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lc (2)If you’d like a lot more in-depth discussion about the cloud and how it affects you and your clients, visit Looks Cloudy where I blog daily about the adoption of the cloud in SMB, conduct live webcasts and podcasts with industry leaders, and much more.

Kate Hunt
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As the world gets more and more socially in tune and connected, it is vital for marketing to change in order to effectively reach those social networks. As I explained in my last blog post, the traditional 4 P’s of marketing are essential to effectively market your products and services. That is still true; however, there is also a new theory or approach of marketing that has been outlined by a few sources as the new wave of marketing. This change is due mainly to the way that the world communicates and the way that the world engages in doing business has changed.

The strategy of the 4 P’s of marketing has been in use and referred to since the early 1960’s. Obviously, a lot has changed in the business world since that time. Marketers and businesses set the stage and controlled the markets as a whole. There were not a lot of differences or features associated with products and services. Nowadays, the marketing world is completely different!!! Now, the client/customer is in control, most markets have separated or fragmented into multiple ones making it harder to reach groups. Also, there are so many alternatives, choices, and competition when it comes to products and services. Social media and the way that people communicate have been major players in the change of how successful marketing is done.

As with anything, especially in business, as trends change, you must adapt if you want to stay ahead of the curve and be successful with your business. To apply that way of thinking into marketing, here is a new idea for a fresh marketing framework, replace the 4 P’s with the 4 E’s:

Product > Experience 

Place > Everywhere

Price > Exchange

Promotion > Excitement

Product > Experience

In the old model, the first “P” was “Product”, which is about highlighting a single product or service. Now, products change constantly, features are added, the design changes, etc. By switching the first element to an E for Experience, you can stop focusing on just the product and start thinking about the overall experience for your target market. A great way to start doing this is to discover the process that a customer goes through when looking for something to purchase. To help to pinpoint your customer’s experience with your product or service, start asking yourself questions: How do customers shop for their products and services?, When do purchases occur?, Who or what influences buying decisions?, What happens after something is purchased?, Do they buy again? If you aren’t asking yourself these types of questions it will be hard to understand the customer experience, thus being able to better market your offerings to them. This is important because when you focus your marketing efforts to revolve around the experience rather than just the product you can really tap into what is most important for your customers.

Place > Everywhere

In the old model, the second “P” was “Place”, but now it is not about bringing customers to a certain place it is about being where the customers are. Start by switching the second element to “Everywhere”, because everywhere your clients are, you can be! Now to grab attention you don’t have to interrupt and pester, you have to intercept and capture consumers in their time and meeting them on their terms. A great way to take advantage of this is to advertise and market where your clients are. Use social media; take advantage of Facebook and Twitter, etc. Social media is a great avenue to announce changes, promotions, offers, etc., because customers don’t have to search for things, it is brought to their attention while they are engaging in their normal everyday habits; thus, making the process easier for them, and also making buying decisions easier for them.

Price > Exchange

In the old model, the third “P” was for “Price”. Literally meaning, we provide you a product and you give us money to pay for the product, period. By switching the third element to “Exchange”, you can highlight the value of the product. In this part of the equation you should ask yourself: What is my client paying for?, What does my client want in our products or services?, What are we willing to offer them? These questions will help you to determine the exchange that will happen when something is purchased. There will not only be a monetary exchange, but also an exchange of value. You will provide value to your clients because your products and services give them a solution to their problems or needs.

Promotion > Excitement

In the old model the fourth “P” was for “Promotion”. With the new model, in essence, it hasn’t changed because there will always be a promotion or offering with marketing, however, now that focus has shifted to the “Excitement” that surrounds the promotion. The key ingredient to reach people is to target what matters to them, hitting on emotions, needs, etc. When you can generate energy and passion in what you are selling to your market, excitement is born. When there is excitement about a product or service people talk about it! This is where the new wave of communication takes over. Coupled together, word-of-mouth and social networking take that excitement and create a buzz about your products and services.

How is ExchangeDefender Utilizing the New 4 E’s of Marketing?

Experience: We understand the “Customer Experience” in working with ExchangeDefender. We want to make the experience great for our partners and very simple. We make all of our solutions very user-friendly and easy to use. We provide training materials, whitepapers, support documentation, videos, and marketing collateral to make it easy and beneficial to have a partnership with us.

Everywhere: We go where our market is! We attend and sponsor the same tradeshows and conferences that our partners and target markets attend. We know that you are looking for solutions and partners that will help you to more effectively service your clients and offer them valuable products and services that will help to better run your businesses. We also stay plugged in with social networking, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and post blogs to keep you updated on what we are doing and how we can help you be successful.

Exchange: With all of our offerings there is a lot more than just an exchange of money for services. We offer our partners value! All of our offerings are all-inclusive – we don’t nickel and dime for advanced features. We believe in an all-you-can-eat strategy, which in turn provides value for you. We also provide free support, training, and best practices to our partners.

Excitement: We provide excitement with our products and services by catering to what the channel and our partners are looking for. We listen to word-of-mouth, social networking hype, and the needs of our partners and strive to fulfill those needs with our solutions. Also, we create excitement around our company because we are very passionate about our offerings and our partners and truly believe that we provide great solutions to our partner base. 

Stephanie Hasenour
VP Marketing, ExchangeDefender


If you want to develop a sound and successful marketing plan for your business or simply just want to perfect your strategy, you must first start at the beginning.

A marketing campaign to draw in clients starts with a full understanding of what your company has to offer and how all of your products and services can help your target market. In other words, you are marketing not only your services and products to prospective clients but also your company as a whole.

Marketing is loosely defined as “The performance of business activities that directly impact the flow of goods and services from the producer to the consumer or user.” This seems like it should be a simple task yet there is so much “clutter” in the world that makes marketing your products and services, at times, difficult. I have written previously in another post about the importance of marketing your services as a solution to a problem or need that your clients currently have. A great way to really narrow in on this is to analyze your marketing efforts and outline your company’s 4 P’s. For those not familiar with the marketing phrase “The 4 P’s” or “The Marketing Mix” it stands for: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.

To explain how this strategy can be implemented I will use us, ExchangeDefender, as an example. In other words, to develop a successful service offerings marketing plan, there must be a product or service (Product = ExchangeDefender) available to the consumer at a place (Place = Available online through our Partner Portal) for an acceptable and outstanding price (Price = Partner pricing available in the Partner Guide) with proper promotion (Promotion = advertisement in various forms: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Newsletters, Websites, Promotions and offers) so the consumer is aware of the product (ExchangeDefender) and its advantages.

The actual task of marketing your services is getting out in the market place. Since there are many offerings of all types, sizes, and benefits from your competition, it quickly becomes evident that success is unlikely without some planning and actual implementation of the 4 P’s. Without a plan, the service or product that you are trying to promote stands little chance of successfully marketing its benefits and solutions to your target market. By using variations of these four components you have the ability to reach multiple consumers within your target market.

In addition to that, creating a successful marketing mix that will increase results often takes experimenting with what “works” with your target market. The key is to not always depend on “one” mix, but you should explore other avenues and also use different mixes with depending on what a client needs. The combination and coordination of these elements will be more effective than depending on just one. It is important that you coordinate all elements so that the prospective consumer is not being sent mixed messages that can cause confusion – Make things simple! When things are simple, the buying decision is much easier for the client to make.

In summary, be sure that you cater to a niche market and that your product is geared towards the need of that market. Be sure that your price is within the budget of that market, and that you are distributing your product or service where it will be seen by that market and be easily accessible and attainable. Lastly, steer your promotion to solve the problems that clients are experiencing.

Stephanie Hasenour
VP Marketing, ExchangeDefender

ddHere is a quick Marketing tip about the importance of planning! The objective of great marketing is creating something today that will bring you success in the future. The key to that is good PLANNING!

Marketing is the glitz and glamour and creative side of business, right? Most of the time, yes, but other times it is what sets a company up for future success or failure. Let me give you an example, let’s say that there is a new book written about how to use current Social networking sites: Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The marketing campaign for the new book could have been amazing, book signings, billboards, commercials, you name it… However, with the public becoming more and more technically savvy, social networking sites and communities are changing almost daily. Once a book is written and published it is stagnant. The information contained within its’ covers is in the past and cannot be updated. Therefore, the sales of a book like this will likely be terrible. No one wants to read something that will no longer be true next week.

Take this lesson of poor planning and put it into your business. Business owners that don’t plan ahead are constantly playing catch-up with their competitors that are better prepared and proactive. Stop that from happening to you. You can be the leader!

Devote some valuable time really planning ahead exactly what you want your business to look like and the message that you send out to your prospective clients. Set aside some time to plan out what you want to achieve, sales goals, new products or services, etc., and build marketing campaigns around those goals and you will see that you are much more efficient and proactive. Goals set guidelines and guidelines provide structure. It is so much easier to be organized and stay on point when structure is in place. However, leave some room for creativity!!! Don’t just plan for next week or next month, but strive to look on a grander scale to a year and beyond.

Remember, success is about setting goals and having a plan and strategy to get there! Good luck!

Stephanie Hasenour
VP Marketing, ExchangeDefender


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