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D-Link builds brand strength to SMBs

08 Dec 2009

Networking vendor D-Link has witnessed a 20% increase in its SMB market, and it believes the result is driven by direct marketing to the end-user.

While other markets have witnessed decreasing sales, such as D-Link’s retail sector, the SMB market has experienced a strong surge in growth and Maurice Famularo, D-Link Marketing Manager Australia and New Zealand, says the company is taking its role in marketing more seriously.

“For us it is about working with the customer – direct marketing with the customer.”

Using direct marketing, D-Link can work in partnership with an integrator or end-user and develop client solutions and then provide resellers with the sales leads.

Famularo says it is up to the vendors to work with the end-user to get the best channel results.

It is the vendor’s obligation to play a major part in the marketing of its brand, he says.

The company has also been actively trying to create a greater sense of global unity in the brand, while retaining the elements of business suited for the local market.

“We’ve always been a global company, but we’ve been very autonomous in different regions.”

This led to a waste of resources globally, prompting a global reallocation of resources, says Famularo.

Along with a global rebrand launched in February this year, D-Link also took the time to work on its global partner program.

This program was launched in mid 2009, as reported in The Channel’s print edition at the time.

“We had different partner programs globally, so we thought we would put the best bits together to create a generic partner program for everyone,” Famularo says, adding there is the need to “regionalise” each generic plan to suit the territory.

D-Link is currently naming the partner program and intends to launch the new name in early 2010.

The company is in the process of analysing the sales data of its 120 New Zealand resellers before promoting some to the Elite, Silver and Gold partner status in the new year, says Famularo.

Another added incentive for partners is the creation of a global warranty portal.

This allows resellers to list all of their clients’ purchases and the corresponding configurations with D-Link, so that any future warranty claims can be dealt with quickly. For example, when a business client has an issue, D-Link uses the details on file to send out a pre-configured loan product before processing the warranty, cutting back the down time for the business, Famularo says.

“It is a great tool for the reseller, knowing the customer is going to be looked after by us.”