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Global technology solution providers like Dimension Data are in a race to pull ahead in an increasingly chaotic IT landscape. B2B prospects are in greater control of the purchasing process. And rather than tying up precious capital in large purchases, enterprises want to wring the most value from their IT budgets through as-a-service offerings in the cloud and managed services. Such “consumption-based” service models make it simple for businesses to switch vendors at any time.
Technology solution providers can only compete by enabling business transformation, and bringing specialised, industry-specific expertise to the table.
Dimension Data – a leading global ICT provider with an Asia Pacific presence in over 60 offices across 13 countries - thinks beyond seasonal, sporadic, campaign-centric marketing. The focus is to encourage customers to consume more, while maintaining barriers to entry against competitors.
Our Solution Approach
We helped them embark on an “always-on” content marketing program that is mapped to the buying journey and approaches prospects and audiences from three angles: verticals, horizontals, and solution categories.
Enterprise Cloud Asia serves as a solution-centric hub for vendor-neutral content that addresses buyer concerns and practical issues around implementing enterprise cloud. Certain content such as e-books are gated using marketing automation forms, while thought leadership articles are freely accessible.
The horizontal-focused content hub, Commercial at Work, guides the aspiring yet price- sensitive mid-market segment towards optimal technology solutions for networking, collaboration and security.
Next-Generation Networking (NGN) helps support product-category marketing. The site hosts gated NGN guides and papers, as well as an interactive browser-based game where visitors roleplay as CTOs to learn more about the practical applications of NGN.
Visual explainers distill complex technical concepts like software-defined networking into short, easily digestible videos that communicate business value.
A specially crafted post-sales ‘Welcome Kit’ helps to quickly familiarise customers with DD’s cloud services, demonstrating its ease of use so as to spur and encourage its consumption. The kit includes an interactive video screen featuring a personalised welcome message and a series of how-to videos that guide customers through the early stages of cloud deployment and configuration. Combined with its aesthetic appeal, this helps to reinforce Dimension Data’s image as a trusted partner to enterprises.
Delivering on the Promise
To measure content performance and track the lead lifecycle, Dimension Data integrates marketing automation into all its content hubs. The ensuing data and insights help segment prospects by categories such as firmographics, business functions, and areas of interest, and nurture these prospects with content tailored for each category.
Email marketing to its current customer and prospect databases is also integrated with marketing automation to gather an accurate picture of the lead’s activities through the nurturing cycle.
Another series of emails focus on featuring customer successes with the cloud, and where customers cannot be named, present use cases based on contexts and anonymised profiles.
LinkedIn tools helps Dimension Data narrow down quality prospects through social media, and syndicate its content through personal as well as official pages – thereby helping to bridge the sales/marketing gap. In addition, Dimension Data taps technology publications to further boost outreach through a mix of content hosting and email marketing to rented databases.
Over a period of 9 months, Dimension Data’s content marketing efforts reaped growths of 13.5% in revenue, 15% in digital lead generation, and 21% in conversions of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQL).
And in the welcome kit’s pilot run with 50 customers, Dimension Data saw average billing per virtual server increase by 17% within one month.
The effectiveness of post-sales marketing is unquestionable in consumption-based service markets. IT investment attitudes have evolved, and so also have customers’ perceptions of the services they invest in.
Positioning has become as critical as, if not more than, technical expertise – by shedding the ‘cloud seller’ image for that of business enablers and trusted advisors, providers like Dimension Data achieved a fundamental shift in positioning – not just to prospects and customers, but third-party audiences like analysts and technology reviewers as well.
Through data-driven content marketing and strong partnerships with leading technology vendors like Cisco, Microsoft, and EMC, Dimension Data transformed its image from that of just another ICT provider to that of a business transformation architect enabled by technology, and in the process maximise profits from this ultra-competitive market.