MARKETING the overseas vendors they represent locally is part of the service provided by distributors, but Renaissance is rolling these activities into a dedicated marketing arm.
In January, Renaissance Brands is launching Ident:IT as a separate division responsible for the sales and marketing activities of the brands it represents. The division’s current marketing manager Bruce Carley will head the new unit.
The operation will act as the sales and marketing arm of vendors that do not have a presence in New Zealand, as well as providing marketing assistance to resellers and helping them access the marketing funds many vendors set aside for their partners.
Mark Dasent, general manager of Re-naissance Brands, says as a distributor the company already does marketing for its brands, but these activities can be done more effectively under one dedicated structure.
“With Ident:IT as a sub-brand, we can do it better for those vendors that are not as close to the market as we are. As we already do some sales and marketing for these vendors, this is a natural progression for us,” he says.
Carley adds that directing their marketing in New Zealand from other countries has proved difficult for overseas vendors.
“They are not getting the exposure they deserve,” he says.
“They can now concentrate on what they do best — engineering products, and leave the marketing to us as we have extensive local contacts and knowledge.”
While most of the marke-ting activities the company has undertaken for vendors in the past were aimed at generating demand among resellers, under Ident:IT the focus will fall on creating end-user demand.
Carley aims to learn from the success Renaissance’s Apple division — which acts as the brand’s de facto presence in the country — has had in this regard and wants to emulate this with brands such as PalmOne, SonicWall, Sierra Wireless and Asus.
One of the main goals is to use the large marketing funds of the vendors to promote the brands and their channel partners locally, such as launching cooperative campaigns for brands and resellers.
“Most resellers do not have the skills or time to do marketing — that is not the focus of their business. Many get direct marketing support from vendors, but there are pots of money that are not being used,” Dasent says.
The advantage Ident:IT offers over other marketing firms is that it already has an understanding of the IT market and the vendors’ products, says Carley, adding it can help companies plan above and below-the-line marketing campaigns, and can help design creative material, web pages and all aspects of corporate identity from logos to letterheads.
The first vendor to receive the Ident:IT treatment is Allied Telesyn, for which Renaissance is already managing marketing activities, but this arrangement is being formalised under the new structure. Talks are underway with a number of other vendors, says Dasent.