Arrow Lets Mid-Market Resellers Buy Sales Campaigns
February 23, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The Enterprise Computing Solutions group of IT and electronics components distributor Arrow Electronics wants to make it a lot easier for its downstream resellers to put together marketing campaigns and scare up a little business out there in the midrange.
To that end, ECS has announced a new sales and marketing tool called MPower SmartCart, which is available to resellers that are members of its MPower Midmarket Partner program. The tool is really a Website that has a bunch of marketing materials for various servers and storage hardware and related operating system, systems, and application software. Partners log in and shop for marketing materials, much as they would groceries or books online, and then they pay whatever fees they would normally pay for such materials. The Website does the customization necessary to brand and tailor the solution to fit whatever each individual business partner is trying to do in a marketing campaign. The site takes credit card payments or can invoice resellers or can use market development funds that come from upstream IT suppliers (IBM and Hewlett-Packard are the two biggies at ECS) to pay the bill. The site has a marketing dashboard that keeps track of budgets and spending in a given year. Resellers can upload their own distribution lists into the system if they have them, or they can acquire lists from ECS based on whatever parameters make sense given the solution and the partner’s geographic region.
“SmartCart enables resellers to more effectively manage and execute their marketing programs to increase sales and develop new markets,” explained Robert Spee, director of marketing for the Midmarket Group at ECS in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Also, SmartCart supports a system for tracking the response rates on lead generation campaigns and provides reports that resellers can use to demonstrate proof of performance when requesting additional funding from suppliers for future campaigns.”
Wouldn’t be funny if a tool like this convinced software sellers to get back into the hardware distribution business? Having access to potential clients is the name of the game in this economy, after all. But Arrow, like its rival in IT distribution, Avnet, has to peddle iron and it needs lots and lots of resellers to in turn get that iron into customer sites.
If you are an Arrow reseller or want to be one, check out www.arrowmpower.com for more information.