Marketing News

Marketing Materials Should Reflect Who You Are, What You Do

By Jenny Davis

Marketing is more important now than ever before. Our messages need to be clear, concise, and packed with benefits for our suspect/prospects. There is plenty of income opportunity out there right now; we simply need to rise above our competitors and show why people should spend their money with us.

Let’s talk about marketing materials. What marketing materials actually are can be up for debate, but I would suggest that there are many things that should go on the list. Obviously your Web site is a key piece of your marketing materials. Or, if you have a piece of printed collateral describing your firm, that’s another perfect example. Direct marketing pieces, your business cards, special pieces you use at tradeshows and conferences, your tradeshow booth, and of course whatever you use in e-mail marketing and communication, these all fall under “marketing materials.” You could make this list much longer, I’m sure. Read more »

Take it from me…

By Jenny Davis

You’ve heard it from Carol, Judy, and Giuseppe.

Now I hope you’ll take it from me…

Yesterday I celebrated my fifth anniversary with The Partner Channel.

I can’t believe it’s been five years. “Time flies” would be an understatement.

I joined the team (well duo, really, consisting of Spider and Norm) and my first project was to create an event for Partners.

I made some calls and selected October 25-27, 2004, as the dates of our inaugural edition of The Partner Event.

(Only it wasn’t called “The Partner Event” yet. We toyed around with fluffy words, action words, abstract phrases – like “The Big” – until we came up with the most logical choice.)

Delivering a brand new event 60 days or so from starting a new job was a pretty good challenge.

Trying to market to Partners who were unfamiliar with both the event and The Partner Channel itself wasn’t in the “easy” category either (the first magazine had just been shipped and prior to that The Partner Channel had been working with a small yet awesome Member base).

We were also pretty new in our relationship with Microsoft. I think it might be pretty safe to say that they weren’t totally onboard with sending Partners our way for much of anything.

Our event budget was the big old goose egg, so getting two Sponsors (Rockton Software and Diamond Municipal Solutions) and having many of our vendors donate their time/services was a huge blessing.

And then something wonderful happened.

Come October, 36 wonderful people showed up at the Radisson Hotel for The Partner Event.

New job, marketing, political, and financial worries went out the door and we had a great time hosting people while they soaked in sales, marketing, and leadership-based content from our speakers, a small yet incredibly talented group of channel experts (back in the day we had one speaker per track, so our speakers were busy for those couple of days!).

The next spring brought 38 people and eight Sponsors. This was our only spring event. It was April and it snowed, so we took it as a sign.

Fall 2005 brought 74 people (we doubled!!!) and 18 Sponsors (holy smokes!). Doug Burgum was a surprise keynote and we partied at an air museum.

We changed it up in 2006, partnering with Microsoft to host The Partner Event – BBC and bring 640 attendees and 57 Sponsors to town. Can you say ramp up?

Fall 2007 was another joint effort, with 517 attendees and 72 Sponsors. Still big, but this was the phantom year (if you were there, you know what I mean. It was weird.).

We chose to go back to our roots and a smaller audience for the 2008 event. It was a gamble, but it just felt right with 238 people and 35 Sponsors.

And now we’re getting ready to do it again. Our goal is 250 and I am so very happy to say we’re getting there. We have 20 fantastic Sponsors (and still have available spots, if you’re so inclined).

Through the years we’ve made it a point to listen to Partners, implement their ideas, and ditch the bad stuff.

We’re committed to providing the best possible learning and networking experience for Partners, and would love to see you there. (Mosey on over to The Partner Event to get registered.)

I invite you to contact me at Jenny (at) thepartnerchannel (dot) com if you have any questions or if you’d like to hear more about climbing uphilll both ways, like we did “back in the day.”

To our veterans, thanks for the memories. To our new friends, I look forward to meeting you soon.

Hitting the Street

By Jenny Davis

Just before noon today I received a phone call from my sister.

“You need to look outside in a few minutes, there’s a guy wearing a big sign and walking down the street.”

Reason #262 why I keep my camera in my purse.

I grabbed said camera and ran out to the balcony. I couldn’t see him yet, so I went downstairs to wait.

There he was three doors down from me, coming up the sidewalk.

I greeted him and asked if I could take his picture.

front side

He asked if I wanted to a picture of the other side.

Of course I did!

back side

We chatted for a few minutes.

Turns out he’s from Redwood Falls, Minnesota, but came up here to sandbag during the flood this past spring.

He liked the community so much he decided to make his move. He’s just up here visiting right now, looking for a job, but hopes to move soon.

He said he’d send me a resume (which I’ll post here as soon as I receive it) and he didn’t mind if I posted his image and this story online.

If your business is Fargo-based and you’re looking for a new marketing manager who obviously isn’t afraid to put himself out there, this could be your guy!

Get Your Inexpensive Plane Ticket to The Partner Event

By Brianne Carlsrud

Are you making plans to attend The Partner Event on September 20-22? Get rock-bottom fares from just $68+ roundtrip from Expedia! The sale ends today, Tuesday, July 14. Visit www.expedia.com to book your flight and save money on your trip to Fargo, ND!

Authenticity in Social Media

By Joe Rotella

The web of social media is growing beyond university campuses and becoming part of our business culture. Social networking services build online communities where people share their interests and activities. Users can also explore the interests and activities of others. Most social network services are web-based and provide a variety of ways for users to interact, such as e-mail, online postings, and instant messaging services. Companies, more and more, are using social networking sites to connect and share with their clients. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are talked about in corporate board rooms as frequently as in college dorms. More and more businesses are incorporating social media into their overall marketing campaigns. Read more »

The Partner Event Content

By Brianne Carlsrud

We are proud to announce that the session content for The Partner Event is now live! Click here to view all the Sales, Marketing, and Leadership tracks that we have in store for you for this year’s event.

Thank you to the many Partners who participated in the first ever session ranking for The Partner Event 2009!

Time to Bake the Content

By Jenny Davis

It’s event content review time!

I’d like to extend the opportunity for you to review the content and provide feedback regarding the sessions of most interest to you, comments to make the sessions better, and, if applicable, topic ideas you feel are missing from this listing.

Contact Tracys@thepartnerchannel.com if you’re interested in participating in the first ever session ranking for The Partner Event!

Your feedback will directly impact the content at The Partner Event 2009 and we look forward to hosting you in Fargo, September 20-22.

The Teacher Will Appear When the Student is Ready

By Jenny Davis

I have session content on the brain right now. The Partner Event is coming up in September, and I’m working with our awesome crop of speakers (past and future) to create a line up that will knock your socks off.

I’ve been looking through content ideas and wanted to throw a few your way…  Read more »

Let the Registering Begin!

By Jenny Davis

I’m excited to share that registration for The Partner Event 2009 is now open!

Register Now!

Partners who attend the 2009 event will receive:

  • Coaching from industry experts on sales, marketing, and leadership skills that will help them re-focus and implement key business strategies
  • Tips from fellow Partners as to what is working in their own businesses to drive leads, sales, and customer references
  • Insight from our Keynote Speakers as far as what the industry future holds and how to prepare for the coming change
  • And – of course – more!

Register by June 15 and you’ll receive the Super Early Bird discounted registration for $450.

Click the “Register Now” icon above or check out The Partner Event page for more information.

1000 Postcards

By Jenny Davis

Last week I received a postcard from one of our print vendors. The offer on the card is 1000 full color postcards for $99.

That’s cheap. That’s 9.9 cents per card, people.

I started to think of things we could do with 1000 postcards and thought I would share the ideas with you. Note – not all of these ideas require mailing 1000 postcards (which is not included in the $99 sticker price).

  1. Have an event coming up? Use these cards as your “Save the Date” or invitation, directing the recipient to your Web site or landing page for more information.
  2. Better yet – use the card to share a registration discount or other special offer for attending the event.
  3. Design the postcards as a thank you note or greeting card, leaving white space so you can write a personal message. Then mail onesie-twosies instead of the whole lot.
  4. Make yourself a jumbo business card (well, bigger than normal at 4×6) and post customer testimonials on the backside.
  5. Want to survey your crowd? Lay out questions and then include the self-addressed, stamped card as an enclosure to an enveloped letter/direct mail piece.
  6. Use the full front and back for the message of choice, then insert into another brochure, folder, magazine, etc. for distribution at a conference, seminar, customer proposal, etc.
  7. Similar to #3, design the card with some white space, but this time use it to gather testimonials. Distribute the self-addressed, stamped card when you finish up a project, asking the customer to jot down a testimonial at their convenience and then drop it in the mail. You can then file these testimonials in a photo album or put them in a 4×6 frame for display.

What would you do?

P.S. E-mail me at Jenny@thepartnerchannel.com if you’d like the contact information for this reputable printer. And no, we don’t get a kick back if you contact them.

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