January 13, 2009, 12:11 PM — For a lot of VARs, technology comes first, and most of them are very good at what they do. But do techies make good marketing people? Usually not. But that needs to change. According to a report on eChannelLine, customers go about buying products and services differently today than they once did. Whereas in the past, customers may have started the procurement process by going directly to the reseller, today, they go to the Internet for information first.
Specifically, customers are looking towards social media as a way to get feedback from other customers, and gather informal intelligence about projects and providers. Part of the decision-making process increasingly is surfing through blogs and forums. VARs that run their own online communities are going to get a jump on the competition. Integratedmar.com and Xeequa are building a set of online communities for resellers, which can be integrated with the resellers' own websites.