Top 20 Tech and Channel Trends of 2009
17. Marketing and Lead Generation Rediscovered
VARs and solution providers have long held the reputation of being terrible marketers. In fact, the channel has typically relied upon vendors to supply them with fresh leads for net-new accounts. But faced with deteriorating economic conditions that threatened their livelihoods, solution providers embraced marketing and discovered its benefits. Over the last year, solution providers from large integrators to small VARs have done more advertising (mostly keywords through search engines), local seminars, customer appreciation events, blogging and viral marketing to find new opportunities and untapped sales sources. Cisco even hosted an event, Velocity, especially to instill marketing ideals and best practices in partners. Several solution providers have told Channel Insider that marketing made the difference between layoffs and boarding up their doors and what turned out to be a respectable year in the ledgers.