Where have all the big names gone?

By Simon Meredith | 11th April 2022

One thing I have noticed recently is how few stories we see in the channel media about big-name vendors. Try it for yourself – have a scan at https://channelstar.co.uk/. (Make sure you scroll all the way down the page.) We currently aggregate 13 feeds (78 stories) and usually there will only be one or two from what I would call ‘big-name’ vendors, such as Apple, AWS, Dell, Google, HPE and HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, VMware.

Why are they not getting more coverage? You would think channel media would cover their every move? These are the companies with the biggest partner reach, who generate the most channel business, and will attract the most views.

While some editors might consciously give just as much space to smaller players, I don’t believe that the relatively thin coverage of the big players is to do with journalists choosing to ignore them. It’s more to do with the big names not focusing enough on channel media.

Their marketing focus is more direct. Campaigns are aimed at increasing revenue with existing partners or identifying and signing-up those selling adjacent or competitive technologies and solutions. This is seen as a better way of getting ROI from marketing spend than throwing money at channel advertising and PR.

Presumably, it is working as these companies keep growing. But it’s a shame they don’t put more emphasis on telling the wider channel community what they are doing for partners. And perhaps it’s also a little short-sighted?

Inevitably, a lot of the direct marketing and funding support that sits behind their channel marketing targets big reseller businesses. The largely silent majority or smaller partners are left to scramble around on portals to find what they need. No wonder these businesses often feel neglected and under-appreciated by big vendors.

But today’s small resellers, could be tomorrow’s giants.

In my view, the big players could easily put more effort into communicating channel-specific messages to the whole community through trade media. Without doing that, the big vendors won’t get the coverage their market presence merits. The channel media can’t go chasing them. They simply do not have the bandwidth, i.e. the staff, to hound companies for stories. They are largely reliant on what comes to them.

Big or small, the vendors that do communicate their channel-relevant stories to media are the ones who will get the coverage. It just takes a little bit of time and effort. That’s surely not too much to ask from the industry’s leading players.

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