Market development funds challenge: The content marketing plan

Marketing development funds aimed at content marketing could open the door to new leads, but vendors need to get throw their support behind the idea.

As a marketer for a solutions provider that specializes in a host of technologies (virtualization, storage, backup and business intelligence, to name a few), I collaborate daily with many of today's bellwether technology manufacturers. The meetings and conference calls typically fall into one of three buckets: to pitch an initiative, plan an already agreed-upon initiative or review an initiative's success and next steps. Many times, these initiatives relate to marketing development funds and how the manufacturer has or will enable my company from a financial standpoint.

What I've experienced -- and surely you have too -- is that the manufacturers' marketing development funds are overly focused on supporting the old school "push marketing" initiatives as opposed to today's "pull marketing" tactics.

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The problem is that we're content-resource-challenged. And like many B2B marketers in the channel, we need help! According to recent research by the Content Marketing Institute, 64% of B2B marketers say they are challenged with producing enough content.

And we're looking to the bellwether technology manufacturers with which we partner for content marketing support both from a financial and resource perspective. What's strange is that many of these large suppliers of technology have a sophisticated content marketing plan. They understand and apply the latest content and inbound marketing strategies to their own business. It just seems the channel marketing arm hasn't caught up with corporate yet.

So the next time you have that planning call with your technology partner, speak up and pitch content marketing ideas, and explain how they'll create more awareness and generate demand on a wider scale, 24/7. I understand that lunch-and-learns, user group sponsorships and tradeshow sponsorships are all part of the marketing mix. But our technology manufacturing partners need to understand there are many more tools in today's marketing toolbox, and a good content marketing plan can help generate more leads and sell more product.

We just need their support.

Rich Young can be reached at Rich.Young@eGroup-us.com.

This was first published in June 2013

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