Joe Gustafson, CEO of Brainshark, Inc., founded the company in 1999 to help knowledge experts accelerate the flow of information to their audiences in a highly effective format. Under Joe’s leadership, Brainshark has become a leader in on-demand business communications and a successful Software-as-a-Service company. Joe has been instrumental in the development of Brainshark’s Channel Solution, which solves critical challenges for companies looking to increase channel revenue.
Geetesh: What is the Brainshark Channel Solution, and whom is it geared to?
Joe: We’re excited to launch the Brainshark Channel Solution, encompassing new product capabilities and services that help technology suppliers/OEMs and their channel partners increase the reach and impact of their communications. Suppliers can equip their partners with Brainshark on-demand multimedia presentations, and then partners can use this content for their own sales and marketing outreach, as well as for training and certification. Best of all, everyone can tap into in-depth analytics from Brainshark, letting them measure the value of the communications they deliver.
Here’s a more in-depth look at how it all works. Through our Channel Solution, suppliers and their partners have access to their own unique and secure site with Brainshark content. Suppliers can create and publish Brainshark multimedia presentations – uploading PowerPoint presentations and other documents, and easily adding voice, video, attachments, interactivity and more – and share this information with their global partner community.
Then, when channel partners – for example, distributors and resellers – log into their own sites, they have free access to content from all the suppliers they work with. As I mentioned, they can use the presentations to shore up their knowledge on supplier offerings or to bolster their own sales and demand generation activities. There are upgrade options for partners too, including the ability to add their own logo to presentations – or apply further personalization by adding their own voice-enriched intro and closing to pre-approved supplier presentations. Also, major distributors that want to create their own content and publish it to their own partner networks can license the full Brainshark Channel Solution.
Geetesh: Can you share some scenarios in which the Brainshark Channel Solution will help technology suppliers, partners and end-users?
Joe: Sure. We’re looking forward to bringing the already-proven benefits of Brainshark to the tech channel – and think there’s a great opportunity to help suppliers and their channel partners streamline communications, improve productivity and ROI, and really cut through the communications clutter with high-impact material. Our current customers have realized impressive results with Brainshark – including reducing communication costs by 90 percent over previous methods, cutting training time in half, and increasing lead generation results by five to 10 times (and more).
We tend to discuss benefits of our Channel Solution as they pertain to two audiences: tech suppliers/ OEMs and their channel partners (such as distributors and resellers). For suppliers, there’s no question that they face limitations as they deliver critical information to their channel partners today – through vehicles including underutilized portals, cost-prohibitive travel and webinars that partners can’t find time to attend. In fact, statistics show that 66 percent of webinar registrants don’t show up, 80 percent of marketing collateral is unused and 90 percent of product knowledge is forgotten one month after training. Brainshark’s multimedia format, on the other hand, really makes content stand out from the pack; the on-demand delivery means it can be viewed and revisited anytime, and the incorporation of voice and multimedia makes the content both “sticky” and memorable. In terms of channel communications, Brainshark provides a cost-effective way for suppliers to reach all tiers of partners worldwide – helping them maintain mindshare and build tighter relationships.
In addition to differentiating their communications, suppliers also benefit from message consistency and control. For example, once they change the “master copy” of a presentation, this change is reflected everywhere that presentation exists in the channel, including in any personalized partner versions. In this way, they can keep content timely and relevant, and be of greater value to their partners. And, as I mentioned, the tracking abilities we offer are key – letting suppliers see which content their partners are using, and how effective that content is at capturing audience attention.
Partners realize significant benefits too – a big one being the tracking information as well. The info they receive is on a more granular scale, allowing them to track individual viewing activity so they can qualify interest and prioritize follow-up. In addition, Brainshark’s multimedia format means that partners’ customers and prospects are much more likely to engage with the materials they receive. Also, as I mentioned, partners can use the Brainshark content available to them for their own training and certification – viewing the material at a time that’s convenient and doesn’t intrude on their day.
It’s worthwhile to mention, too, the benefits for individual customers and prospects, who can return back to the Brainshark presentations they receive at any time for more information, viewing them online – no downloads required – at their convenience. This can reduce the need to call a company for more info – and still leaves the viewer feeling that he/she has received personalized attention.
Finally, I’d love to point you to a brief (two-minute) Brainshark presentation, where you can see firsthand more examples of how companies can use Brainshark to positively impact channel communications. We’re looking forward to bringing these benefits to an even greater audience.