"Marketing is a two-way street. You have to be aware of what potential clients are looking for, and then you have to make them aware of what you offer."
Do you have a hard time marketing and selling your backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution? In a recent episode of MSP Radio, part one of a two-part series designed to help you define your BDR go-to-market strategy, we answered several frequently asked questions from MSPs facing the same dilemma.
Whether you need guidance establishing the right market to serve or don't know how to differentiate your messaging across audience segments, the following recap should help you yield a higher ROI on current BDR marketing efforts, further enabling long-term business growth and profitability!
1. What is the biggest challenge MSPs face when bringing their BDR offering to market?
Everyone on the podcast panel agreed that properly identifying a target market and positioning their BDR solution accordingly remains the main issue for service providers today. Continuum Content Marketing Manager Brandon Garcin weighed in, claiming that many MSPs try to be all things for all people. They cast too wide of a net and accept any clients that come their way. This isn't a strategy. Instead, he suggests that MSPs determine the types of BDR clients they want to reach, familiarize themselves with these prospects' individual markets and define the target audience they'll market and sell to.
If you find yourself facing the same struggle and worrying that you're not winning enough appointments or generating endless leads, take a step back. Focus on quality over quantity. Even if you collected thousands of leads, there's no guarantee that they'd all eventually close into clients. Be more selective. Tackle the lowest-hanging fruit, those businesses or organizations seeking long-term service contracts that allow you to maximize your profit margins.
Once you establish the organizations, verticals or interest segments you'll go after most aggressively, align your messaging with their specific needs. During the podcast, Continuum Sr. Product Marketing Manager Ben Austin stressed the importance of understanding the nuances of each segment you market and sell to, rather than using the same generic messaging for all. Since backup needs differ across any MSP's client base, each of your appeals must reflect this. What resonates with one prospect may not necessarily resonate with another. Ask yourself what problems each segment has that you can solve with your BDR solution. An appreciation for your audience's business challenges and pain points should serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy, thereby informing all content creation and lead generation efforts.
Let's look at an example that illustrates the benefits of this strategy. If you're a decision maker at a doctor's office, wouldn't you prefer to work with an MSP who's had extensive experience backing up electronic health records and medical data? If that same MSP then assured you that they'd help your medical practice maintain HIPAA compliance and provided testimonials from other healthcare professionals raving about your disaster recovery and business continuity services, it would carry a lot more weight.
A word of caution when specializing your services—if you fake it, you won't make it. These organizations can quickly detect thin, inauthentic messaging. Do your research ahead of time. Immerse yourself in their industry, taking the time to fully understand it. Speak their language and weave it across all marketing collateral aimed at these individuals.
2. What are end users actually looking for in a BDR solution?
OK, now that you know to target different subsets of ideal buyers—commonly referred to as "buyer personas"—with appropriate content for their needs, how do you properly define these needs? What are your end users actually looking for in a BDR solution, and how can you gather this intel?
Brandon advocates leveraging keyword research as a way to more deeply understand how people search when shopping for BDR. With the right tools, you can view average search volume, rank difficulty and related keywords for any given query. Data and trends gleaned from tools like Moz, Google Keyword Planner and Google Analytics provide the context you need to determine which keywords are worth prioritizing. Moz Local, in particular, is helpful for MSPs looking to optimize online visibility in their local area. To learn more about its benefits, check out a related Weekly Byte episode highlighting Moz Local, along with two other free tools designed to improve search engine optimization.
Without diving too deep into keyword research strategies—a whole other blog post in and of itself—let's explore the value of these reports in understanding the search behavior of a given segment. Perhaps you want to pull insights on "disaster recovery" and discover that "disaster recovery plan for law firm" is a related keyword that's relevant to a demographic you serve and easy to rank for. A result like this, though hypothetical in this instance, suggests that anyone in the legal vertical would respond to content around DR testing or a DRaaS value proposition. You could then bake this into your content, packaging and overall marketing strategy for this buyer persona.
Social media platforms, communities and other watering holes are also excellent sources of market research. Are people complaining about their current BDR provider? What is causing them so much frustration? Maybe they don't fully understand the benefit of their BDR solution because it's out of sight out of mind. Perhaps scheduled backups are eating up too much network bandwidth, resulting in system downtime during peak business hours. Whatever it is that's vexing them, observe whether any patterns emerge within your segment. Then, consider how the benefits (not features) of your BDR solution can alleviate their pain points or make their jobs easier.
According to a recent GoDaddy blog post, 81 percent of B2B purchase cycles start with web search and 90 percent of buyers say when they are ready to buy, "they'll find you." Once you've built out the profile for each of your buyer personas by collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, get on their search radar by creating supporting content. Blogging is the perfect way to attract qualified buyers to your website. By writing on topics that are of interest to your buyer personas and successfully weaving in the right keywords, you can demonstrate your authority and stand out against competitors. And, taking this one step further, Ben recommended MSPs not only implement this targeted message strategy across their own channels, but take advantage of local news or press outlets as well. You have expertise to share. Being a regular source and spreading it can only boost your credibility to potential buyers!
In the end, building a successful BDR go-to-market strategy requires establishing market segments to go after, understanding individual buyer personas' business wants, needs, challenges, goals, etc. and carrying these themes across all messaging. For the full discussion captured above as well as a discussion on BDR marketing tactics and competitive differentiation, subscribe to the Continuum Podcast Network and listen to episode 119 of MSP Radio.
In need of BDR marketing content? Check out our new sales enablement kit featured below!