This week was first time that The Partner Marketing Group attended the Information Technology Alliance (ITA) 2015 Fall Collaborative. You may ask why an organization which focuses exclusively on Information Technology providers has never attended in the past. As you all know, our industry is fraught with events of all kinds and like you, we need to make tough choices of where to invest, especially with events. This year we took the plunge, joined, and delivered a presentation. So what did we think?
Well, this was a little like wearing your slippers and your most comfy pyjamas … we felt right at home with our favorite peeps! No customers to distract partners’ focus, solid connections made, relationships rekindled, lots of laughs, and most of all, valuable dialog and best practice sharing among ISVs, Publishers, consultants and resellers. All around a great conference.
I delivered a presentation on Customer Advocacy and the importance of putting satisfied customers at the center of marketing activities. I was delighted to find that this is not a new or novel concept with this audience but much of the frustration with this effort centers around consistently putting effort into an advocacy program and consistently connecting with those satisfied customers in a world fraught with the challenges of ensuring that implementations start and end of time, that problem resolution takes place in a timely fashion, and so on. Being marketing-focused we don’t often get the opportunity to dive into the workings of our clients (the partner community) and the frustrations they have to deal with.
The session immediately following focused on the ‘customer experience and satisfaction’ – it turns out that these two sessions were very complementary. Striving for 100% satisfaction with customers should be at the heart of all businesses today and it is often tough to achieve. Think about starting with those who are MOST satisfied first and implementing processes and touches along the way and throughout your business to ensure that they are completely satisfied. It may sound like a lofty goal but necessary if we’re going to turn customers into good advocates. Having a few very satisfied customers is much better than having many mediocre or dissatisfied ones.
The conference concluded with round table discussions. As with all conferences many attendees couldn’t wait to get to the airport and head home, however, there is always value for those who stay behind to bring their questions and problems for further discussion – where do we start, what do we do first, what is the marketing priority? There is never a ‘no brainer’ answer. The ‘no brainer’ is that you have to do it, you just have to start, as ugly as that may seem. It’s probably why many don’t start at all. That’s where the Partner Marketing Group comes in, we can help you. Let’s at least have a conversation. We don’t bite!