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12.11.14 - Content marketing key in B2B space
“Security products are like insurance. Users don’t buy them alone,” said Eric Chong, senior director – channel marketing APAC at Trend Micro.
The company’s products protect gateways, data centers and cloud environments, amongst others. Due to the escalating cybercrime scene, security has become a big consideration for CIOs.
Hence, in addition to traditional above the line and event marketing investments, Trend Micro also has to lean on its channel partners to push its product in front of buyers, which will in turn, sell to end users of Trend Micro.
Marketing spoke with Chong to find out how the company educates its partners to sell effectively.
Marketing: How do you ensure that your partners are selling your products correctly?
Chong: We don’t just focus on the technical aspects of the products themselves. We also use our partner education programmes to impart soft skills to participants, thus allowing them to fulfill their aspirations. This is something we take pride in: It’s not just about learning what Trend Micro and its products are about – our partners will also learn, for example, how to work with security consultants and understand better the client’s security landscape. In this way, we aspire to really help them to do their job better, which we hope will mean that they’ll be loyal to our product even if they move jobs.
Marketing: What challenges have you encountered in implementing your partner education programme?
Chong: The main challenge we face is that, like most IT vendors, we have a lot of content.  It’s easy for our users to drown in information. Further, it’s difficult to know how best to serve the information to users – for example, mobile phones have limited space. To counter this, our information is structured to make to make it digestible, ensuring that readers can gain something valuable out of our content. We combine online and face-to-face interaction like classroom training to provide the best engagement.
Marketing: What tips do you have for marketers who want to create effective partner education programmes?
Chong: We realised that in order to create an effective education programme, you have to know your partners and what they want. That’s why we feel our programmes are successful: Our partner portal contains relevant content, not just product information. You have to make sure that your education programmes aren’t just product portals.  Finally, role-based content access would help provide the right information in the future to the right person.
Marketing Magazine’s first B2B marketing forum will be held on 28 November at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.  Hear from Chong and other senior marketers at the event. More details here.
To book your seats for the conference contact Carlo Reston at or +65 6423 0329, +65 9727 0291.
For sponsorship opportunities contact Che Winstrom at or +65 6423 0329.
For speaking opportunities contact Ambrish Bandalkul at or call +65 6423 0329.

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