7 MSP Marketing Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs
by Adam Basheer, on 19-Jul-2017 16:55:49
Many IT service providers struggle with marketing. This is not unusual for many companies, not just in the IT field. You are already or are about to spend time and money on marketing. So, what are some of the biggest marketing mistakes managed service providers (MSPs) must be careful to avoid with their marketing?
1. Failure to understand the basics
There are some fundamentals which you need to understand. These are to do with targeting your market appropriately and then understanding and creating your unique value proposition so that you stand out from the crowd. From there its about aligning marketing efforts with business objectives and understanding that consistency over time will build results. Understanding the basics will help you develop a working marketing strategy that represents your brand and conveys a consistent message to your target market.
2. Insufficient content strategy
You’re at a major disadvantage if you’re lacking in content on your website. Content provides your company with credibility. Engaging blog posts, videos, and email campaigns will help you attract and convert customers. Building content is something which needs to happen over time. It has a cumulative effect on your SEO and on your credibility. Your audience will come to trust you over time and view your business as a valued and substantial asset to their business.
From capturing contact information to closing the deal, your company website must become a conversion machine. There are three main ways MSPs can create a website that converts:
- Drive traffic: Make sure your website and content are designed with today’s search engine optimisation standards in mind. This includes the basics being mobile friendly to having a high degree of integrating links. SEO both for the main site and through blog posts then becomes a primary lead generating principle.
- Keep design simple: Simple and straightforward usually works best for professional websites. A lot of IT service companies also spend time “messing around” with a good site. This can create distractions, resource-hungry scripts and other complex technologies will likely hinder the web browsing experience and could compromise SEO.
- Make conversions easy: The landing pages of your website should be specifically designed to convert. Make sure visitors have an easy way to register, download an eBook or white paper, buy something or perform whatever other actions you want them to take.
Generating leads is one thing. Nurturing leads is another. Once a prospect expresses interest you need to move them through the sales funnel. Below are three ways MSPs can improve the lead nurturing process:
- Create buyer personas: Outline a few steps for handling the typical persona so you can create specific marketing strategies and messages. For further assistance on developing buyer personas, download the free eBook.
- Be diligent in your follow-up: Email, call, email again and call again. Don’t be afraid to follow up.
- Don’t come on too strong: Selling requires a careful balance of diligence and likability. The last thing you want to do is appear so aggressive that you turn prospects away.
IT providers are often very technically minded and serve customers who are often not technically minded. No matter how technically inclined you think the customer may be, you should keep in mind that customers are hoping your technology will solve a specific business problem for them, or at least help reduce friction in one or more areas of their business. Instead of focusing on all the sophisticated specs and features, help them realise the advantages of your products or services in terms of business outcomes. See if you can translate this into bottom line benefits. Consider using the FAB technique for your sales people and sale presentation material.
6. Lack of marketing direction
Few MSPs have a marketing department. So, this means you need to gain advice from marketing specialists when necessary, employ the right sales people, and use marketing specialists for key material development. Website copy, webinar presentations, and advertising campaigns are often best outsourced rather than relying on internal resources. A marketing plan couldn’t hurt either.
7. Poor budget planning
MSPs can maximise their marketing investments by keeping three budget points in mind:
- Budget amount: Firms may spend anywhere from 1 to 50 percent of their sales on marketing. Some even use their competition as a guideline for budget planning. There is no right or wrong formula, but coming up with an actual figure is necessary to avoid overspending and other budgeting issues. Lifetime value of customer is probably the best method for understanding how much you should spend.
- Budget focus: A marketing budget should cover everything from print media to SEO and booth rental on the trade show circuit. Don’t forget to allocate a portion for things like conducting market research, creating customer profiles, and the cost of incentive programs.
- Budget restructuring: Your budget should be as dynamic as your marketing plan itself. Whether revisited on an annual or quarterly basis, make sure your marketing budget is restructured around important events such as the launch of new services, upcoming conventions, or seasonal spending trends.
You can see how the FAB technique helps you to build your own value proposition. If you would like to learn more about the sales technique, download the free guide or for further assistance contact Fit 4 Market.