoreTel Marketing event. With a mixture of ShoreTel messaging and industry speakers, the content was varied, interesting and insightful, making it well worthwhile our time to attend. As a reseller, working with many vendors it was refreshing to see ShoreTel investing in a worthwhile marketing event for their channel. I would like to say a big thank you to ShoreTel for taking the time and investing their budget into channel marketing programmes such as these.” Harriet Fletcher, Marketing Director, Prodec.