Resellers are being offered a new form of marketing support from itX, which the distributor has created in-house under the Pipeline brand name.
Marketing communications manager, Paul Sadler, said the company had revamped its overall marketing efforts. It would now offer online and direct mail campaigns for a small buy-in fee from resellers.
"We've shifted focus on the way we do our marketing. Traditionally, we would market products to resellers and encourage them to sell for those vendors," he said. "But many resellers don't have the skills, time or even the inclination to do marketing right." While it would still deal with resellers in the traditional way, Sadler said itX was rolling out a number of Pipeline programs to enable its marketing team to become an extension of its resellers' businesses.
For $1000 and a list of prospect email addresses, resellers will be able to buy into an online marketing campaign built on Macromedia Flash. Sadler estimated the service would cost itX an average of about $10,000.
It is already working on online campaign for resellers of Sun, Oracle, Wyse, Citrix and IBM.
"These online multimedia presentations built using Flash allow us to deliver a lot of information in a fairly humorous and graphic way," he said. "And at the back end we're tracking every click - it's very big brother - so we can see what interested a customer most."
Sadler said the distributor would be able to return reseller prospect lists, ranked from 'most interested' to 'least interested' in the products featured in the online campaign.
The distributor is also offering a direct mail option to resellers, which also costs $1000 to buy into. Resellers are asked to supply itX with 100 contacts to be contacted by its call centre staff, who call and ask permission to send a direct mail piece. This is followed by a call to qualify their interest.
Campaigns underway for the direct mail option include Trend Micro, Clearswift, Websense and AppSense.
"One campaign we recently did for Websense - a reseller had a 33 per cent success rate from the calls we made following up the direct mail piece," he said. "Out of 100 prospects, the reseller was delivered 33 leads which have generated $200,000 so far."
In both online and direct mail options, Sadler said itX was absorbing the bulk of the cost in the production of the campaign, with $1000 coming from the reseller and a further $1000 coming from the featured vendor.
Sadler said the distributor was also looking at putting all its campaigns on a password-protected site. Resellers would be able to view them, customise them online and upload prospect lists. "This site is still under development but it will basically be a portal where resellers can log on, set up and send the campaign themselves," he said. "Their logo and value proposition will get sucked into the piece automatically and it should be no more than a simple four or five step process."