Drones aren't toys; they're solutions. On this episode of the Propelling podcast, members from the Microdrones marketing team have an in-depth discussion on drone distributorships, branding, and the tremendous marketing opportunity that exists for third-parties looking at drones to ride the wave into the future. Today's show features Vice President of Global Marketing Mike Dziok, Director of Marketing for the Americas and New Markets Bret Burghdurf, and Creative Director Justin Palmer.
"We're not selling drones, we're selling solutions," says Bret Burghdurf.
Microdrones works closely with distributors to provide training, customer service support, and even unique marketing content to help third-parties be successful. By using a storytelling approach to marketing, Microdrones features distributors as the experts highlighting their product out in the field through their customer's eyes.
"The distributor is still the expert in what their customer wants," Mike Dziok says.
Also, in this episode, the three discuss how Microdrones brand has come to mean different things to different industries — different solutions solved with a drone, but consistent quality across the board.
"Brand consistency is key because consistency builds trust, and that's what branding is all about," says Justin Palmer.
Please enjoy the latest Microdrones Podcast, Propelling: How Microdrones Sets Distributors Up to Succeed with Marketing Support and Content
Microdrones and the Distributor Relationship
When it's working at its best, a manufacturer is providing a distributor a full solution. At Mircrodrones, the full solution encompasses everything: the people, places, programs, and products. Mike Dziok, VP of Marketing, explains, “It's not just a full solution in terms of the product. We have to provide for that distributor a way that they can be successful, a way that they can be profitable, and take care of some things that they may not be equipped or resourced to do in-house in adding this. It's really the full package. The high-level summary I say is: it's people, it's programs, it's products.”
At Microdrones, people are the most important part of the equation and it’s critical to have good people that are very skilled in cultivating these relationships. “That's our sales team,” says Dziok. “We hire the best at Microdrones to help get this technology explained. We have a customer support team that's second to none. We layer on top of that, marketing support. We layer on top of that, of course, while the foundation of it is products that are meeting a market need.”
The products that Microdrones manufactures are much more than just drones. It’s why they emphasize their integrated UAV systems are part of the full solution. Distributors have to have good products to offer their customers and the knowledge to back them up. “It's never enough to just make a cool technology,” says Dziok, “because this is not an established long-term product. This is a market that people are still warming up to the fact that they need to make it a part of their business. We can make a fantastic product, but you also have to educate the distributor how to sell it and what the key benefits are.”Geography is another important component. When you're partnering with a company, knowing where they physically have the resources to help you sell the product is important for influencing that final decision. “We're active on six continents,” explains Dziok. “So, it's important that in those various markets you’re able to get out to present and to educate to the distributor and their prospects and customers.”
“A large portion of what we're doing is building our own content and telling the different stories about how Microdrones solutions are being used. So, any time we can work with our distributors, and help tell their stories, it also shows how Microdrones is providing a great end solution. That's a win-win”Bret Burghdurf, Director of Marketing for the Americas and New Markets
Helping merge the entire relationship together are the programs and marketing solutions. It’s important for a company like Microdrones to share powerful content and marketing programs with their distributors. That’s because any powerful tech trend endeavor is really pushed forward by solid marketing content and being able to communicate why this technology is going to be transformative for an end user.
“A large portion of what we're doing is building our own content and telling the different stories about how Microdrones solutions are being used,” explains Burghdurf. “We’ll shine the light on one of our products and find out how the end-user is working the system. So, any time we can work with our distributors, and help tell their stories, it also shows how Microdrones is providing a great end solution. That's a win-win.”
The final connection that helps bridge these programs is the support from the Microdrones marketing team. Often times, the distributors might not be aware of all the content available. “I think we really prepare our customers and our distributors really well with all the marketing content and assets that we can provide them. We have Cloud-based services, so you can easily access our logos, all of our photography, all of our video. As simple as one click, you can download all assets you need to put together the type of marketing materials you need to represent yourself professionally and Microdrones professionally to sell your products. We're unique in that respect. It's pretty common for a distributor to come to me and specifically ask for a certain request. Hey, we need a backdrop. Or, we need this particular image. We give them what they need to build assets they need to market themselves properly.”
When the entire process works together, it can create a powerful, constant, feedback-loop of content: Microdrones provides their distributor with the people, places, programs, and products to create a solution. The distributor provides the solution to the end-user. Then the end-user solves a particular challenge with the solution. Microdrones can then take that final process and tell the story, creating new content to find more prospects and customers for the Distributors.
"I think one of the things that we want our dealers and distributors to realize is beyond just the solution that our hardware and our software provides, is that we're part of the solution," says Burghdurf. "The marketing department. The sales department. The people in all of our different offices. We're bringing everything to the table, so that at the end of the day, when you have a Microdrones integrated solution out in the field, we're doing everything possible to help support the dealer and the customer to make that work, and market it and help sell and close the deal."
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