There is a person waiting in your conference room who is going to open with inane small talk about golf, kids, the weather, etc., and then try to slam a dam into the flow of your hard-earned revenue and divert some of it toward marketing. How dare they. You were going to use that money for golfing or your kids when the weather gets nice.
Out of every task in the day (including lunch), marketing seems to be at the bottom of the list for many owners and operators of MSPs. You have knowledgeable salespeople and a website, what the heck do you need marketing for? Well, as you peruse your 5 local takeout menus for lunch, you might realize that the restaurants are in the same situation. They have a kitchen and reasonably attentive wait staff, but out of the 10-15 restaurants within a mile, you only have 5 menus on the corkboard in your lunchroom. Love it or hate it, that’s marketing. But we know you’re more likely to hate it than to love it, so today’s blog is about all the reasons why MSPs hate marketing.
Any managed service provider worth their salt gets a lot of leads through referrals and word-of-mouth. You and your team’s quality service and reputation got the company to where it is, why change now? Because as you grow, it raises the level of competition and size of the target client, which can be major obstacles. Newton’s second law states, “Marketing motion is directly proportional to force applied. To keep your company’s momentum, you need your marketing to exceed the competition and match the expectations of the client.” ~ Sally Newton. Nice gal. Great marketer.
You spend all day talking to clients about their security needs, encouraging them to use 2FA and not to click links sent in emails from 3rd Then you turn around and create a few emails, some social media, do a webinar, and collect data. As people respond to marketing, it creates more data that can be used for more targeted marketing. We get it, it can feel hypocritical, and we can help you strike the appropriate balance between targeting and privacy/security.
Ever woken up to a delivery guy dropping off a $1500 knife set you’d impulse ordered the night before? Just me? Okay. Being manipulated by digital marketing can feel bad, so influencing people’s decisions can feel as grimy as my old knife set. But there’s a difference between preying on their insecurities and using your expertise to help inform and add value to people in the decision-making process.
Leveraging the paradigm of the technology mind space is the endeavor of all thought leaders. And if that made sense, we’re screwed. Good marketers translate your technical language and concepts into consumable narratives that help stakeholders make decisions. And if that didn’t make sense, we’re screwed (or at least the copywriter on our team who wrote it is screwed). Seriously though, at eBridge, we do our best to speak your language.
Marketing agencies love our platitudes: “Quality leads,” “Unprecedented customer support,” “Your trusted partner.” Did you like those? The industry created them two decades ago (we’re very proud). However, marketing and MSPs actually share the same problems, i.e., our services overlap with those of our competitors. The difference between platitudes and BS is execution and a solid relationship. So, how’s your golf game and the kids? Good, good.
Marketing agencies are known to put the “rage” in overage. As do remodeling contractors (we can’t take all the credit). IT people want to look at pricing, talk to someone, and then make a decision. The challenge is that any agency that provides cookie-cutter “package” pricing is likely offering the exact same services to 100 other MSPs. So while it can be challenging providing upfront pricing for quality marketing services, solid budget and scope projections result from hiring an experienced MSP marketer with solutions and a plan specific to your business.
MSPs have a legitimate concern regarding measuring results. These days, due to factors like privacy tools, long sales cycles, and multiple decision makers, it’s very challenging to measure the results of any particular marketing initiative for MSPs. You need to be confident in your marketing strategy and your team to do the job correctly. An experienced marketer knows your customers’ discovery process, what inspires action, and what’s actually possible to measure.
Many IT professionals view marketing as a skill akin to the Theater Club in high school. You’re not quite sure what’s going on there, but their modern take on Guys and Dolls with krumping seems to work somehow. You might have been able to create it yourself cheaper but not remotely as polished and, honestly, you don’t have time. Is krumping a hard skill? It sure looks hard to me.
You’ve got a menu, it’s right there on your website, but unless it’s tacked to the bulletin board in the lunchroom, no-one’s ordering. Lead generation, marketing automation, Google Ads, advanced SEO, advanced web dev., professional copywriting, great design, it all comes together to make sure you stand out, get noticed, build your brand, and generate leads. You may hate marketing, but…you need marketing. Time to start cookin’.
MSPs are our jam. We’ve been doing this for years and we’re pretty damn good at it.
[platitude] We’re a customer-focused boutique agency that crafts digital marketing campaigns around your unique needs. [/platitude] But we don’t just say it, we mean it. We understand that you have a finite budget and we’re not going to stick you into some cookie-cutter program.
We’re eBridge Marketing Solutions. Drop us a line when you have time.