MSP Marketing: 3 interesting articles you should have read yesterday

Marketing your Managed Services business can often be a hard task. You’re so busy with the day to day running of your business, combined with the lack of marketing know-how… honestly, I don’t blame you.

So this week I’ve compiled three great resources you can read that will give you a leg up on the competition.

Today you’ll learn:

  • 3 essential tools you need in your MSP marketing tool kit
  • How to create an MSP marketing plan for 2013
  • One simple way MSPs can maximise ROI


3 essential tools you need in your MSP marketing tool kit

I found this article last week on the Clikcloud blog. I think it’s a good reminder of how applying some simple strategies can go a long way in improving your MSP business.

Clikcloud recommends you start implementing these three tools into your marketing mix:

  • Suspect and prospect lists:

These are lists you have compiled through networking functions, trade shows and onsite sales calls.

Remember all those business cards you have stashed in your top drawer? It’s time to pull them out and enter them into these lists. Pop these valuable contacts into a simple excel spread sheet and include all the information you have on them, including something you talked about with them. Once you have a list, add them into your CRM software or email marketing system. Now stay in touch with them via email and catch up phone calls.

  • Setup a marketing newsletter:

Clikcloud notes that it may take five or six marketing interactions for you to turn a suspect into a prospect. Email marketing is a great way to touch base with suspects and nature them through the journey to becoming a prospect.

I recommend you setup an email series with some super informative information. A good example here may be ‘5 ways to protect your IT security’. It is important to keep the tips relevant to your industry and useful to your suspect.

  • Contribute to your company blog:

If you haven’t got a blog setup – do it right now. You need to be communicating with your existing customers and future prospects. Using a blog and writing an article once a week will give you an opportunity to touch base with your customers.

I recommend writing valuable content around the pain points of your ideal target customer. Common pain points I recommend using are around performance. Your clients are always concerned about performance – speed of the machine, faster browsers etc. Find an interesting angle and write about how they can improve their system performance.


How to create a MSP marketing plan for 2013

Richard Tubb over at MSP Business Management wrote a great piece last month about how to create a MSP marketing plan.

Without fail, every IT Solution Provider or Managed Service Provider (MSP) that I spoke to in December said that next year they want to “win more business”.

Richard did a great job in suggesting MSPs have a look at their last twelve months of operations and answer these three main questions:

  1. Where did my new business come from?
  2. What marketing activities didn’t produce any new business?
  3. What marketing activities you failed to execute and could provide opportunities for 2013?

I can’t stress how important it is to review last year’s marketing efforts. Marketing in 2013 needs to be measurable and you can’t get away with throwing money into X and not knowing the ROI you get from it.

A classic example is advertising through Yellow Pages. For years it had been considered a must have by service based technology companies. Now, the smart MSPs are recognising that they can move advertising budgets to other mediums, that are more measurable.


One simple way MSPs can maximise ROI

Leading on from my previous point, 2013 is the year Managed Services need to be taking ROI seriously. ManageEngine wrote a guest blog on MSPmentor that highlighted 5 ways MSPs can Mazimise their ROI and Profit.

Today I’m going to focus on one key point from that article – expand your service portfolio.

The article brings up a point that today, businesses run on IT, and this poses a great opportunity for MSPs. Most MSPs limit their service portfolio to a specific area of expertise.

In 2013, you should look to expand your service portfolio.

Think about adding these services if you don’t already offer them:

  • Remote monitoring of the entire IT infrastructure
  • Network Operations Center (NOC) services
  • Mobile device management
  • Managed storage, back ups and disaster-recovery services
  • Help desk and Patch management
  • Cloud services (Hosted emails, storage, VDIs, Web site, etc.)

This is some great advice. Any way you can start leveraging existing customers to drive more revenue is a win in my books. Since you have already done the hard yards and built trust with your clients, they will favour your service offering over rival competitors.

One recommendation I might add here is to introduce new ‘popular’ service offerings. Anything that is a buzz word in the SMB space is an opportunity you can capitalize on. Start offering the service first and capture that additional business from your clients.


Final thoughts

In wrapping things up, I want to emphasize that you should be looking at taking an active involvement in marketing your MSP business. If you simply don’t have the time and have been neglecting it in 2012 – why not try hiring an outside firm?

New competitors will constantly be trying to enter your market – how will you defend your market share and retain your customers without a marketing strategy?

Further reading:

Here are the articles I linked to in this post:

Gordon Tan

Gordon Tan is an entrepreneur based in Australia who has started and sold multiple technology companies with a combined value of $150m. This included a client satisfaction benchmarking platform which gave him first hand insight into the best practices of over 6,000 businesses. After retiring at 35 he is now a recognised thought leader on winning and retaining clients - His two passions: making clients the heartbeat of a business no matter what the product or service and this blog.

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