Equipping township entrepreneurs with business growth skills

Mpho Nyembe

Date: November 2021

Tarsus On Demand is driving digital transformation among township entrepreneurs through partnering with the Kagiso township-based NPO – Pathway To Your Dreams – to help equip the local entrepreneurs with the necessary skillsets to accelerate their business growth.

Pathway To Your Dreams is an NPO that was formed in 2017 and operates at the Kagiso Youth Development Centre. Their entrepreneurship programs are designed to equip the entrepreneurs with the skills and resources to enable them to take advantage of the enterprise and supplier development programs of the private and public sectors.

“We are currently recruiting and working with entrepreneurs in the retail space and gearing them to supply the likes of Mr. Price and Truworths” – says Thomas Ngubane, Director at Pathway To Your Dreams.

How does digital transformation affect marketing?

At Tarsus On Demand, we have had to find alternative ways to communicate the same messages, maintain trust and grow the relationships we have always had with our channel partners and customers. Digital marketing has never been more important for a business, and regardless of which digital platform you choose, it is important to ensure that you don’t lose customers because you are no longer seeing them face-to-face.

Bigger companies have also had to deal with the reality that many of the smaller businesses they supplied have closed their doors as the economy has slowed. This has highlighted the importance of relationship management and a rethinking of what customer care means. Customer experiences and service must meet new needs with empathy, and care must be taken to identify ways to assist and reassure them. This is the time to learn more about your customers and the strengths and weaknesses of their processes and their operations, as well as your own.

Providing a personal touch

Early on, our executive team reached out personally to many of our partners to find what they needed from Tarsus on Demand to help them continue with their business and work through this tough time. We were able to evaluate how to tweak our marketing strategy and create offerings that would enable partners to derive alternate revenue from sources they might not have considered before the pandemic.

Adding greater value

Traditional partners that had only recently begun to do business in the cloud were provided with new skills so that their salespeople could better assist their customers in their transformation journey.

We also set out on a certification drive, offering partners the opportunity to improve their skills and backing that up with digital training and various boot camps to assist them with examination preparation.

We continue to empower our channel partners to create their marketing materials. By helping them to develop targeted collateral, we are making it easier for them to connect on a personal level with their customers. For example, when we communicate a piece of information to our partner base, we also create an additional piece of content that they can add their branding to and send on to their customers. We develop everything from sales pitch decks to white-labeled mailers. It is all about making business just a little easier for them, particularly when it comes to information on the cloud and Azure.

The demand generation approach

From our point of view, Tarsus On Demand has been digitally focused from long before the pandemic. We take a demand generation approach to marketing, getting people interested in what we have to sell (creating demand in the market), which benefits our partners as we pass on qualified leads.

We are more focused on creating digital product awareness than we were before because face-to-face meetings are no longer the norm. The reality is that online meetings have lost much of their allure for people, so we are creating more content that can be viewed and downloaded at leisure.

We are careful not to spam our partner base with information and we have segmented it into three main groups that receive information and personalized messaging relevant specifically to them: traditional channel partners (TCPs), managed services partners (MSPs), and independent software vendors (ISVs).

Each segment includes several sub-segments related to the partner’s focus of the business.

It is important to know your customer. The more in-depth that knowledge is, the more you understand their needs, and the easier you make the buyer journey, the more you will retain their trust and loyalty in these difficult times.

About Sharon Slaughter

Since November 2016 Sharon Slaughter has built strategic marketing campaigns to drive business growth for Tarsus On Demand. Sharon is a creative mind and natural innovator, adopting a “do things differently” mindset.

Sharon uses the power of digital platforms to market and sell the company’s cloud services and assists Tarsus On Demand’s partners and sales team to stand out from the crowd.

Sharon began her working life as an administration clerk in 1999 after graduating with a marketing diploma. Her dream to be a marketer was realized when she joined Mustek as a marketing assistant in 2005 and was responsible for delivering quality marketing campaigns. Sharon has worked for EBS and Westcon in various marketing and eventing roles before joining Tarsus On Demand in 2016.

Sharon has transitioned from a traditional marketer to a digital marketer in the space of two years. She prides herself in her adaptability, thirst for knowledge, passion to achieve, and “never die” attitude.

We pride ourselves in understanding the complexity of navigating the cloud world and guarantee to provide you with industry-leading, advanced, and innovative solutions and a platform that works to automate and support your business. Our partner’s success is our success.

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