B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 2 years ago

How LinkedIn Supports B2B Enterprise Tech Solutions | Cisco Series


Historically, the B2B IT industry has been a little behind the times in terms of networking and brand marketing. 

Industry events — like Ingram Micro’s ONE event — have provided great networking opportunities for IT professionals. Even so, there are myriad chances outside of conferences to connect with peers and prospects. 

In this episode of B2B Tech Talk, guest host James Carbary (founder and CEO of Sweet Fish Media) catches up with Jason Carriere, the IT channel sales leader at LinkedIn

From the Ingram Micro ONE event, the two discuss how IT pros can leverage the power of LinkedIn’s platform to build awareness and convert leads. 

Follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Sponsored by Cisco. 

Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

You're listening to be tob tech talk with Ingram micro the place to learn about new technology and technological advances before they become mainstream. This podcast is sponsored by Ingram micros imagine next. It's not about the destination, it's about going someplace you never thought possible. Go to imagine next, Dot Ingram microcom to find out more. Let's get into it. Welcome back to be Tob Tech Talk. My name is James Carberry with sweetish media and I will be the guest host for this episode. We're recording on site in Denver, Colorado at the Ingram micro one event and in this episode I'll be talking to Jason carrier. He is the IT channel sales leader at Linkedin. Jason, how you doing today? I am doing great. It's great to be with you as well. I'm excited to chat with you, Jason. I'm a huge advocate for the linkedin platform, so I'm really excited for this conversation. Saver. So, Jason, you're known for designing and implementing best practices within the overall it BTB channel on Linkedin. What do you think the IT BB industry struggles with the most when it comes to social media marketing. I would say just the newness of it the channel specifically, as far as it channels very used to traditional programs. They're very heavy on events in terms of marketing sporting events, whether it be dinners social events. While those are good, they have a very limit reach and they can't scale. Having been in the channel myself for many years, I've done those. I've sponsored them myself with my own MDF when I used to work companies like amd as an example, and while there's a lot of high value there, the scalability and efficiency in terms of really reaching a large number of people with the message is tough. Yeah, and I'd say that the newness of social and digital has been someone of the challenge in terms of from adoption standpoint. In every industry there's a maturity curve that clients and all of us kind of progress on and within, and I think the maturity curve now is a great time for the channel in terms of to really look at social and digital from a long term perspective. I've described what we do at linked in particular in terms of with the channel clients, as it's really a marathon on a sprint. Yeah, and the channel could be very transactional times because there are monthly, weekly and daily sales goals that we all have. But at the end of the day, playing long term game and having a long term vision around social and digital as a platform and not being necessarily too concerned about the short term game at times is going to benefit the channel over the next couple of years for sure. So you're speaking twice at this event, Jason. One of the things that you're talking about is how social can drive return on investment, which I just being at this event for the last day, I've heard a lot of talk around that. Everyone wants to talk about our I, Yep, obviously give us some some tips for how our listeners can get Roi from linkedin. So everything that we do within the context of this event and particular is through ingrow micro. So we work with the digital and social teams very closely. The beauty of Linkedin is the platform itself is fully scalable. It's very efficient. When someone creates an account on Linkedin or works withinger micro, as an example, from a reseller standpoint or of our standpoint, or even like an Om, like a them or an HP or Cisco, they can get real time data and what we give to our clients as the ability to clog into a portal that they literally can build a marketing campaign or program within twelve to fifteen minutes. They can select the content that they want to have, they can set the audience again, select the budget and they can seleckt Kepis. Yeah, and while there's a lot of power in being able to do this on their own and develop some sort of Roi Mechanism, the really great thing about Linkedin is the ability to actually choose that for themselves. And so I've worked at past companies whereby we had large account management teams that had to do everything for the clients and...

...the clients often times wouldn't have nursly the best interest in doing those things themselves. So now that we really put the power in the hands of an ingrim micro to work with US collaboratively around specific programs and solutions, I think the big Roy questions really come back to are retargeting the right individuals? Do we have the right campaign material? Is there a good follow up in place? What is Ingram micro doing to drive specific within that category or solution? And let's be honest, a lot of the leads that folks get today at different companies for solutions. Solutions, cell cycles are twelve or fifteen months, right, and I think as Ingram as a key partner with Ingram, Ingram sees the value in the long term capabilities that linked in brings in terms of from an investment standpoint to build not just loyal followers but help them penetrate new markets based upon our first party data. In terms of targeting, yeah, and that's been the big driver for us with the younger micro marketing and digital teams has been to really drive that message home through the vendor community. So the Roy conversation goes from point programs to what's the broader solution set that they have? How can we best target based upon personas within Linkedin and what value can they drive to the partner to actually give them some specific metrics back based upon their keepy eyes? Yeah, can you dive a little bit deeper into the targeting piece of that? That's sure things super fascinating to me and and you guys are sitting on an enormous amount of data. We are. It's because your user yeah, and quite frankly, it's really what differentiates us from every other B tob social platform. So that's Day. It is. When you look at the first party data, sort of the exchange that someone has when they come to linked in and create a profile, is that we now have the ability to target them in a very mature, sophisticated and mindful manner. Yeah, and when I say target, I mean to market to them ultimately, and that first party data gives us the ability to target not just by where they work or by the GEO, but by skills, by experience, by a whole host of things that appear on a linkedin profile that allows us to serve very target relevant media at a specific time in their own sort of investigative journey around different technology and Technologies and solutions. And having worked at companies that are somewhat similar to us in within this MARTEC, you know, industry, they primarily use their party data, although you will use call centers off shore. Yeah, and, quite frankly, you know, the model is now changed and developed a such a way, in such a way that linkedin you can actually build a relationship with myself or you, James, or anyone else at this summit event. And the really cool thing about coming out of these presentations that we just did is the fact that folks now are sending me their Linkedin, you know, connection requests, right, because I'm not anonymous. Yeah, I'm actually flesh and blood and so are they. And they had great questions and they asked and some questions we were lance on spot in a some others that we're going to follow up with. Yeah, but those folks in the audience say that heard the presentation can now build a relationship with me virtually or follow me or me learned from them. Yeah, and what they're doing in their businesses, and that's really the differentiator between what we do and everyone else. Yeah, I love it. So obviously you're dealing a lot with enabling these companies to be able to do, to run specific campaigns with the credible targeting that they have at their fingertips. But one thing that I've found is there's actually an enormous opportunity just for organic reach on the platform linked. There is really I mean it's it's become a content platform and they don't think that a lot of business owners and lake and business leaders understand the power of right how much I mean obviously spending spending money to target your advertising it to the exact people that you want to reach. That's right. Should be done. Let's every you should be doing that. But there's also I mean my contract cut, my content on Linkedin has been viewed millions of times completely organically. That's right, because it's a content platform. Can you speak to that and and Shure you see where? You see the opportunity there?...

So I see the opportunity there. And these are some of the questions that we had from new audience. Stay is, how do you differentiate between the company brand and your brand? Yeah, and you know, once again, we are as individuals. We want a name and we want to face to a name. We want to build relationships with individuals. Honestly, companies per see people work for companies and that represents a certain type of brand. But the organic piece is huge and the primary way that Linkedin it grew was through recruiting, right, and that now is transition and morphed into linkedin marketing solutions, which the division I'm enter price tech, and you have learning solutions and then you also have, you know, sales solutions like sales navigator, and the organic capability for folks to publish their own content for either themselves on behalf of their company, for instance, on the platform and for that to be shared is incredible. Yep, because what it does is it brings a high degree of relevancy to specific set of connections that you have in your own network that then you're able to share out with and you have no idea how many folks are going to actually interact or shares with that specific content and get real value from it. Yep, and that's the cool thing about linked in. The majority of our content, the majority of what we do on the platform today, by a factor of almost fifteen to one, is content versus jobs. Yes, so the law is not surprising. Yeah, well, town solution is still of main business for us. The marketing solution side of the house is grown rapidly and we'll continue to do so because of things like that. Yeah, one one quick tip that I've that I've noticed just by being by trying to produce as much content as I can on the platform, is not just posting and leaving, but posting a status update and then actually engaging in the comments. That's right close. So you have this incredible opportunity, because of the people that are on Linkedin that's right, to to a to address them and when they chime in and they comment, actually going and engage with it, replies right, like, reply to it as right. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. You don't need to spend I hear a lot of people say, you know, I don't have time for that. Out of time for it too. I mean take ten minutes at the you know, at the end of the day you post it, to go back a few hours later and and just go and reply to those comments. And it's exact age with the community that you're building there, right, because the linkedin platform gives you a incredible opportunity. Yeah, do you just that right? So, and thank you said. It's all organic, it's all user generated, coxactly exactly. So my next question for you, Jason. You talked in your session up all about brand building. Yep, talk to us about the importance of companies building a brand. So the research and surveys that we've done historically reinforce the the core belief and I think everyone has this set there in their gut, so to speak, but you know, is now being sort of teased out through the data. The companies that invest in their brand, invest in their brand wisely and efficiently, have a greater opportunity to grow in scale. They have a higher asp average selling price of the products, they can maintain pair of profit margins but, more importantly, they have a larger community of audience members that they can then target. Yeah, and the brand piece is somewhat challenge, I think, for smaller companies in terms of with INTECH, because they look at the shareff voice of some of the larger companies. So even if you're not a fifteen billion or, or, you know, five hundred million dollar partner today, whether that's ohm or whether that's on the oar side, you can still build your brand starting today. Yeah, right. You know, I always go back to the story of Michael Krasny and the founder of cdw. He sold a pcs the Chicago Tribune in one thousand nine hundred and eighty four, I believe it was, and that company take is a fifteen billion dollar powerhouse. So you have to start somewhere. Yeah, and he started with the medium that was in vogue back then, which was newspaper newsprint, and it was just a simple sale that led to this massive organization. And their stories like that across tech and that's just one story. But utilize what you have in front of you and Linkedin is a great platform to start that with. And even if you're just original small player in terms of that, you just might be in the Midwest or the Chicagoland area, or you might have, you know, a certain segment...

...like healthcare of public sector. You know, don't discount the fact that you can start today. You don't have to be an expert of it. You're going to find that you're going to be able to kind of jump in the shallow in the pool and gradually get yourself to the deep end. Yeah, it's going to take time, you're going to take a lot of patients, but ultimately you need to have that long term view around starting someplace and just kind of forcing yourself up that sort of maturity curve to the point where you can be more selfsufficient. Right, there's plenty of resources out there. You could even work like with in your Micros Agency and utilizing their marketing services, and that's a key you know, different here that we provide is, you know, we're here to impower Ingram's partners and their clients to really thrive. Yeah, and the expertise that Ingram brings to the table is significant because we work with them on such a regular basis that we reinforce what we do, but reinforce it through their their cellars. Yeah, what is your thought? You alluded to it earlier. People are thinking, do I start with the company brand or do I start with my personal brand? How do you typically advise folks when asking that question? So I gave the linkedin answer. I also get my own personal answer in the breakout session. Ultimately, our job at Linkedin, our goal is to empower the global workforce, right, if I can development, and to exceed in, you know, reach their goals. And the way I look at this is the we're all going to change jobs at a certain point in time, right. I'd mentioned that, you know, having the twenty five or thirty year you know, run at a company. While that's admirable and I would love to do that myself. This is the seventh company I work for twenty five years intact, and that's just the nature of the business. Yeah, so I think you need both. You need to be smart about your own personal brand and how you develop that from a relevant standpoint with and within a platform like linkedin. So, quite frankly, you could take care of yourself and your family economically and then, as you work for companies, you want to be a good reflection of the values and what they currently stand for in the environment today in terms of work environment, what they're doing socially and helping others in terms of to solve their own business needs and problems. So you really have to look at as two fold. You want to promote what your organization's doing, but the most specific are the most amount of value. I think that companies are get from their employees isn't necessarily being a cheerleader just about their brand all the time, but it's to kind of mix the cheerleading in with their own personal perspectives and we then the narratives around how they see the market place as an individual and how they're trying to help the market place thrive. Yeah, and Excel or solve some sort of problem or become better at what they do in some way. And that's what we do at linked in the marketing solutions group. Is Our job is to help our clients reach a greater, you know, set of prospects or go deeper and miter existing accounts to like kind of base marketing. But ultimately it's to give the tools and the resources to companies so that they can grow economically so we can all live in a much better society. Yeah, I wholeheartedly agree with that. I know that when I am scrolling through my feet on the on the linkedin APP, it's the personal accounts that I tend to resonate, that's right, the most and it's there their stories. It's not a it's not a sales pitch for you know what their value prop of their company is. It's man, I was talking to a customer today and they were really struggling with this right and after a thirty minute conversation, here's here's where we landed. It's, I think that Datada exactly. There's so many opportunities, I think, to start building your brand. What you know to that point? Like I took a picture in front of the that, yeah, the Dell Technology Tree, I guess. Yep, lack of better term, but with an old former CO worker of mine at amd from years ago. I had not seen Linda and probably a decade now, and so she saw him. We see stopped works a Dallas like hey, take a picture over there. You know, it's a couple hashtags on your linkedin profile and we're going to plan a tree for every photo we get on the linked in platform. I love that. So once again, I mean it wasn't hard for me take complements out of my day to take the photo put up on Linkedin. And you know already I have something in the neighborhood of you know, of three or four hundred views of that specific and then people commenting. Yep, and the cool things. Other people are here. They'll...

...see that, will come up to me but, more importantly, they'll go back over to the Dell area and they'll take a picture of the tree and you know, once again, if Dell planning a tree, I mean how can you not like just take a couple minces do that's a that's a really, really smart kind of Lo hanging for a smart way to way to execute that. That's interesting, it's great. So a big challenge that I'm sure you hear a lot. I know how I hear a lot is time and resources. There's not enough, that we never have enough time and never have enough resources. How can companies be more resourceful and efficient with their marketing strategy? From your perfective I think they have to set very specific goals from themselves. Don't give themselves layups necessarily, but have sort of a crawl, walk run approach to you know, be willing to start someplace, make some mistakes, sort of you know, iterate on those mistakes, learned from them and sort of, you know, build from there. No one's going to run a perfect campaign every single time. It's impossible. You know, our team does a lot in terms of helping clients really maximize and optimize their campaign dollars, but at the end of the day, any good markers, honest will say you have had quite a few duds in my career, maybe more duds at times than home runs. Yep, right and and I think companies have to set some realistic goals from themselves so they know where the start weren't, where they're going to be mid level and then where they going to kind of look towards in terms of from the next three to five years out. Got It. Can you walk us through and of what maybe the anatomy of a campaign or a successful campaign is that look like? Giving away some sort of free resource on the front end and then nurturing that opportunity via email or through other ads on Linkedin? Walk US through. So I would say the biggest challenge is immediately going for a specific type of lead, as getting leads and the channels highly transactional. We're all prone and bent in that direction. I've been in the channel since one thousand nine hundred and ninety five, so I know what it's like to face, you know, daily, monthly, weekly, quarterly, annual sales goals and we all want to get the lead that converts into, you know, the million dollar opportunity. And the challenge is is that, you know, you first have to kind of speak to the audience. What we'd talked about a lit is warming the audience up and giving them specific content and giving them specific things to think about on their own sort of investigatory journey as they move towards buying a specific solution. Only fifteen percent, probably, of everyone in tach and a given time is is exploring like an immediate opportunity. The majority of folks are, you know, out there sort of learning about what's in the market. You know, is this Microsoft program or solution? Is this the right one for me today, whereas it where's the roadmap going? Do I talk to someone at Ingram Micro about, you know, the technology stack that I'm using today? How can I better integrate it? And I think the big challenge is is that you know from a successful campaign you want to have something that warms up the audience, that speaks to the audience at first, and then you start kind of leading into some that funnel, bottom funnel demand Gen programs. So six to eight weeks of kind of warming up an audience and then taking those last, you know, four weeks, let's say, and actually doing some sort of hand raising opportunity. We have legend forms and that we offer a linked at Linkedin. It's ideal. You don't have to go to landing page in a micro as an example, can run leadenforms with they in the platform. You'll just click on a button and all the profile day that you have goes into a formum. Yep, and it's optimized from mobile. So it starts, Jason, with the first warming up that audience. It does by providing really valuable content. Right. And what's what's fascinating to me about this space. Whether you're an OEM, whether you're Var your entire team is made up of very, very smart people. You're not in this space right if you don't have an enormous amount of intelligence on your team and so thinking about bottling up that intelligence and turning it into really valuable actionable insights and content that can be used at the top of your funnel. That's right to actually get people to want to engage with you. And No, it's not going to turn into an opportunity...

...right out of the gate, but I love that you talked about the importance of doing that on the front end and playing that long game to what you were mentioned letting you earlier. That's exactly right. And even in my you know, ten months here at Linkedin, alive and tech sales and enterprice sales for a long time, there are always processes and other things that you have to sort of get through and you have to make the best of and success doesn't come overnight. I mean you can have minor wins here and there, but ultimately it's about driving towards a specific vision. I've on a personal I've told my management team I'm here, I have a three to five year vision for what we want to build collectively within the IT Channel at Linkedin for marketing solutions and how we can empower clients, like in your micro to get more market share, to develop better contacts, to have a greater presence within a platform like Linkedin, so there could be a higher degree of relevancy and ultimately that's going to long term. It's going to drive lour cost per Leeds for Ingram Yep. It's going to drive better skills which for the digital marketers and they're going to have a better grasp on their audience around who specifically is buying certain solutions, given the fact that we have so much data that we can't give to them and we can also help them interpret. Yeah, Jason, do you have any specific success stories of IT companies that you've seen when really big on Linkedin? I would say what we've done in particular is traditionally Linkedin has worked a lot with the brand directs of the world, the Cisco is, the Microsoft, hps, loovo's. What we've been able to do with Linkedin on the channel side is really help our channel clients, empower them to be, you know, really good marketers and to understand digital and social in such a way we're potentially we're possibly they hadn't had that exposure to a linkedin because there wasn't a dedicate team like we have today, and so I'd say a lot of the winds that we've had over the last, you know, ten months or so that I've been here has literally been what we called light bulb moments, and these are qualitative moments where we'll go into a client, will have a round table like an Ingrid Micro, will have twelve people at the table and we're literally will do a training and then they can take that information, what we've just given them. They could bring that out sir clients and they can sort of upplicate it around best practices and how they go to market and what they do. The traditional campaign components aren't going to change much right. It's still going to be warming up the audience. It can engage them with content and video game to think differently about certain product or solution and then getting them to raise their hands. So they now become sort of the you know, a prospect that's highly nurtured. Yeah, so I'd say the big thing for us has been really giving our channel partners the ability to view us in a much more specific light and then helping them drive down cpls or helping them fill their pipeline in terms of from a revenue standpoint. And why I can't give away individual details. We are working across, you know, Ingram, microstop tech partners are also ours. So we work with the channels divisions of all those organizations, like the ciscos and the hps and the noble's the world, to help them also better understand how to use linkedin from a channel perspective as a platform. Yeah, it. So this is our last question, Jason, and it's one that I love asking. Where do you see technology going in the next year? Oh boy, that's that might be a little bit above my pick. However, I could tell you, at least from our perspective and from an it channel Lens, we see a greater adoption of the marketing technology stack. I was asked today, as an example in the breakout session, like you know, up spot and part out and Elclone, Marquetto and all these other great martech vendors like. Who Do we recommend? Well, at the end of the day, we could recommend any one of those. It really depends upon the customer needs. What's their budget? What can they adapt to in terms of like integrate within their own platforms? How did they go to market? Who Do they see themselves with longer term? It's not just about CR M system today. I can tell you that one of the big reasons why I've come to Linkedin from this standpoint has been the fact that, you know, we are Microsoft Own Company for the last, you know, nearly three years now, and we're only seeing greater...

...and greater opportunity as Microsoft invest more within our platform. Yet gives us a lat of autonomy to be who we are, but as they invest more in our platform with things like artificial intelligence and machine learning and the whole process in the back end of being able to bring more relevant ads and programs and solutions to our clients and also, more importantly, to our members on the platform. The more specific we can be, the less we can have to clutter up someone's feed with things that they're not interested in. Is really important. So I'm really excited about the artificial intelligence and machine learning really the back end algorithms that really power the platform like Linkedin to make it as relevant as possible from a BB standpoint, so people can come here on a continual basis and learn, not just from companies that want to advertise them, but learn from their peers and others within the network. Yeah, O, Jason, I have a feeling. I know how you're going to answer this, but how can listeners, how can listeners stay connected with you? So you can send me a linkedin invite to Jason Carrier, which is se a R R iere. I am on Linkedin, of course, based on the Chicago suburbs. So if you send me an invite, I promise I will especially if you're in technology, I promise I will accept and would love to also let you guys know to that linkedin marketing solutions has its own its own group on Linkedin as well. So if you sign up for linkedin marking solutions, you sign up for the content will also be able to push you relevant content that's going to help you make a big view of better marketer and, more importantly, give you sort of the tools and tips that you're going to need to actually impress the folks that you work with. Wonderful Jason. Thank you so much for your time today. If you're listening to this and you have not already subscribed to the podcast on spotify or apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts, make sure to subscribe and then stay connected with us by following us on twitter at Ingram Tech Soul and then join the discussion use the Hashtag be tob tech talk and we are really excited to stay connected with you there. Thank you so much for listening. It's great. Thank you, James. I appreciate you've been listening to be tob tech talk with Ingram Micro, hosted by Carrie Roberts. This episode was sponsored by Ingram Micros imagine next. Be To be tech talk is a joint production with sweet fish media and angrim micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today on your favorite podcast platform.

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