Q&A with Amanda Sexton, Founder at FocusWorks Marketing

Amanda Sexton, Founder at FocusWorks Marketing, has been in marketing for over a decade. She has seen a lot of change in the industry but one thing has remained the same: companies paying more than they should be for marketing that doesn't get results. She created FocusWorks Marketing out of a desire to help business owners and their teams get the results they need and deserve from their marketing budgets.

Look for the gaps in the content that currently exists and fill it in or create an even better, in-depth resource than the existing ones.



MEDIA 7: Can you please take us through the professional journey that led you to start FocusWorks Marketing?
AMANDA SEXTON:
Ever since my mom took me to the Deloitte office for ‘Take Your Daughter to Work Day’, I’ve been set on becoming a marketer. I started out with an internship at a local agency in high school and then worked for my college doing marketing while studying there. After college, I discovered my passion for helping small and mid-size companies get real value out of their marketing budget. I took a role at a company I loved for nine years, working closely with the owners and learning the ins and outs of managing a business. After running FocusWorks, my current company, for a few hours after work hours and on the weekends, it was clear­ - ­I needed to leap to see if I could turn this into a thriving business. So I took the plunge and have been loving the journey ever since.


M7: How does FocusWorks Marketing help businesses stand out in the market through the content they create?
AS:
Our content has two goals - to speak directly to our client’s target audience and to sound exactly on-brand in a way that’s uniquely and clearly that business’, anytime someone sees it. There’s a way in content to address pain points and get in front of potential objections by weaving them into the copy without sounding “sales-y” and while still providing value. Doing those two things can directly translate into conversions. That’s at the heart of what we do. We want to give people the information we need in a way that helps build the relationship between our client’s business and a potential lead, helping turn them into customers. The other way we help our clients stand out is by not doing things a certain way just because that’s who it’s always been done. For example, our professional services clients are used to a language that is more on the traditional side, but there can be a real benefit to adopting a more conversational tone that’s relatable to the reader.


Our content has two goals - to speak directly to our client’s target audience and to sound exactly on-brand in a way that’s uniquely and clearly that business’, anytime someone sees it.



M7: What are some of the branding strategies that FocusWorks Marketing focuses on to promote your clients’ products and services?
AS:
There’s so much that goes into branding! We focus on branding as it relates to a client’s voice and tone, along with the consistency in visual aspects that reinforce and build brand awareness. As part of this, it means starting with a clearly defined brand. Without that it becomes easy to stray into variations. Once we have that outlined, every part related to branding goes through multiple reviews, whether it’s a blog article, a new website page, or a paid ad graphic. When we look at strategies, we take into consideration the company itself, its market, competitors, and where its ideal client is. From there we can recommend the best strategy to generate a return. For some companies, that means a combination of SEO, value-driven content, website optimization, a downloadable lead magnet, and an email automation sequence to capture lost conversions. For others, paid social media ads can provide a significant source of new business. What works for one business won’t necessarily work for another - it is all about finding that ideal strategy and fine-tuning it.


M7: What are some of the biggest challenges in marketing propelled by the Covid-19 era? How has FocusWorks Marketing helped address them for their clients?
AS:
Prior to Covid-19, many of our clients relied on in-person events to generate leads or to stay top of mind. During a time of social distancing, this proved to be a challenge, but by transitioning how the events were held, turning to helpful webinars, and turning to other digital ways of brand awareness, like retargeting ads, our clients were able to maintain or increase those same marketing leads and new clients. It ultimately wound up making our clients open to strategies that they otherwise wouldn’t have adopted, but they’ve delivered such clear results that even when in-person returns it’s likely these initiatives will continue.


If you have a topic you know no one else is talking about and that’s important to your clients, put your focus there.



M7: What do you read, and how do you consume information to stay at the top of your game? 
AS:
One of our company’s core values is “Keep learning”. That means that everyday time should be spent reading, listening to podcasts, or checking out webinars. For me, most of it comes in the form of select newsletters that I know deliver value, 3-5 podcasts I regularly listen to, and an RSS feed of blogs that I’ve curated over the years.


M7: What advice do you have for content developers that can help them stand out in a saturated market?
AS:
There’s a lot of content out there. But great content? That’s in limited supply. Look for the gaps in the content that currently exists and fill it in or create an even better, in-depth resource than the existing ones. Alternatively, if you have a topic you know no one else is talking about and that’s important to your clients, put your focus there. One especially important piece is having a plan for content distribution. With content marketing, oftentimes there’s the “if I build it they will come” approach, but there needs to be a plan in place to get eyes on the content. Paid ads, email distribution (and building up that list), strong social followings – all of these are options for content distribution.

ABOUT FOCUSWORKS MARKETING

FocusWorks Marketing helps companies, particularly those in compliance-regulated industries like healthcare, legal, and accounting, create digital experiences, reach customers, and grow through strategy, testing, and data-driven decision making. We get to know the heart and soul of your business to create messaging and a story that captures your brand and speaks to your target audience. Whether it’s the emails that people actually want to open, a website that converts visitors into leads, or content that’s engaging and high-value, we deliver creative content and campaigns that get results.

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All Specializations can be obtained at the regional and global level as well as two levels of achievement for further differentiation. Additional Partner Specializations are expected to be launched in 2024. The three Partner Specializations are expected to be available for partners to obtain starting in ServiceNow’s second quarter of 2024. Many partners have already expressed their feedback on the importance of the ServiceNow Partner Specializations including: Jason Rosenfeld, Senior Vice President at Cask: “ServiceNow’s new Partner Specializations offer an opportunity for Cask to showcase our unique consulting expertise and change management solutions to drive digital transformation across enterprises. Program updates like subsequent badging and product line achievements provide greater reach and visibility with organizations looking for the best partner to meet their specific needs. 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We are excited about the enhanced benefits offered by ServiceNow and the continued focus on partners.” Jon Reynolds, Senior VP Global Alliances & Corp Development at Thirdera, a Cognizant Company:“As our company looks to further expand our work across different industries, we’re focused on differentiating our services and ServiceNow platform expertise. ServiceNow's comprehensive Partner Program provides valued guidance and incentives to improve how we advise, implement and optimize technology for businesses worldwide. ServiceNow sets a standard for what it means to be an innovative partner.” ServiceNow is also launching a brand-new partner channel on LinkedIn. Join the new social community for the latest ServiceNow partner news here. For more information on the ServiceNow Partner Specializations visit here. About ServiceNow ServiceNow (NYSE: NOW) makes the world work better for everyone. Our cloud-based platform and solutions help digitize and unify organizations so that they can find smarter, faster, better ways to make work flow. So employees and customers can be more connected, more innovative, and more agile. And we can all create the future we imagine. The world works with ServiceNow™. For more information, visit: www.servicenow.com.

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Ingram Micro | December 12, 2023

Ingram Micro is enabling thousands of channel partners worldwide to do more with more as a Premier Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partner and an award-winning Geo and Global AWS Distributor Partner of the Year recipient. Demonstrating its deep and wide technical knowledge and professional services expertise, Ingram Micro has been honored by AWS with two high profile wins – 2023 Global Distributor Partner of the Year and North America Distributor Partner of the Year. Both awards recognize Ingram Micro for playing a key role in helping channel partners worldwide accelerate success and move businesses to AWS through all phases of complex migration projects, including discovery, planning, migration, and operations. The North America honor is a back-to-back win for team Ingram Micro. Announced during AWS re:Invent 2023, the Geo and Global AWS Distributor Partner of the Year Awards shine the spotlight on Ingram Micro’s high-performing team and continued investments in advanced AWS technical talent, professional services and cloud migration competencies. “Through a strategic alliance with AWS, Ingram Micro has played a pivotal role in empowering Keystone Technologies to take the lead in healthcare EHR data solutions,” says Andy Belval, Chief Revenue Officer, Keystone Technologies. “Ingram Micro’s expertise in cloud solutions, coupled with a dedicated relational partner approach, not only enhances their own business value but also significantly contributes to Keystone Technologies’ ability to deliver better outcomes and cost savings for our healthcare customers.” In 2023, Ingram Micro’s AWS business continued to grow with more and more partners leveraging Ingram Micro to progress through their AWS Partner Network (APN) journey. Ingram Micro navigates AWS partners through APN programs while also expanding their services capabilities including assessment, design, deployment, and management of cloud migrations with greater speed. Additional differentiators to Ingram Micro’s success with AWS channel partners include its wide and deep executive relationships, as well as its Center of Excellence, strategic acquisitions of technical talent, and expansion of its Professional Services portfolio as it relates to cloud and migration services. “Ingram Micro’s early adoption of Cloud, understanding of an entrepreneur's needs and focus on the success for us to become one of their largest AWS resellers is what we were looking for in a distribution partner to grow our business and improve our value in the eyes of our customers,” says Dao Jensen, CEO of Oak Rocket. Ingram Micro provides channel partners access to experienced talent and professional services that can help them accelerate the customer cloud adoption journey including the technical personnel, tools, education, technology, and technical support needed to ideate, deploy, and manage AWS solutions. “AWS is a gold mine of opportunity for an MSP yet remains a heavy lift for most,” says Duncan Robinson, vice president, growth partnerships, Ingram Micro. “We’re here to help our channel partners optimize their sales cycle and effectively design, deploy, and manage AWS solutions that improve the customer’s experience, performance, reliability, and agility, while reducing the total cost of ownership.” Ingram Micro’s long-standing and successful relationship with AWS includes earning several AWS Competency and AWS Service Delivery designations in recent years, including being the first global distributor to earn the AWS Migration Competency and more recently being awarded the AWS Data & Analytics Competency. Other designations include the AWS Cloud Management Tools (CMT) Competency, the AWS DevOps Consulting Competency, and the AWS Config Service Delivery designation. “The experience that Mxmart has had working with Ingram Micro as a strategic partner of AWS has been fundamental for our growth,” says Dario Gomez, CEO Mxmart Solutions. “The support we’ve received technically, commercially, and via programs has added invaluable strength to our company.” About Ingram Micro Ingram Micro is the business behind the world’s brands with the ability to reach nearly 90 percent of the world’s population. Our diverse solutions portfolio includes advanced and specialty solutions, cloud, mobility, and commercial/consumer technologies, while enabling a global circular economy with full-service IT Asset Disposition and reverse logistics and repair services. Leveraging investments in technical, financial, and marketing resources, Ingram Micro helps customers run their businesses better and grow their technology practices faster. Ingram Micro operates in 59 countries and reaches close to 200 countries. We have approximately 26,000 associates committed to providing our more than 161,000 customers and 1,500 vendor partners worldwide with a superior experience. Our fully digital, AI-driven business platform, known as Ingram Micro Xvantage™, eliminates the friction of doing business in IT and allows our customers to have a more insightful experience both buying and managing technology. We are also fully committed to being a global steward with world-class ESG practices.

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HiddenLayer Launches Channel Partner Program to Secure AI and MLOps Lifecycle

PR Newswire | January 25, 2024

HiddenLayer, the leading security provider for artificial intelligence (AI) models and assets, today announced a new partner program to empower enterprises with complete AI protection including rapid threat detection and security across the entire MLOps lifecycle. "Our Channel Partner Program is designed to drive innovation by allowing partners to introduce security for AI to their customers, helping to educate more businesses about a new threat landscape," said Rebecca Cahak, Head of Channel, HiddenLayer. "By leveraging this new offering, partners will ensure margin and deal protection, leverage incentives, access flexible and easy-to-use training tools, demo environments, and proof of value tools to drive success." The Channel Partner Program allows partners to seamlessly onboard while providing predictable, transparent pricing and flexible licensing models, and a first-of-its-kind unobtrusive, automated, scalable Artificial Intelligence Security (AISec) Platform. Partners will be able to educate customers on a new threat landscape and provide the solutions they need to protect their AI, and competitive edge, build stronger relationships, and establish their team as AI leaders for their customers. "The HiddenLayer line of products is an important component in our AI security service offerings," said Matt Keating, Head of AI Security at Booz Allen Hamilton. "We are excited to continue to strengthen our strategic partnership with the HiddenLayer team, furthering our ability for joint strategy and co-solutioning." HiddenLayer aims to optimize its current partner network, enhancing it through streamlined support and collaborative offerings. There will be three tiers for the program, Covert, Concealed, and Clandestine, so customers can work together with HiddenLayer to achieve the best-shared outcome. Each tier includes pricing discounts, free online training for sales, and technical enablement and security for AI marketing partnerships. Concealed includes free on-site training and performance incentive programs for extra financial success. Clandestine includes everything previously mentioned, with the addition of account mapping, executive security research briefings, and more. "By joining HiddenLayer's partner program, we're enabling customers to safeguard against constantly evolving cybersecurity risks," said Rick Echevarria, Vice President and General Manager, Intel Security Center of Excellence. "We are now able to provide a scalable security solution for AI and help more businesses foster the acceleration of safer AI adoption." Additionally, HiddenLayer recently announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, named HiddenLayer to its 2023 Stellar Startups list. This annual list, previously known as CRN Emerging Vendors, recognizes fast-rising technology manufacturers committed to delivering leading-edge solutions that propel innovation and growth in the IT channel. Learn more about HiddenLayer's Channel Partner Program here. About HiddenLayer HiddenLayer, a Gartner-recognized AI Application Security company, helps enterprises safeguard the machine learning models behind their most important products with a comprehensive security platform. Only HiddenLayer offers turnkey security for AI that does not add unnecessary complexity to models and does not require access to raw data and algorithms. Founded in March of 2022 by experienced security and ML professionals, HiddenLayer is based in Austin, Texas. For additional information, including product updates and the latest research reports, visit www.hiddenlayer.com.

Read More

Spotlight

Focusworks Marketing

FocusWorks Marketing helps companies, particularly those in compliance-regulated industries like healthcare, legal and accounting, create digital experiences, reach customers and grow through strategy, testing and data-driven decision making. We get to know the heart and soul of your business to cre...

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