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Are UK VARs investing too much time and money in social media, at the expense of basic best practice?

By Jennifer Esty  |  February 22, 2019

Analysis of the digital footprint of the UK’s top 100 value added resellers reveals the sector lags behind in implementing digital best practice—and may need to reconsider how marketing time and spend is allocated.

What is digital best practice?


In a report commissioned by channel marketing experts, coterie, 61% of VARs were missing at least one basic digital best marketing practice. The most common failures were not properly curating their Google knowledge panel or their Google search engine results pages.

Why is this important?


90% of B2B buyers will look online before making a purchasing decision, failure to be found—and to provide basic information—means not even getting on the consideration list for new opportunities.

What should VARs focus on?


From the research, 69% of companies are doing a good job generating social content, specifically on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Social content strategies are labour-intensive and require ongoing investment, whether in internal or external resource. Whilst organic social content is important, companies run the risk of investing time and money publishing content in an echo chamber of existing contacts (customers, employees, suppliers and, yes, recruitment agents).

Prospects are harder to reach with organic social and for growth-focused companies this investment might need a rethink.

Conversely, only 35% of companies are doing a good job with onsite user experience. Arguably a conversion optimised website focused on prospect journeys will have a higher return on investment. Even if it is hard work to get right, positive UX only requires one-off investment every few years and should easily pay for itself.

What next?


To find out how you can outperform the top 100 UK VARs, and for more best practice tips, download the full report or contact us.

The VARs Digital Maturity Index Banner

Half of Top UK Resellers Ignore Digital Marketing Best Practice

By Jennifer Esty  |  April 27, 2018

A new report from B2B digital marketing experts Sharp Ahead reveals that 56% of the top UK resellers have yet to implement basic digital marketing best practice.

In the increasingly competitive channel market, these organisations are not only failing to provide existing customers with a positive user experience but are also failing to support their own sales efforts—and potentially missing out on new business as a result.

The 2018 research does, however, show that resellers are improving; the 2017 report revealed that 70% of the top resellers failed to implement digital best practice.

The report’s key findings

Key findings of the 2018 report include:

  • 56% of VARs missing at least one basic best practice
  • Only 63% have secure (https) sites
  • 44% did not have good conversion features on their sites
  • 84% of VARs offering a newsletter subscription did not use double opt-in

The research analysed the top 100 UK resellers, as listed in CRN’s annual report, focussing on their “digital footprints” or online presence. The methodology reflects a prospective customer’s experience of each organisation using 14 key digital signals including search user experience, onsite user experience, and digital marketing technology adoption.

Commenting on the report, which saw third-largest UK channel firm Daisy Group ranked as one of the digital superstars, Melissa Roberts, Daisy’s Marketing Manager, said: “Daisy has embraced digital marketing as a means not only to connect with our existing customers online but also as an integral part of our sales strategy. We firmly believe that the importance of digital marketing will continue to grow in the channel and are committed to providing a best practice experience for customers and prospects.”

According to Jennifer Esty, Director of Sharp Ahead and former Digital Marketing Manager for Microsoft UK, “resellers have been slow to adopt digital marketing best practice but now risk allowing more savvy competitors to reach their customers and prospects first. There are some immediate best practice organisations can follow, as well as longer term more strategic approaches they should consider.”

Read the full VARs Digital Maturity Index report from Sharp Ahead.

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