ESET is rolling out a new benefit for top partners that aims to provide specialized support around targeted marketing campaigns, with the goal of helping to boost the solution providers’ sales with the cybersecurity vendor while also enhancing the partners’ marketing skills, the company told CRN.
The new Marketing as a Service benefit in the ESET Partner Program will include support from the vendor to qualified partners over a six-month period, during which the company will help the partners to deliver a number of marketing campaigns to end customers, said Hope McCluskey, director of channel marketing for ESET North America.
“When you’re working with a partner on putting together a marketing plan that includes a half-year campaign, that’s differentiated in my estimation,” McCluskey said.
“We’re really working closely with the partner. The partner account manager and a marketing [specialist] are really dedicating their time to really drive this,” she said. “It’s probably much more manual than what most vendors are offering — and I think that’s a good thing.”
The company has been testing out the program with about a half dozen partners so far.
One solution provider that has been piloting the Marketing as a Service program with ESET is San Diego-based Secure Smart Office. The company, which focuses on serving SMBs, has been working with ESET since August and has found that it’s already yielding results, according to executives.
“The sophistication of the tools that they’re using is something that a smaller company like ours just wouldn’t be able to afford,” said Rusty Sailors, CEO of Secure Smart Office.
Working with ESET has enabled the company to target potential customers in a number of cities that originally would’ve taken much longer for the company to be able to focus on, Sailors said.
“This is an accelerator for us,” he said.
Jared Sawyer, the company’s head of business development, said that a major part of the value has come from ESET’s team reviving sales leads that the solution provider had given up on.
“Normally you’d be in a situation where you have to figure it out for yourself,” Sawyer said, which is typically a “painstaking process.”
“Being able to have this giant engine behind you that is ESET, with their marketing and brand recognition, that really elevates the game for you,” he said.
ESET plans to scale up the Marketing as a Service program to about 10 additional partners per quarter, according to McCluskey. The focus is on gold and silver ESET partners, though in some cases the company might choose to work with a partner that has shown a commitment to ESET as well as a “ton of potential,” she said.
Ultimately, the program is also aimed at teaching partners new skills when it comes to marketing that can be used going forward, McCluskey said.
“Once the program concludes, they now have been taught how they can do some of this as well,” she said. “The better we can enable them to drive business for the long run, the better off we all are.”