Distributor LAN Systems is offering free collateral marketing to its 300 plus Cisco resellers.
In an undisclosed deal with online marketing collateral specialist Elateral, LAN Systems will offer its partners marketing dollars that can be spent on customised marketing material using Elateral's online channel marketing program. But, according to LAN System's Cisco product manager, John Penn, Cisco Gold and Global resellers will be excluded from the program because of existing marketing benefits they receive directly from the vendor.
"We wanted to offer our resellers the ability to do quality marketing activities effectively and fairly cheaply," says Penn. "We always got the feeling that some of them had cost implications with doing their own stuff and that maybe they would get involved more with LAN Systems and Cisco if we were able to offer this sort of thing."
Elateral believes this system empowers resellers by enabling them to communicate through the market the value they add to products.
Resellers can leverage off the equity of the vendor to deliver a targeted marketing tool to the customer while vendors can ascertain the activity level of each reseller and enhance the quality of collateral produced by its resellers. The range of marketing material is designed by LAN Systems and is accessible to registered partners direct from the company Web site.
According to Penn, only about 50 of LAN Systems' Cisco resellers will use the collateral marketing strategy. He says there is no specific reasoning behind this and expects that the 50 who do utilise the program will represent the full spectrum of LAN's channel partners.
While the program is being targeted at both new and existing channel partners, Penn feels it will be more beneficial for existing resellers. "This is basically for the smaller guys," he says. "It's helping them to make more money and achieve a more permanent stake in the market. What we're trying to do is provide a marketing resource that on the one hand helps the resellers build their businesses and secondly helps us and the reseller push the Cisco side of things.