Creating a Smarter Product Ecosystem with Co-Marketing

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Marketing can be tricky. When you have an overstretched staff, it can often turn into another task pushed off to the side. But did you know manufacturers are anxious to work with integrators to market their products to end users? We asked some of the top manufacturers about working together to create a smarter product ecosystem.

SCN: How can integrators work with manufacturers to market products to end-users?

Karen Smidt, Senior Marketing Manager, Chief: We’re always looking to partner with integrators on case studies, and we will promote those both within the channel and to end users. If there are questions that come up repeatedly around our products, or points in the process where customers always seem to trip, let us know—maybe we can produce content to help answer those questions or expedite that part of the process.

Laura Lawrence, Director of Global Marketing, Harman Professional Solutions: Our team at Harman has developed active marketing partnerships with many integration firms spanning the globe, and we assist them with the development of materials and assets that help reach and educate their staff and end users. We are also heavily invested in providing the best training materials in the industry through webinars, case study video production support and talent, and knowledge resources. By providing these assets, we help the integrators to successfully market in the most effective ways to reach their customers.

Gina Sansivero, Director of Business Development, Education, FSR: We often cooperate with our dealers to support their sales processes by addressing specific market segments. There are a number of ways we can do this—conduct joint sales meetings, sponsor dealer showcases, provide installer certifications, and create co-branded marketing materials like case studies. We can even arrange open forum or structured market-specific events to facilitate dialogue, and discuss products or challenges.

Dana Corey, GM, Avocor: Avocor is end user focused and we’ve generated many leads for integrators from our efforts. One of the ways we’ve successfully done this is by working with technology partners, such as Zoom, to make it incredibly easy to understand, select, and then use a collaboration system. We work with our integrators not only to create these bundles, but then hand over the lead for them to fulfill. The best way we can partner to create end user pull is to make the offering incredibly easy for an end user—to show them how we solve a problem for them.

Chris Neto, Business Development Manager—Consultant Liasion, Barco: One way integrators can leverage Barco expertise is to create a technology “Open House.” These forums help individual components like projection, video wall technology, image processing, control and wireless connectivity to really shine when they are shown as part of a bigger ecosystem. Duplicating that ecosystem can be challenging and the end results can be less than favorable if it’s not done right, so Barco also helps define appropriate workflows for end users. We are fortunate to offer all those components in a single enterprise environment, like Spring Studios in NYC demonstrates, that helps the integrator focus on the solution and the end user vision with creative problem solving.

Alison Maxson, PR & Marketing Communications Manager, Absen: It’s all about collaboration. When I engage with an integrator, I immediately ask if they are on any social media sites. Sometimes it’s as simple as making sure you each follow one another to help share new products and news that makes a huge impact. Our sales team is always ready with co-marketing opportunities—end users want to see real-life examples so case studies are key. Our team works closely with integrator partners to help develop a story and get it in front of new prospects to influence their decision making.

Garth Lobban, Director of Marketing, Atlona: Case Studies are the number one way Atlona partners with integrators to promote their capabilities. Our integrator partners are so talented which it makes it easy to showcase their installations in a write-up that documents the challenges they’ve faced and the solutions they provided. It offers validation of the integration company’s talents, and gives them a piece of literature they can use to earn more customers. Atlona features and promotes these case studies on our website and social media channels. We partner with integrators so they can easily share their story by doing the research, writing, and we’ll even manage the photography in many cases.

Mark Lopez, Director of Marketing, Commerical Audio Products, Yamaha Professional Audio: It all begins with identifying the desired endresult. There are dozens of ways we can collaborate, but having a clear idea of what end user targeted values are is invaluable to us in participating in the development of an effective message. Knowing what their values are can guide us in choosing a platform (be it print collateral, email, social media, etc.) that is best suited to successfully communicate that message. Another very direct method is for integrators to partner with us in finding ways to build confidence in a potential solution through a demonstration, success stories, or even attending one of our regular training sessions.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.