LAN Systems is offering free collateral marketing to its 300 plus Cisco resellers as part of an aggressive push to increase its sales incentive.
In an undisclosed deal with online marketing collateral specialist Elateral, any channel partner purchasing Cisco gear through LAN Systems will automatically accrue marketing dollars that they can then "spend" on customised marketing material. The range of marketing collateral is designed by LAN systems and is accessible to registered partners direct from the company Web site, using Elateral's online channel marketing software.
Already being used in Australia by Xerox, Sun Microsystems and Camtech, 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.
"We wanted to offer the ability to our resellers to do marketing activities effectively and fairly cheaply," says LAN system's Cisco product manager, John 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."
Despite the low costs, Penn predicts that 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 business and secondly helps us and the reseller push the Cisco side of things. It turns into a virtual circle because we help the reseller with the marketing so they do more marketing and they get more leads which grows their business. They pass that back through LAN systems, which goes back up to Cisco."
According to Penn, Cisco Gold and Global resellers are not eligible for the program because of existing marketing programs they hold directly with the vendor.