Is Social Media Crossing the Chasm in Partner Management?

Posted: 9/10/2009 by Norma Watenpaugh

Findings from a Survey Conducted by Phoenix Consulting Group, June 2009Well, arguably yes and no. Some technologies that might be labeled early Web 2.0 were in pretty widespread usage. Others such as Twitter are caught up in the tornado. Some, such as MySpace, already seem to be in decline.

Blogs, wikis, and web meeting technology are plausibly across the chasm. There is widespread adoption of these technologies beyond the IT industry as internal and external mediums for collaboration and communication. Most interviewees followed blogs but did not personally or professionally blog themselves, though those in partner marketing did promote company blogs to their partners. Wikis were more commonly utilized behind the firewall and by technical groups for networked collaboration.

Strongest adoption of social media was within the marketing organizations and was prevalent in many partner marketing activities, marketing to partners, marketing with partners, and marketing to recruit partners, etc.

Citrix described their recent social media campaign surrounding Citrix Synergy in which social media was integrated with traditional event marketing. The event included many of Citrixs strategic partners who were featured in the event promotions. The event and the keynote speaker had Facebook pages with links to Citrix TV videos. Event news was tweeted real time to the customer and partner base which were registered as fans on the Facebook pages or following through Twitter twibes. The following link goes to the Synergy website, but the media quicklinks are visible and easily accessible.

http://www.citrixsynergy.com/

Social media has transformed traditional press relations. Cisco now has media releases instead of press releases, recognizing multiple means of communications in an on-line world.Another partner marketing manager remarked that the rules are different as well. For example, their experience has been that bloggers do not always honor news embargos, so their release strategy has been adapted accordingly.

Virtual tradeshow pavilions were pointed out by several partner marketing managers, most notably Cisco.These on-line tradeshows had an exhibit hall where many of their partners had booth space at the virtual tradeshow. One of the interviewees (a Cisco partner) had to cut short our discussion so she could go man the virtual booth.Presentations and keynotes were scheduled throughout the day and available via webcast in real-time with on-line question and answer sessions.Keynotes were also archived for later viewing.

Public social media was gaining ground within partner ecosystems. Partner managers responsible for a portfolio of partners were using many of these tools personally to keep in touch with their partners. Partner marketing organizations are formalizing their strategies to adopt and integrate social media into ecosystem communications and marketing.

More about this in the next blog installment. For the complete study, contact the author: normaw@phoenixcg.com.

----- EXTENDED BODY: ----- EXCERPT: Findings from a Survey Conducted by Phoenix Consulting Group, June 2009 Well, arguably yes and no. Some technologies that might be labeled early Web 2.0 were in pretty widespread usage. Others such as Twitter are caught up in the tornado. Some, such as MySpace, already seem to be in decline.

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