By Matt Farber
A Need for Custom COS Work
Ingram Micro’s customer base is primarily comprised of IT service providers and value-added-resellers, much like SmartBug Media is a reseller of HubSpot, packaging content and services around the software. Ingram Micro provides a full spectrum of global technology solutions and supply chain services to businesses around the world. In its digital marketing efforts, the biggest challenge Ingram Micro had to overcome was that their entire online catalog of content (blogs, white papers, etc…) was hosted on different domains but the target audience was the same. The decentralized nature of content production and publication resulted in a disparate customer experience and difficulty gaining traction with organic search optimization efforts. The goal with switching over to the HubSpot COS was to have everything centralized in one location where Ingram Micro’s customers and prospects had a one-stop shop to learn about the latest technology trends, how to grow their businesses,and how to sell new solutions.
Ingram Micro has focuses heavily on enabling its partners to cross-sell different solutions in a variety of markets. They have partners who sell a single piece of technology and the transaction ends. Ingram see’s this as a big opportunity for the VAR to sell additional technology. Let’s say a VAR is selling a brand new television for a customer’s new conference room redesign. Ingram works with the VARs to expand the conversation past the television. Does the customer have a mount for the TV? Is the network built to take on another TV? Is there a conference phone system in place for the conference room? What about the cabling? And even beyond that looking into different technology areas, this is where the power of the COS came in.
An Innovative Solution
They now have a website built on the COS that features nine different technology areas and seven manufacturer technology areas for VARs to educate themselves. The homepage shown below is a prime example of their ability to showcase content from different technology areas to give the VARs opportunities to find the content they need. Their personas don’t exist in silos, so having the ability to showcase content from different technology practices results in a more cohesive customer experience and aligns well with solution selling business initiatives..
The concept of being able to influence the customer or prospect earlier in the buying process was crucial in Ingram Micro’s decision to build an online presence. It all started with one campaign, blogging twice a week, and converting some traffic into leads for Ingram Micro. As the ROI started to prove value, other technologies in the channel jumped on board slowly but surely and now we have 9+ technology areas blogging anywhere from once to three times a week.
If we look at how their ability to publish over 65 blog posts a month on their website and it’s effect on organic search the results are eye-popping. They’ve seen organic traffic grow 365% since October of 2014 to June of 2015. This is all due to HubSpot COS, and Ingram Micro’s ability to have more than 15 blogs publishing content on a weekly basis.
Lastly, Ingram Micro was then able to approach their technology vendor partners to include them in the prospect’s decision making process at the right stage in the buying cycle.. Ingram Micro is now able to leverage their position as a trusted advisor to recommend the right vendor and the right solution for any project. This has also resulted in the opportunity for Ingram Micro to plan, produce, publish, and promote content for their vendor partners that is IT channel specific.
At the end of the day the HubSpot COS has enabled Ingram Micro to educate and communicate with their customers through multiple, integrated channels , build a significant IT channel audience with thought leadership content, and strengthen their relationship with manufacturers by providing hard ROI on content marketing.