SAP and Web 2.0 Client Services Overview
jonerp.jpg"Your web site is great, but what kinds of clients do you work with?" (e.g. "How do you pay your freight?")

It's a common question I get at, so I built this client services section to give you some quick answers and some additional drill downs if you want them.

I help SAP services and solutions firms...
develop a compelling media strategy
improve their lead generation
expand their reach in the SAP community
engaging influencers
moving from "marketing blitzers" to "compelling thought leaders"
building trust/visibility with a "content-centered" marketing strategy (Special Report)
aligning their recruiting strategy with industry best practices
talent management
community-based marketing
demystifying SAP social media
brand and sentiment monitoring via "pull" systems

Services in a nutshell:
Overall strategic consulting
Confidential market assessments
SAP Web 2.0 tools and marketing

Developing an SAP influencer engagement program
SAP recruitment optimization
Talent management
Original white papers

Note: For specifics on each type of service I provide, as well as a podcast where Andy Klee of ERPtips puts me on the spot about how JonERP helps third-party SAP firms, go to my SAP services blog. Also: check out my new Special Report, "How to Move from Opt-Out to Community Relevance: 31 Keys to Success in the SAP Ecosystem."

A Deeper Look at
Engaging influencers in a way that doesn't offend them but earns their respect/advocacy is an art form unto itself. Navigating the right relationship with SAP can be another crucial piece of the puzzle. Moving from "marketing blitzers" to "compelling thought leaders" is another key goal to work toward. Believe it or not, I can help with all those things as I help SAP services and solutions firms develop a compelling media strategy, improve their lead generation, and expand their reach in the SAP community.

One more key? Figuring out how to be relevant to both decision makers and key "hands-on" subject matter experts who increasingly impact the decision-making cycle for the SAP manager. I've studied this decision cycle and come up with some clear ideas on how to avoid getting lumped into the category of "annoying marketer" and "time-wasting salesperson." (See more about my research on SAP CIOs, decision makers and social media.)

You'd be surprised how few SAP firms are using the tactics that have allowed a handful of third-party firms to stand out and gain market momentum. I've worked with a number of these firms and have picked up on some patterns that are not hard to customize and implement yourself.

Another thing I bring to the table: I teach my clients how to use free tools and a "content-centered" strategy to avoid shelling out huge bucks to "SEO Gurus," "Sentiment Analysis Tools," and traditional PR firms who use tired promotional tactics that no longer work.

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How Do I Engage with a Client?
A very valid question. It all depends on the market strategy of the client and where we decide I can make a difference.

Community-based marketing can be very powerful - but only if it is carried out in an authentic manner that resonates with the SAP audience. See a sample email I send to clients describing the keys to SAP community marketing. Quick version: it's about becoming a sought-after community voice and finding a way to measure the results.

Examples of services I perform include webcasts, original white papers and confidential market assessments, but it's always important to make sure these services fit into a well-defined strategy. If you publish content and no one reads it and no leads are generated, it's a fail.

Usually, this fix to this failure is transforming marketing from a branding activity to an authentic, two-way conversation that deepens community relationships and ultimately results in greater lead generations through referrals and organic search. This can mean enhancing the search performance of a web site, improving web site content and community, and putting tools like Twitter and LinkedIn to work. (Read more on the types of projects I have performed for clients pertaining to SAP Web 2.0 tools and marketing.)

Other times, the first work that needs to be done is to make sure that the overall recruiting strategy makes sense and is aligned with industry best practices. You'd be surprised how many times there is a gap that can be easily filled, such as an improved email "push" strategy to targeted consultants or an enhanced SAP resume screening process. (Read more about the SAP recruitment optimization work that I do, as well as my overall strategic consulting).

Sometimes these approaches require a re-assessment of the talent management strategy, examining SAP skills trends and anticipating growth areas. This is another area where Web 2.0 tools can come into play, breaking down traditional barriers between service firms and the SAP ecosystem where the best talent lies. (Read more on how I approach talent management in an SAP context.) 

Of course, your recruiting and marketing strategy must appeal to your own client's decision makers. I have deep experience speaking the language of SAP decision makers; see my "SAP for CIOs" article series for examples.

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Bill rates depend on the scope and duration of the project. Estimates can be provided on a case-by-case basis. To speak with me further about your project and how I might be of assistance, please call or email me. If you'd like to take a look at more content, check out my informal (and ongoing) YouTube video series on SAP Solutions - Keys to Market Success.

Jon Reed is an independent SAP analyst and SAP Mentor who blogs and podcasts on SAP market trends. Jon is the president of, an interactive web site that features his take on the changing SAP marketplace. Jon works with SAP services firms to optimize their business strategy and develop a more creative approach to media-driven lead generation. Jon is also the author of The SAP Consultant Handbook, and he is a regular contributor to PAC's "Feeding the SAP Ecosystem" analyst blog.

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