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

Episode · 2 years ago

The Value Agency Ingram Micro Brings to Partners | Cisco Series


Geico insurance without the gecko. Nike without the swoosh. Apple without the… apple. 

Where would these companies be without their branding? 

That’s precisely why Ingram Micro offers the services of Agency Ingram Micro to their partners. Branding is the bridge between the consumer and the product. 

In this episode of B2B Tech Talk, guest host Logan Lyles of Sweet Fish Media talks with Agency Ingram Micro’s senior marketing account manager, Lauren Jenkins, and senior creative director, Josh Lieber

The 3 discuss:  

  • The importance of branding in tech and differentiating yourself 
  • The services Agency Ingram Micro provides for partners 
  • How Agency Ingram Micro can act as an extension of your marketing team  

Follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk 

Sponsored by Cisco and Ingram Micro Financial Solutions 

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 special edition one episode is sponsored by Cisco, taking your business a level up. Let's get into it. Welcome back to be tob tech talk with Ingram micro. I'm your guest host today, Logan Lyles, with sweet fish media. We are recording on site here in Denver, Colorado, at the Ingram micro one event and we're going to be talking about the value agency Ingram micro can bring to the partner community. I am very excited to introduce our two guests today. We've got Lauren Jenkins, senior marketing account manager, and Josh Lieber, senior creative director, both with agency Ingram micro. Guess How's it going today? Good, that's good. Here you guys enjoying the events of our yeah, it's awesome. Yeah, it's good to see all the all the folks come out and, as I was saying before, this is my first one. Yeah, so it's really great to see kind of all the all the different elements fit together. Yeah, so, Josh, let's start with you. Can you tell me a little bit about agency Ingram Micro and really the resources you guys provide. Yeah, well, that's a pretty large question that you know, if we can talk for about three hours, that would be great, but if we're going to keep this short. So agency Ingram micro is sort of the offshoot, the marketing arm, the creative arm of Ingram micro. We have about two hundred folks spread across the country, headquartered in Irvine, but a large contingent in buffalo and also on Scottsdale, and so we come up with strategy, with marketing approaches, and I can speak to the creative where we offer creative solutions across the board, from digital to traditional, to outdoor if it need be, to certainly landing pages, websites, what have you. And the whole idea is you know, actually Paul Bay was speaking to this earlier, as were some other people, about the importance of...

...brand, the importance of differentiation, and that's really what we do. You know, I'm a big believer at Laurd is to that APP creative is the great multiplier. You know, you think about the great ads, you know, Gott milk or, I'm loving it, and there not necessarily Spain being a tremendous amount more. But they're having this great amplification of their message through the creative ideas, through the creative messaging, and that's not just some some guy wearing black talking about that. It's actually proven. There are studies after studies after studies. What I like to say is, you know, we don't just sell the state, we sell the sizzle as well, and those two things combine. You know, sometimes it's okay to just say hey, you know, macy's is having a sale, but if you can say that in a really robust way that speaks to the consumer, you're going to win, because that at the end of the day, whether it's Constut business to consume M or be to be or talking technology, we're speaking to human beings, Yep, and human beings like to feel, emote, would like to laugh, they like to be engaged. So if you can kind of stop them in their tracks and speak to them in really kind of one on one way and then sort of gently guide them into what you want them to do, the call to action, what have you, it is pretty effective and we have a lot of case studies and a lot of results to prove that out. Yeah, absolutely, I mean we see it in our everyday lives the power of brand. Laura, I'm going to kick it to you, because it seemed like you were kind of waiting to ads something. Josh, we also do shut up that. Yeah, no, I mean, like Josh, that we are a full service shop. We pretty much offer everything from from creative through to digital video content, all of those different things in our and our huge point of difference is the fact that we are the channel or Ingram Micros. So we really understand it, and that's oftentimes when we're talking to our clients. So like, Oh, thank God, somebody that gets it, versus having on board their agencies, whereas we also act as an agency for hire for a lot of our manufacturers and our solution providers who...

...are looking for support to support their marketing initiatives through the channel. We also partner with a lot of strategic marketing agencies as well that offer various capabilities that we can leverage. We've been doing a lot of research and things with artificial intelligence and how we can really be super prescriptive around how we're targeting our audiences and the understanding who they are, how they behave, what they look like, what they act like, so that when we are coming into this creative space to say what is the message that's truly going to resonate with that and customer, with that partner, because at the end of day, like Josh, that that we're all people and we all have, you know, families and lives and things that really resonate with us, and we also make business decisions. And so where's that place that we can kind of bring those together? And with the various capabilities that we have, we've been able to make some pretty awesome successes and and bringing it all together with the creative space, but then also having it be very data driven, which is largely another add that ingram brings to the table, being a re micro of we have quite a few insights that we could share to help drive these initiatives. So it's it's a pretty pretty awesome like offering that we have overall. Yeah, I think that was really well said. When you hit upon you know, it's kind of shorthand we're sort of all speaking the same language. And also another thing that strip on that you said is, you know, it's great to understand the channel. It's great to understand what the particular clients needs are, the pain points, his or her goal and, you know, working on that strategy, coming up with creative breefs, coming up with great creative and strategic solutions. We also, as Lauren alluded to, are really really invested in understanding the consumer and the customer, whether that is an end user, whether it's Resaler, whomever that might be, because at the end of the day, it's not what we necessarily think will add our inscience, not necessarily what you client fakes, it's what is the customer after you? What does he or she want? And that's highly important to remember in evaluating work and...

...putting the work out there. That really, really tracks. Yeah, I mean you you summed it up really well. They're just you looped it back around because you talked about creative being the great multiplier. Lauren talked about getting to know the end customer, because we've seen content that's just kind of bland right and it's like Oh, solutions and it's innovative and they're not really speaking my language and I can tell it's full of those marketing buzz words. But right, when you take that research and that understanding of the customer and you pair it with great creative that's designed to make someone feel that's designed to speak to that pain point, that's designed to make them laugh, maybe, whatever the case may be. That's where a lot of really marketing magic happens. In our opinion, one of the things I've heard about with the agency is different community crips. Can you guys, tell us a little bit more about that and the value that it brings? Absolutely so, in addition to all of the marketing offerings that we provide from what we just described, we also in rooms a connector right. We've got so many partners and we have various communities that are asking the alliance. We have our trust x alliance, where we might have partners that they have specific capabilities, but they might be able to leverage and other partner's capabilities to go after our larger deal and that's something where we're able to bring those communities together and those partners together so they can learn from each other and they can leverage the capabilities that they have so that they can they just they can go after bigger things that they would have been able to do on their own. Think Trust X alliance. We came up with their their tagline is individually strong and collectively exceptional. Yeah, I think and which is ultimately because, how do we describe this? But that is one of the true things in Ingram our agency and Ingram micro really gives a platform for all of those partners to be able to come together, to get to know each other and really create this really tight knit network of partners that they can lean on each other for various things, so that it's awesome and then ultimately, these events and different things like that are we clearly have a pretty incredible event services team as well. I'm as part of our agency.

If this isn't a testament to that? Yeah, it's. Yeah, we keep we had content. Oh Yeah, Oh yeah, is it full service? Right? Anything you service? Yeah, I can tell you from being here for a day and a half already that, you know, the the event game is strong, that is for sure. So I imagine they are going to be people who listening to this have never really worked with an agency before. You know, marketing is not core to what they've been doing on a regular basis and and definitely not necessarily working with an agency. So either one of you can you speak to you know, what a partner might expect with the initial experience and those sorts of things. Yeah, absolutely, I mean, the end of the day, a lot of our partners, and even our fender partners, they're looking for they're looking for leads, they're looking to get their brand message out there. They're looking to to put out thought leadership. They want to be able to be that thought leader in their space right and put these ARY solutions together. And often times, and especially with our partners, they're they're out there grinding getting those deals, are having those meetings, getting face to face with their customers, but they're also they're needing that opportunity to have a digital presence and some of which have a very exceptional digital marketing practice and even a whole marketing department, and some of them are like party of one. I'm the CEO, I'm the sales guy on the tech person, I'm everything and I'm the marketing person, and they just don't have the resources or the capabilities to do those things, but they know they need to and that's where we've had, we have a lot of success in working with our partners to helping enable them in digital marketing, to help them with their brand presence. We do a lot of rebranding, so helping just give logos facelifts or really helping them to differentiate themselves in in a see of a lot of others similar to them. Right. So an engagement really just kind of starts with what they're trying to accomplish and then from there we can have those conversations to see how we can pull from our toolbox of all of these things we've been discussing to be able to help them accomplish those goals. Yeah, and in many ways were we're fairly agnostic when it comes to with...

...whom we work. I mean we are called agency in micro and we certainly support in rooms partners all the way along the channel, all the way along the train, but also we can work kind of is your direct agency. So we can sometimes take off our ingram hats and not necessarily be a CO branded offering, and we've seen a lot of success with that in the last year or two, where we just work with with folks who are looking for as Lauren was mentioned, you know whether you're a one person shop or whether you're a pretty huge company. I mean we kind of mirror what ingram does in a larger sense, where we sort of fill in like water finding its level, fill in the gaps for what you need and we have those solutions. And whether it's across, you know, more of the technology solutions, or whether it's more of the marketing, creative execution sort of things, that's sailable. It really starts with just a conversation. Hey, what do you need? What's going on? Right? How can we help? Yeah, and you know, large or small. Yeah, really, whether it's technology or marketing, that question, how can we help? And starting there's always cause a basistem. Yeah, I really like that. Real quick before we jump straight back into the episode. Today, we want to tell you about Ingram micro financial solutions and how you can maximize your buying power and get to yes with your customers faster. For the last nine years, Ingram micro has been channel pros reader's choice for best financing options. Put The power of our credit and leasing options to work for you. You can easily contact financial solutions at Ingram microcom. All right, let's get back to the show. We talked a little bit about, you know, partners who maybe haven't worked with an agency before. Lauren, you brought up there might be folks who are a little bit more sophisticated in the in the channel community when it comes to their marketing. Can you speak to some of the things that you guys are able to offer as agency, Ingram micro versus a different agency? You alluded to it earlier. I imagine it's, you know, really being able to...

...speak that language of the channel and knowing some commonalities between the customers that a lot of partners are speaking to on a day to day basis. Right. Yeah, no, and for a lot of our partners that do have a more extensive marketing practice, one of the biggest things that we ought we act as an extension of their bench. Right, we can help them scale. They only have so many resources and they've got to develop all this content and they need to make sure that it is truly speaking to the their audience and that we're getting it. And we can speak on a technical level and we can also speak on a channel level and customer level. And so much of the time when we are engaging with our partners and we do talk to them about how we can be an agency for hire kind of separate from our Ingram, microw cobrand a type of thing. It doesn't need to be a partnership type of campaign. It's something where we can literally take our expertise and apply it to whatever it is that they're trying to do. And it's always it's always the same. There's always this big sigh of relief me and like thank God, because they've had an experience. Pretty much they've always had an experience working with an agency, and I've even worked for them. To say, and not that they're bad, but at the same time, you go in and and you're like yeah, we can absolutely do that. Will come in and we'll talk about the channel and we'll do all these things. Then when you get into it, because then I know that as well from a personal perspective. When I came to Ingram microl like, what is this? This is just the channel and distribution and and all these different things. It's complex and there's a lot of different complexities to it that our partners and things have been finding themselves on boarding their agency to have to teach them about what it is that they need them to do, and then they've already lost a bunch of time, versus US sitting there saying, all right, what is it that we're talking about? What are the verticals? What are the targets? What are all these different things? What are the solutions? And we could even pull in resources from our own, like technical teams and all that stuff, to even get some same's in there to talk about various subjects at a level that a lot of agencies they just wouldn't have those resources right because they are not or not in re micro and I think, you know, I think a lot of folks might sometimes feel intimidated by working with an advertising agency...

...and Marketing Agency if they've never done it before, and there's good reason for that. I mean, we both are it and I come from larger agencies, New York, LA, etc. And there can't be a pretentious kind of effect there. You know, we're the best. We do this. We you know, we're all about winning hardware, winning awards, and listen, we win plenty of awards. But it's through, they always say, or we always say, but that's saying is it might be a great add but if it doesn't sell, if it doesn't move the needle, if it's not effective, it's not good advertising, and I'm speaking more specifically advertising than marketing necessarily, but the ideas. We are very kind of ego less, you know, it's we just want to be nice people. We're passionate about what we do. We have a deep bench and in the sense of a lot of technology people, folks who have worked on C Toc, you know, be TOC consumer, the consumer, and so we kind of can see that three hundred and sixty environment as well. And for us it's just about results and about sustainable business outcomes and if we can achieve that, you know, it's a win for everybody. And Yeah, if the hardward comes with it, will, we'd be happy to glad it's that. Yeah, we'll get an extit. Will put it on your mantle and you love it. I love it. But in the meantime, yeah, it's really you can put it next to that, you know, revenue number. That's yet right. Yeah, and it's because it's the end of the day. You know, marketing's function is to serve sales, right, it's not just to be the arts and crafts department, Right, and very much in what we're doing in pretty much as you see all these folks, yeah, and as they're trying to improve their businesses out here. Yeah, that one. Yeah, driving results. I love that. You guys are all about that. So we love to ask people on Beb Tech Talk, you know, where they see technology going in the next year. Maybe we change that for you guys a little bit and is where is marketing going within technology over the next year? What's a major trend you guys are watching? Is it kind of the the influence of be TOC trends that are impacting be to be? What are some of the things you guys have your eye on? Well, the thing...

...that I'm been currently obsessed with over the last couple of years is how we are a technology company. We are in your micro we serve the technology channel and we actually had a client, they were a reseller client that had their practice was incognitive analytics and artificial intelligence and they were doing some incredible things and how they were actually using AI to solve for for whatever. They were doing things to make speedboats go as fast as they possibly could, they're doing diet disease diagnosis, they're doing a bunch of stuff in like finance and trade, and then they also were doing some things with some marketing clients. Found out very interesting as to how they were doing that and so we've been dabbling in that for the last few years to really understand how we can lever JI and it's things that all of us have experienced in our own personal lives. Right, you're looking for something and then all of a sudden this perfectly time to add saying the right thing at the right time hits you and it's like, Oh, yeah, I guess I was looking for that or this was is. Yep, those are the things, because they're learning about your behaviors as a somebody just on the internet or on the on these networks and all these different things, and they can start to figure out who you are, what it is that you do, what will resonate with you, similar what we're talking about before, and and it's just that's just the way things are going. Machine learning and really trying to understand marketing is all about the audience. Food is that you're trying to talk to because, like you said, you could see something. It's just like and that's there. Because, like, what are they trying to say? Like do they just do that? Just, Yep, for whatever reason. Who are they talking to? Yeah, but there's no that's the purpose. It's figuring out who am I talking to and what's the action that I'm trying to get them to do, and I need to understand them to be able to do that and making it first unless like, Oh, I got this weight. Where'd you hear about that? Wait, that was that instagram and just happened to that, but my phone is listening to me. That's why we work so well together, because I bet different names. Absolutely all this. Absolutely for me, it's again, you know, I come very from a very strong BBC background and what I'm...

...seeing in this space is, I guess it's really nothing new when it comes to other industries. Like years ago, when you think about insurance companies, you know it was very left brain, it was very cross the board, was very, you know, speeds and feeds of our benefits and there wasn't a lot of passion or energy or excitement to it. And then it's little company, which was already big company, named Guy Go, started doing really interesting work and they saw their sales go through the roof. Why? Because that branding turned on this bigot for sales. And so then that it became this this loop where sales and help branding the righting of the sales, and so you see a lot of you see that's this now and pharmaceutical where the I get we're speaking to human beings. You see where that advertising has become far more compelling and I think that's one of the trends and one of the reasons why I was so attracted to agency room micro was because this is part of the direction that we're taking and it makes a lot of sense. Right, let's say you're just flipping through CRN, you're flipping through some magazine, right. Well, if everything is looking the same, if all the balladeers are seeing singing the same ballad, you're not going to listen. But if there's something that stands out, it doesn't have to be whacky, doesn't have to be Llama's juggling chainsaws. There anything right, could be something that's very some. It took a little risk, yeah, a little risk, or a little engagement or just something that spoke to the human condition a little bit more. Yep, you're going to stop. You going to read that, you're going to remember that or again, that instagram add that POPs up or the series of ads that go back as we layer you go. Now he suddenly need this being. I remember client X, I remember Ingram, I remember where I need to go for that. So it's a pretty personal view on it, but that's where I see us going and I where I think a lot of other folks were follow. Yeah, absolutely, what Josh Lauren, it has been fantastic to geek out on marketing and technology, to my favorite topics today with you guys. Would take thank you so much for spending...

...time with us. If anybody listening to this would like to learn more about agency, Ingram micro or get in touch with you guys, it's the best way for them to take next steps there. Yeah, they can go check out imagine next in grim micro. Imagine xtcom is an infertim the imagine extiding microcom, so to prepare. But yeah, that would be a great place because you're there. are a couple different tracks for a solution provider and manufacturer as well, showing all of the different offerings that we have as Ingram, but then also from our agency offerings to its, not the ones that are specific to our manufacturers, as well as the specific offerings we have for talking both ways, that you guys can serve partners like we were talking about here so well, we've talked about everything, including chainsaw Juggling Mamas, and look forward on a banner ad near you. Yes, there, we doubt there. We got the time. Absolutely must for having all right, folks. That wraps up another episode of BB Tech Talk. If you'd like to join the discussion, you can follow us on twitter at Ingram Texel or use the Hashtag Beb Tech Talk. Thanks, as always, for listening to beb tech talk with Ingram micro. If you're not already subscribed to the show, we want to encourage you. Make sure you do so in Apple podcast or wherever you do your podcast listening. You've been listening to bedb tech talk with Ingram micro. This special edition one episode is sponsored by Cisco. Bb Tech Talk is a joint production by sweet fish media and Ingram micro. Ingram micro production handled by Laura Burton and Christine Fan. To not miss an episode, subscribe today in your favorite podcast player.

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