4 Ways to Make MSP Marketing Strategies Actually Successful
Managed service providers (MSPs) have notoriously struggled with effective marketing since their inception not too long ago. The knee-jerk response to a reduction in sales is to hire more, and “better” salespeople, but sales and marketing aren’t the same. No matter how many sales people you have, or their ability to sell, leads are necessary to start the journey toward adding new clients.
In this post, we’re outlining four guaranteed strategies for keeping the lead machine rolling while sales focuses on closing. These efforts might require some upfront investment, but once you’ve got them in place, they’ll do more for you long-term than those quick fixes of the past.
1. Content is (still) king
Competition in the MSP market has heated up in recent years and simply relying on your products is no longer enough. Companies need to feel confident in not only your products, but in your company, your technicians, support staff and the overall mission of your MSP.
Establish your company and the people who make it work as thought-leaders in the industry. Create blog posts that showcase the expertise and proprietary knowledge you bring to the channel. Interview successful customers for case studies that provide insight into how you solve common challenges. Remove unnecessary acronyms and stuffy business-speak from data sheets by focusing on benefits to customers, rather than features of IT services.
Share content on social media channels, use in outreach campaigns, and as supplements to your sales team. Overall, you’re doing more than supplying IT, you’re joining forces with customers as an extension of their tech team. Prove you’re worth the hire as a capable, multi-faceted MSP that does more than just provide tech. After all, anyone can do that…what makes your MSP different?
2. Rely on data for feedback
All too often, regardless of industry, businesses create a marketing asset, email campaign, social media strategy, etc. and set it and forget it. Some combination of internal employees have decided THIS is the best thing ever and once it’s created, it’s quickly forgot.
How do you know it’s “working?” Is the content being shared? Are prospects clicking the link in your emails? Do social media followers convert into customers?
Engagement reporting is absolutely necessary to first determining the result of your efforts, and second, helping you to optimize for overall goal achievement. You might think something will resonate with prospects, only to find that no one is interested. But, it might not be the topic. It could be the format of the information – maybe it’s too long for a single blog post, and would be better shared as a multi-post blog, infographic, video or topic on your podcast. Maybe those social media followers aren’t getting any attention after they’ve clicked that ‘Like’ button and their motivation to engage further is quickly lost.
No matter what marketing strategy you’re putting out there, it needs to be tracked, tweaked, and tried again. Don’t take it personally if your grand idea doesn’t land, just head back to the drawing board with the data you do have to better tailor your message to the people who need to hear it most.
3. Collaborate with vendors
Utilize your IT service providers as the experts they are. Who can speak to the features, benefits, value and need for your products better than the people who create, sell, implement and maintain them? No one!
Many vendors, including Axcient, are empowering their MSPs with marketing development funds, or MDFs. These sales and marketing resources can be used in a variety of settings based on what’s most effective for your prospects.
Utilize additional funds provided by vendors to highlight your delivery of their services. Not only do you save money and resources, but you get the added bonus of collaboration. Your vendors come with a different perspective and can typically provide some interesting new initiatives based on what they’ve seen from similar MSPs.
Invite product experts to your next lunch and learn to provide information, rather than a hard sell. Bring your vendor to an event booth to showcase their knowledge and your mutually beneficial relationship. Promote the strength of your vendors in content pieces that give prospects the extra information they need to choose your MSP.
Regardless of how you take advantage of MDFs, just make sure you don’t leave those resources on the table. And if your vendors don’t provide this assistance as part of your partner experience, you may question why they’re not more invested in your success.
4. Take advantage of the AMP
Sure, creating a bunch of shareable assets sounds great. Having engagement stats would be better. And getting funding for marketing events from a vendor is ideal. But that takes expertise, time, specific knowledge and a pretty generous vendor. Welcome to the AMP!
The AMP is Axcient’s Marketing Portal; a full-service, repository of marketing assets built specifically for MSPs, available to all Axcient partners. We don’t succeed if our partners don’t, so we’re sharing everything we have and know to elevate your business. Get brandable assets, personalized email campaigns, custom social posts, built-in engagement reporting, and MDFs when you become an Axcient partner.
Our value-first marketing strategies give you the materials you need, with custom options to make them your own. With a focus on information, relationship-building, problem-solving and overall respect for prospects, the resources you get from the AMP don’t rely on pressure-based tactics. Instead, they respect your prospects’ right to choose their MSP, but position your MSP as the best choice.
Whether you approach your marketing alone or go it with a collaborative partner like Axcient, be sure to give these assets, strategies and campaigns ongoing support to get the most out of them. If you’d like to learn more about how the AMP is accelerating MSP marketing efforts…do something.
About the Author:
Lucy Jones // Revenue Programs Manager, Axcient
As Revenue Programs Manager for Axcient, Lucy Jones brings her project management skills to launch and support Product and Revenue initiatives, as well as manage the AMP. She functions as a main link between sales and product for product updates and feature changes. Lucy is a true team player and doting mother to her cat, Lula Sheila Jones. When she’s not working with sales leadership to execute training programs and helping MSP partners utilize the AMP, this Florida girl enjoys a tasty hot toddy and finding the best deals at Land’s End.