Product marketing has long been a bugbear for resellers and vendors alike but a solution launched last week aims to revolutionise the flow of promotional material through the channel.
Elateral is a global marketing solution that allows all the elements of designing, printing and distributing documents to be controlled online.
"Elateral is the answer to global channel marketing's greatest challenge: maintaining global consistency in branding and key messages, yet customising to reflect local partnerships, language, currencies and cultural variations," said Elateral's CEO Richard Watney, who was in Australia for the launch.
The solution allows resellers to access and customise the marketing materials they need, allowing details such as contact numbers and local pricing structures to be included on direct mailing promotional material.
Elateral incorporates four products. Channel Manager is used by vendors to release and track documents for printing. Partners can then access, edit and order marketing material using Elateral Select.
It then goes through Elateral's Generator, which is used by the design agency to customise and create brochures. Generator is compatible with design software such as QuarkXPress. The printing is handled by Print Station, which allows both digital and lithographic printing.
Watney said response rates using the Elateral solution versus traditional marketing methods typically indicated a five-fold increase.
"In a marketing yields context it is brilliant - typically a 0.75 to 1 response is considered successful," he said. "The response rates using the Elateral solution begin at around 5 per cent and it translates to sales leads coming back to the reseller."
Vendors can also ascertain the activity level of each reseller, he said.
"It is a real example of the ways the value-add system can deliver. Resellers have been adding value to products for a long time now, but there's never been a way to communicate this through marketing.
"This solution empowers resellers, because they can leverage off the equity of the vendor to deliver a targeted marketing tool to the customer."
Resellers can also benefit from faster delivery times, which can take between 48 and 72 hours from point of order to the return to the reseller. Normally marketing strategies take around four to six weeks.
Elateral has signed on Sun Microsystems, Minolta-QMS and Camtech, and is now talking to distributors.
The company, which was recently named as one of the top 25 players in e-commerce startups in the UK on Management Today's e25 list, recently received funding of $25 million from Westpool and original backers Quester and 3i. Elateral began in 1997 and is planning an IPO listing later this year.