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While digital advertising as a viable marketing tool has been around for years now, the truth is that it has gotten harder — not easier — to figure out and engage in. Besides other inbound marketing tactics entering the mix, such as social media and an increased emphasis on content, Google and Bing paid search models seem to change on a daily basis, making them harder to monetize effectively. Even when companies have a digital advertising manager or other such dedicated staff member, they too often find themselves throwing money into what essentially becomes a wishing well: a one-way tunnel of good intentions, but no returns.

Suppliers who understand the value of digital advertising and know how to implement it also run into a problem of their own creation: As more partners purchase the same keywords in search, the cost of those keywords increases. That is, Google and Bing act as a kind of virtual auctioneer and, when companies all try to use the same search words for their business (e.g., “Unified Communications”), they inadvertently help drive the price of those words up. This sets up partners and their suppliers as competitors within the same ecosystem.

Analyst firms have been touting search as one of the leading methods employed by buyers to obtain information about products or services and their corresponding suppliers. Because suppliers rely on inbound tactics to drive a new pipeline for their partners, they simply cannot ignore digital advertising, even if it is difficult to use with partners. As a result, partners are caught between a prohibitive price and the need to employ digital advertising to attract buyers at the early stage of their journey.

Zift Solutions recognizes that companies can’t compete in the digital landscape without digital advertising, so we’re helping to simplify the process and demystify how it’s used in the channel.  We’ve created an engine that allows companies to scale and manage digital advertising programs for their partners. We do this by pooling that partner’s buy and employing intelligent learning algorithms that proactively manage spend, bid, placement and refinement activities. The result is higher-performing programs with industry-leading ROI. Typically, you’d see a supplier in the search results, followed by a second supplier, and so on, with the partners falling somewhere off Page One search results. Instead, Zift’s solution enables the first supplier and all of its partners to be listed one after the other, before you even get to the second supplier. Each partner’s buy into the collective cumulatively helps that supplier’s ecosystem place higher because the resulting group ecosystem is bigger. I cover more in this video:

Our customers are really starting to embrace this new approach. When they combine digital advertising with other pieces of inbound marketing on the Zift platform, they’re realizing a full assortment of inbound tactics. These include social syndication, ad retargeting, social advertising on LinkedIn, and more. Everybody wins when we help them drive their pipeline for new net leads and take the guesswork out of mastering paid search.