In the latest installment of Channel Insider: Partner POV, host Katie Bavoso sat down with Kelly Nuckolls, Jeskell Systems’ newly appointed Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) to explore how IT solution providers can stand out in today’s business landscape.
Drawing on her wealth of experience across various marketing leadership roles, Nuckolls shared a treasure trove of insights into how to navigate the fiercely competitive IT ecosystem.
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Embracing authenticity and cultivating genuine connections
Nestled within the tranquil community of Laurel, MD, Jeskell Systems thrives as a small business with an expansive vision. With the spread of its workforce across the country, the company uses technology to overcome geographical barriers and maintain a close-knit workplace. As a largely remote organization, Jeskell nonetheless exhibits a profound commitment to connection that Nuckolls emphasizes as a unique differentiator.
Sitting at the helm of Jeskell’s marketing endeavors, Nuckolls advocates for a paradigm shift that places authenticity as the cornerstone of client engagement. Drawing from her personal encounters, she underscores the perils of intrusive outbound marketing, emphasizing its adverse effects on brand perception.
“It goes back to the cycle of marketing where people don’t want to be sold to. They want to have a genuine conversation and connection with someone who anticipates their needs and discusses the challenges they may have.”
In the highly nuanced field of tech marketing to sophisticated buyers, Nuckolls reflected on the impact of relationships on the sales cycle. Unlike consumer marketing, which often relies on swift transactions and impulse purchases, she emphasized the need for genuine dialogue to address intricate business outcomes and the requirement for highly tailored solutions.
“This environment of marketing technology is not like buying shoes on Instagram. You don’t need to have an ad pop up when you think about it. You need to have an actual discussion about what the business outcome is and how it’s going to serve your needs better.”
Nowhere is this emphasis on the value of ongoing relationships more critical than in federal agencies and the public sector — an area Jeskell has managed to succeed where many solution providers have struggled. “It takes a lot of legwork,” Nuckolls says. “It takes a lot of expertise and understanding to even get to have conversations [with federal clients]. So when you start to form those relationships, you keep them for a very long time.”
Unveiling Jeskell’s value proposition: Redefining the role of solution provider
Chronicling Jeskell’s transition from the traditional role of value-added reseller (VAR), Nuckolls portrays the company as a versatile solution provider that’s finely attuned to the needs of modern businesses. Its commitment to customer-centricity mirrors the industry’s evolution from VAR to trusted advisor, which catalyzed a profound shift toward strategic partnerships that are grounded in trust and mutual growth.
“What solution providers can offer their clients has had to shift,” she said. “You have to become an expert in certain things so you can provide great business outcomes for your clients. It’s moved from VAR to solution provider, to a trusted advisor, to more of an advocate for your clients that involves knowing what they need and proactively researching that for them.”
As technology evolves and businesses face unprecedented challenges, Nuckolls underscored that solution providers must assume the role of educators, keeping clients informed about global changes and their impact on infrastructure and technology as a whole.
“From a global perspective, talking about changes in the world, and what’s coming up the road in impacting our infrastructures and technology as a whole [is key]. Keeping everyone informed will help them make better, more proactive decisions.”
In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and market uncertainty, the departure from the transactional business model of the past isn’t just preferable; it’s essential. Embracing this shift has positioned Jeskell as a trusted ally that’s dedicated to driving sustained value and innovation for its clients.
By welcoming the evolution from VAR to a trusted advisor to client advocate, Jeskell has been able to establish itself as a leader in transformative IT solutions for its commercial and government clients. Its collaborative partnerships with IBM, Dell, Cisco, RedHat, and others have also facilitated its transition from solutions provisioning to partnership-driven, guided by client needs and vendor engagement.
Navigating the noise: Strategies for standing out
Against the backdrop of competitors vying for attention, Nuckolls unpacked Jeskell’s strategy for distinguishing itself in the crowded marketplace. Central to its strategy is a relentless focus on thought leadership and strategic content curation that provides actionable insights to clients.
By positioning Jeskell as a thought leader in its field and as an extension of its clients’ organizations, Nuckolls aims to foster engagement and drive meaningful conversations with the company’s key stakeholders. “We like to see ourselves as an extension of our client’s team, as truly a part of their organization, staying active in projects and strategy with them so they never have to reach out.”
Jeskell’s steadfast dedication to closely engaging with its ecosystem enables it to forecast trends and recommend innovative technologies that help its clients transform and stay ahead of change. By championing genuine connections in her new role, Nuckolls epitomizes the spirit of transformational leadership that is propelling Jeskell toward distinction through a personal approach in today’s Instagram world.
Tune in to the video or podcast above for more insights from Katie Bavoso and Jeskell Systems’ CMO, Kelly Nuckolls — and be sure to like and subscribe for future interviews with solution providers and thought leaders, plus special episodes and opportunities!
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