SUPPORTING A WORLD CLASS DISTRIBUTION NETWORK
In this episode of Propelling Bret Burghdurf, Director of Marketing for Americas and New Markets, Mirjam Bäumer, Director of Marketing for EMEA and New Territories, and Abdel Diani, Director of Global Distribution, discuss how Microdrones supports their world-class distributor network, emphasizing the importance of People, Places, Products, Programs and Profits to ensure success and growth of their distribution partners.
They also unveil an exciting announcement about the launch of the official Microdrones Authorized Distributor Program, coming in January 2021. This new co-op program is designed to help implement effective, local marketing campaigns to increase sales of integrated systems from Microdrones. To learn more, listen to this episode of Propelling or read the summary below.
The five P's of a successful partnership with Microdrones
Microdrones is in the business of drone surveying equipment and one of the best ways to help expand that business is through their global network of survey equipment and software distributors. More than just re-sellers, Microdrones looks to foster and develop successful alliances with these distributors through their five P's of a successful partnership with Microdrones: People, Places, Programs, Products, and Profits.
From the get-go, the team at Microdrones endeavors to set their distribution partners up for success. When you sign on as a Microdrones distributor, there's a lot of people in your corner, including the sales management team, the training team, customer service, and many others throughout the organization.
“People are the foundation of all our success,” Burghdurf said. “They help make the difference in how we do business with both our distributors, our customers and our end users. This process starts right at the beginning with our software developers to our engineers, the folks in customer support, and our management and sales team.”
Burghdurf notes that everyone works hard to support the success of distributors and end users to get work done, be more efficient, money and earn a profit using drone surveying systems from Microdrones.
Another advantage of working with the professionals at Microdrones, is they have people in place to support distributors, throughout the world, no matter the size of their business.
“In my region, for example,” adds Bäumer, “which is Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, some of our distributors are rather small. They might not have someone specific for marketing. So, they appreciate and greatly benefit from the support and programs that we can provide.”
Places is another critical component to distribution success, and Microdrones prides itself on its extensive global footprint. With drone surveying activity and customers spread all over the world, it's important for the people at Microdrones to develop strong relationships with our distributors. This gives everyone a better grasp of local market conditions and needs to make the best decisions about using drone surveying equipment.
“If you boil it down to our sales team, its 22 people spread through all six continents,” Bäumer said. “We’re working all over the globe, and that’s what makes it fun and interesting and really diverse. Every team has to come up with very specific and individual campaigns and strategies, together with their distributors, to actually address their end users and their client’s needs.”
Microdrones has a worldwide presence with regional offices and manufacturing centers. “Talking about places,” Diani notes, “I think it's important that our distributors and partners understand that we have an office in Canada, in the US, and now, an office also in Brazil. So, we are really present in the Americas regions. We manufacture from our Germany location. We also have an office in France, Dubai, Australia and in China. So, we are really present worldwide, not only through our distributors but also through our own offices and manufacturers.”
On the product side, it's important to underline the fact that Microdrones manufacture world-class flying platforms that are perfectly integrated with aerial mapping technology specifically developed for the surveying, mining, construction, oil & gas and precision agriculture industries.
Microdrones Integrated Systems are industrial tools addressing specific complex mapping challenges for professional customers, relying on a fully integrated geospatial workflow that enables cutting-edge software technology from Microdrones to transform raw data collected in the field by Microdrones survey equipment into valuable high-quality survey grade data.
“We like to look at our systems as tools and not toys,” explains Burghdurf. “We're talking about drone surveying equipment that are fully integrated systems able to do complex mapping jobs. So, that's one of the things that Microdrones really excels at, is that we put together the entire package, from the platform to the integrated payload to the technology behind it, to help our customers get their jobs done faster, more efficiently, safely, and able to make money in the process.
The Microdrones team also makes an extra effort to learn about the different applications their integrated systems are being used for. This helps to share use-studies with other distributors and end users who are thinking about adding drone surveying equipment to their tool box.
Whether it's measuring vegetation coverage in Mexico or doing corridor mapping in Chile or mapping the coastline in Ecuador, there’s a variety of exciting projects for drone surveying equipment from Microdrones.
These stories, case-studies and user testimonials help form the foundation for many of the marketing programs that vary from country to country and region to region. The Microdrones marketing teams then ensures the messaging works for everyone.
“We have so many sorts of strategies and activities that we can use in the different markets,” Bäumer says. “From email blasts, to videos, blogs, webinars, or podcasts- we can customize the content for specific markets and translate into the appropriate language. Because that's actually how we can address and support local distributors to help them sell our systems and support them with our marketing activities.”
For distributors looking to profit from the solutions Microdrones offers, Diani mentioned the launch of a new business model: Microdrones as a Service, which at its core gives the customer more choices over how to acquire and configure both their hardware and software.
“We can customize or provide a tailor-made solution to our end users through our distributors,” says Diani. “If they prefer our classic sales model- then they can buy and resell our systems. However, the mdaaS model gives them the opportunity to buy or rent the hardware as a service, while they also pay for the software as a service with the possibility to pay-per-project or choose unlimited processing.”
Abdel and the sales team will work closely with distributors to analyze which solution makes the most sense and will maximize the return on investment.
“You are going to determine your investment level based on the system you need, the dimensions of your project, and the number of flights you do per month or year,” explains Diani. “And at the end, the results, in term of profits, will be that your projects will come up with a positive return on investment, which results in profits to our partners.”
Under the new Microdrones as a Service sales model, there are also more recurring revenue streams for distributors. “You're going to build long-term repeat business,” Burghdurf explains, “and at the same time, distributors can enjoy added-on sales through recurring revenue streams when they're buying tokens to use our processing services, or when they need to make some upgrades to other systems. Our team can help figure out what is really going to let the distributor fine-tune their plan and maximize their profits.”
The 2021 Microdrones Authorized Distributor Program
To further assist Distributors with marketing campaigns, sales initiatives, and co-branded advertising programs, 2021 will usher in the launch of the Microdrones Authorized Distributor Program. The overall purpose is to continue to expand the global presence of Microdrones by multiplying the strength of marketing, sales and support functions through a network of survey equipment and software distributors.
“We want to give our distributors the possibility to cultivate and nourish their own sales opportunities,” says Bäumer. “From the initial lead generation through constant sales growth, that's how we support them from the marketing side. We can help with geo-targeted search engine marketing or through specific email campaigns to their clients. So, we're really looking forward to having our distributors take advantage of these programs in 2021.”
To participate in the Microdrones Authorized Distributor Program, the distributor must have completed a Microdrones distributor agreement and remain a distributor in good standing, complying with all distributor requirements. Program requirements are captured in that agreement.
“We want to let our distributors know that this will apply to both current and prospective distributors that come into the Microdrones network next year,” Burghdurf said. “The co-op program gives each qualified distributor an initial bank of startup co-op market funds. The distributor must match 50% to claim credits against the startup funds for their marketing programs. As they accrue co-op and marketing funds on a monthly basis, we can use those funds to put towards specific marketing programs.”
The bottom line? Microdrones will provide a solution that works for both distributors needs and budgets.
“I think our distributor will get a lot of benefits through our marketing program,” says Diani, “but on the sales side, which is very important, we are also going to launch new systems or new products, new solution, in the market. So, the combination between the marketing support and contribution and the new products coming for next year, I think our distributor will be all set and make a great year with us.
If you're interested in getting more information about either becoming a distributor or learning more about the Microdrones marketing programs, CLICK HERE to speak with a friendly representative.