Marketing campaigns can be time-consuming, hard work, but most of all risky! We know for MSPs, time is invaluable and can be stretched very thin between IT requests and client visits. You certainly don’t want to spend all of your time and resources on a marketing campaign that ends up generating one lead for you.
Your marketing has to be strategic, measurable, but most of all consistent. We learned in one of our blog posts, Tackle MSP Marketing in Bite-Sized Chunks, that the proven way to reach any goal, whether it be a gym routine or a marketing routine in this case, is to have a plan, commit to it, and create a habit. This can be understandably tough for a lot of MSPs, which is why we are so proud of our four Continuum Partners that are in the running for the Robin Robins "Better Your Best" champion this year!
In anticipation of the event, we're sharing marketing success stories and tips from IT service providers who experienced real results from their manageable and time-efficient endeavors.
Out of the Box
Marketing is all about creativity and of course, thinking outside of the box. One of our partners caught the attention of his prospects through an unconventional direct mail campaign, which involved recreating a chocolate cake from Styrofoam and paint and sending it to prospects. The cake looked so realistic, he tried to eat it for dessert and even enjoyed playing a prank or two by leaving it in the office kitchen.
While chocolate cake has very little to do with managed IT services, this marketing campaign was different and memorable. It was also interactive, fun and created what marketers refer to as “buzz.” Prospects called back with funny stories. They were talking about it, which is definitely a marketing victory. Even if they didn’t call the next day to purchase an RMM solution, for example, our partner was able to set himself apart from other competition in the local market.
We’d call this marketing initiative a success, but how can you evaluate whether your campaign is effective or not? Metrics. If you’re not sure which ones or how to introduce measurable marketing practices into your program, definitely check out our blog post, Marketing KPIs all MSPs Should be Tracking. It covers the most important profitability and sales key performance indicators every MSP can use to evaluate the ROI of your marketing efforts.
Consistency is Key
One marketing victory is great, but you can’t stop there. With the first successful marketing campaign, you increase brand awareness, but you have to follow-up. Consistency is what pushes that prospect down the sales pipeline, all the way to adoption. If you randomly send an email blast every couple of months, you are not making the most of your marketing potential. Outlining your marketing efforts on a monthly basis can be huge because humans are creatures of habit. Set up a plan to make your marketing touches every Monday at 2 pm, for example. You can also test which days and times are best to reach your clients or prospects.
One way to continually send educational content is to maintain a blog. Most of you are constantly learning and improving your business to help your end clients. Why not document these lessons and suggest best practices for small-to-mid-size businesses looking to learn more about your IT services? If you have the bandwidth, commit to posting once a week to keep both your clients and prospects engaged. Frequent touches will help them convert faster. If you can't do weekly blog posts, pick the cadence that works best for you and stick with it!
Many of our partners have found keeping a blog – along with other content marketing initiatives - a successful component of their overall marketing strategy. They’re also not just writing blog posts, but staying tuned in to the latest news of the channel by subscribing to industry blogs.
For some inspiration check out some of our partners' blogs in our post, 5 Managed IT Services Blogs We Love, and start blogging! Having trouble coming up with topics? Here’s a great read: Blog Topics for Managed Services Providers.
Community involvement and supporting a cause can also help MSPs get their name out there, as one partner shared with us. This is not only a great way to contribute to a local cause you feel strongly about, but also builds your brand’s presence in your community. Make sure this organization is important to you and your business, but also relevant to your end clients. Through hosting this event in his town, the partner was able to meet with clients and prospects in-person. He then reached out to local media outlets and press to maximize coverage and exposure, capitalizing on the impressive turnout by leveraging social media channels, like Twitter and Facebook for promotion before, during and after the event. Amplify your own PR efforts with this quick and easy cheat sheet!
Community outreach is a great way to humanize your brand. People like working with people they know and trust. Hold your own event and network with attendees. You’ll get in front of prospects and may even gain a few referrals!
Robin Robins: Combining IT with Marketing!
Robin Robins Boot Camp
Many MSPs and a sizable portion of our partner base have found the Robin Robins Technology Marketing Toolkit to be the solution to their marketing challenges. Through this program, Robin Robins, also a key note speaker at Navigate 2015, provides a “library of proven done-for-you marketing campaigns, templates, systems, scripts, and checklists designed to take all the guesswork out of getting more clients."
We're pleased to announce that four Continuum partners are in the running for the 'Better Your Best' champion this year! If you're attending Robin Robins Boot Camp, you should definitely check out our panel with the finalists Wednesday, April 22nd at 2:20 PM. We'll be joined by Jay Ryerse, Digitel Corp.; Bill Ooms, BSS Consulting; Scott Spiro, Computer Solutions Group (CSG); and Howard Globus, IT On Demand to discuss marketing and sales big wins of the year, among other things.
Our partners swear by Robin Robins, as you can see in this testimonial below from finalist, Jay:
Jay's also a speaker at Navigate 2015, and he has something to tell you!
If the marketing expertise you'll get out of it isn't enough to drive you to the panel, we will also be raffling off a Tech Advantage Project to one lucky attendee!
If you are still hungry for marketing and sales tips, Robin Robins will be hosting a very special webinar with Senior Vice President, Global Marketing & CMO at Continuum, Jeanne Hopkins, next week. They will be sharing the secret to the single BEST marketing campaign to attract the right prospects, the most effective marketing MSPs should be doing, and more. There will be a Q&A at the end of webinar, so make use of this time to pick the brains of two experts in the industry, and sign up!
By Nate Freedman
By Nate Freedman
By Derek Marin