Guest Column | June 4, 2014

The Biggest Impact Of The Internet Of Things On VARs

VAR Internet Of Things

By Clint Hofer, Owner, Slingfly Media

First, understand that your business is under attack from competition that until recently was not even on your radar.

While you may think your market wants to buy from a VAR that is physically located nearby, the Internet has blown your strategy out the door. Today, any number of companies is invading the screens of your customers, attempting to lead them astray.

Now is the time for you to decide if you will sit by idly and share your profits, or make changes that will keep your company as the go-to partner for your market.

No 1: Get Attention. One of the largest impacts in your industry is that companies can create an online presence, which makes them appear larger and more impressive than your team. Even worse, they can use the right online marketing and social media elements in order to reach those same clients that simply used to flip through the Yellow Pages and call your listing as the “local guy.” Fight back by ensuring your website and online marketing elements are both updated and effective. This is a tool that can formed and molded into a 24-hour sales machine that does not eat or sleep.

No 2: Share A Big Claim. Clients don’t care that you have been in business for 50 years. They would rather hear about how they can benefit from partnering with you. Making claims about how long ago your company was founded should not be the focus of your message or marketing. Your competition is sharing amazing success stories that highlight return on investment and cost and time-savings customers can expect. These are the nuggets that catch clients’ attention, so make sure you include these anywhere possible in the form of testimonials, case studies, and all referrals on your physical and digital marketing media. Sharing a big claim from real clients you have helped will bring massive positive reactions.

No 3: Shift Marketing Focus. Tradeshows and cold calling rooms may have been used for years, but if these outbound marketing efforts are chewing up time and money, there are valid options that will keep you ahead of your competitors. What your competition has already realized is that using technology for lead generation can save valuable time if done right. The first step is identifying your ideal lead or potential market; this will narrow down the best method to reach them. Next, the message itself should impact their thought process by focusing on the benefits they will gain from working with you. Make sure and showcase these positive rather than simply list out features. Finally, the media in which you deliver your marketing needs to be in line with where your leads are most accessible. There are multiple mediums and targeting options that can reach contacts based on their title, role, or even physical location.

The overall theme of this information is to realize that your competition is using the latest tools and strategies to market in your own backyard. Take that back by embracing new marketing and advertising methods to keep the upper hand.