Ingram Micro Rolls Out Vendor Marketing Initiative

The distributor combines data analytics with channel expertise to help vendors better target their channel marketing efforts through channel partners.

November 11, 2008

D.H. Kass

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Distributor Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM) has launched an extensive, data-driven marketing initiative that combines data analytics with channel and technology marketing expertise. The Marketing 3.0 plan utilizes Ingram’s internal database of some two million recent, unique records to craft marketing directives that vendors can tap to reach channel partners.

Marketing efforts include technology and solution programs, channel communities, business intelligence programs, partner enablement, IT services marketing, lead generation and traditional advertising, according to Carol Kurimsky, Ingram Micro North America vice president of marketing.

“For our vendor partners, this program allows us to be extremely targeted, effective and efficient in our marketing,” said Kurimsky. “We had expertise in channel marketing and technology. Now we’ve added data-driven marketing.”

Kurimsky said that with rapidly evaporating budgets, IT vendors want an increasingly targeted approach to channel marketing and expect higher returns on marketing investments. She explained that the key to the Marketing 3.0 program is that Ingram can match the business objectives of its vendors to specific marketing programs. The Ingram program features about 100 different marketing areas through which the vendor can target messages to specific vertical segments or attractive technologies such as virtualization. Pertinent information is pushed to resellers by direct mail, email and telemarketing." We are a marketing agency on behalf of our vendors to resellers,” said Kurimsky.

Central to the new marketing program is the distributor’s storehouse of information, culled from 47 million data records compiled during the past seven years and milled down to the most recent two million records appended with demographic information. That enables Ingram to “understand the total pattern of buying” by vendors and resellers and, more importantly, understand the marketing triggers to which resellers respond, Kurimsky said.

“It’s far more economical for vendors to talk to the right people. And from the reseller perspective we’re getting them the information they need,” Kurimsky said. “We mine through our database and look for patterns of what people buy and the technology they buy.”

Kurimsky said that Ingram uses an analytical modeling process to refine available data into custom programs for content, lead generation and business intelligence. The distributor has staffed its marketing effort with an in-house team of 14 data analysts tasked with pulling information and performing predictive analytics to tie together key markets, technologies and growth resellers.

In addition, Ingram employs 80 people to design marketing programs for vendors and another 150 people to create and execute marketing programs for resellers, Kurimsky said. “They build programs that are based on technical preference and buying patterns of resellers.”

One vendor that worked with Ingram’s direct marketing team on lead generation praised the effort. “We’ve benefited from Ingram Micro’s solid, turnkey approach to generating highly targeted IT end-user leads for our office printers and MFPs and connecting them up with our key authorized reseller partners,” said Mike Milligan, marketing communications vice president, Xerox Office Group.

Another Ingram vendor, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), recently launched a co-branded channel marketing campaign with Ingram’s Web 2.0 marketing services such as digital signage, custom content and video and mobile displays for market and brand.

Ingram delivers quarterly reports to participating vendors to assess their return-on-investment, Kurimsky said. “Lead generation or data intelligence can be measured to sales and net profit gain,” she said.

TAGS: virtualization,marketing,Cisco,distributor,Ingram

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