Developing marketing messaging to end-user audiences is pretty straightforward. You know your value proposition, how your solution will help decision-makers, and you tell your story in a clear, easy-to-understand way.
So why does that message sometimes get lost or overly complex when targeting ISVs? ISV-to-ISV or ISV-OEM partnerships are becoming more and more popular as they are a significant source of new (and steady) revenue for both parties involved. But getting that message across so that the ISV understands you are not “just trying to sell them some licenses” is easier said than done. Here are some tips to help you tailor your pitch to resonate with ISV audiences.
Understand Your Target ISV
The first challenge when targeting ISVs is to get them to see the value in your solution as opposed to them developing what you have themselves. (This can especially be the case if you target ISVs with similar offerings to your own). Sometimes this is easier said than done, so it’s important to understand the potential need your target ISV may have, then highlight how your solution addresses those pain points. Not all ISVs are the same, and we often lump them all into one basket. By conducting market intelligence to hone in on the best niche ISV audience (whether that be by vertical or horizontal), you can customize your messaging even further so that it resonates with them and inspires them to engage. Most ISV-OEM outreach targets product managers, R&D, or other decision-makers involved in the product development roadmap/strategy. It is important that this audience become your key focus so that they know the “what’s in it for me” immediately without a lot of guesswork. One of the ways to do this is through social listening (being active in monitoring “chatter” in online groups and forums where your buyer personas are present) and then adapting your messages accordingly.
Create Use Cases, Case Studies and Success Stories
Actions speak louder than words as we say and nothing works better for ISV audiences than practical use cases, case studies and success stories. By understanding how another ISV embedded your solution into theirs, and the business benefit that was provided to end-user customers, the ISV will have a concrete example of how the integration could work for them. You can never have too much content, and by creating engaging content you will win your audience’s attention. Every buyer journey starts off at the education level, so having interesting content that speaks to your audience by demonstrating your success is a great way to begin.
Have a LinkedIn Showcase Page Just for ISVs
Most all companies have a LinkedIn company page, but very few take the extra step of creating and animating a Showcase page to highlight their OEM offer for ISVs. Having a Showcase page enables you to focus your messaging only on the ISV audience, which as mentioned earlier, is completely different from an end-user target. By creating a social media strategy and a content calendar specifically designed to drive ISVs to your page and engage with your posts, you will enhance visibility and increase brand awareness for your OEM offer. You can also leverage a Showcase page when doing social selling outreach or through paid advertising. Not only will this help you get the word out when recruiting new ISV partners, it will also help you to attract new inbound leads.
Plan, Don’t Spam
Email marketing can also be a good way to directly pitch prospects, but generic, copy-pasted messages don’t work. Planning your email marketing cadence to provide highly valuable assets to your target audience and highly tailoring your messages (per job title, vertical, etc) will improve your click-through rate. Make sure to embedded several links in your email message and have a clear call-to-action whether that be to drive your prospects to visit a landing page, register for an event, or download a new e-book.
ISV-OEM marketing does not have to be difficult, but sometimes we make it out to be a lot more complex than it needs to be. Keeping things simple and to the point will help keep your messaging focused so that it resonates with your target audience and inspires them to take the next step/action that you want them to take. A clear and concise buyer journey roadmap can help you get from point A to B without getting distracted and off course.