What makes your MSP special? Do you have a good answer yet?
This is the same question marketers struggle with for themselves.
In marketing, there is so much we need to learn, so much we must do well, that many of us struggle to define our secret sauce.
However, failing to differentiate is a bad plan for everyone. Remember marketing rule number one: we need to stand out from the pack!
So, don’t fall for agencies who pitch “SEO” or “inbound marketing.” Those aren’t special moves.
Instead, look for the following three characteristics and you’ll narrow down the marketing contenders to support your MSP.
Specialized in the IT industry
We could all read IBM and Microsoft blogs all day long for a year and we’d still miss something.
So, if it’s hard even for MSPs to keep up, imagine how noisy IT must seem to your potential clients?
And now we want a marketing agency to be our middleman; someone to absorb industry information and repackage it intelligently.
Ok, we’re good up to now, right? But, the “devil is in the detail.”
Consider that, in most agencies, a marketing account manager -- the primary strategist -- is assigned to anywhere from 4 to 7 accounts and beneath them are jr. strategists, PPC experts, bloggers, and others.
In such a fast-paced industry like IT, you don’t want marketers who split their brain power into too many industries.
Without 100% focus on the IT industry, marketers will latch to generic marketing messages that will probably remain unopened in potential clients’ inboxes forever.
Knows Small Businesses
I’m going to tell a quick story here to demonstrate the importance of having a marketing agency that specializes in SMB’s.
In 2014, anMSP based in Connecticut contracted a marketing agency to modernize their marketing. This wasn’t just any local agency though, it was an award-winning company who’d had been recommended by the technology vendor, HubSpot.
The agency did what they do best: inbound marketing. The components of inbound include things like blogs, landing pages, calls-to-action, social media posts, and whitepapers.
After some time, the fruits of the SEO-optimized content starting coming in, and can you guess how they looked?
It looked great. It showed web traffic was up, lead generation too, and yet, customer acquisition flat. They weren’t even generating meetings with qualified buyers.
What the hell went wrong?
The leads were unqualified because the site attracted IT researchers from anywhere and everywhere; the agency failed to understand how local small business owners really find MSPs.
Small businesses do not rely solely on Google to find help, and yes, of course, they do research, but they also ask friends for references, they go to LinkedIn to ask industry peers, and they ask IT vendors who they can trust that’s nearby.
Many agencies have cookie-cutter approaches that work well on paper, but that doesn’t always translate to sales. Be very careful with that.
Has a Dedicated Team
As an MSP leader, you know better than anyone how important it is to have great people on your team. It’s not the hardware business anymore, it’s the customer success business which means our people will have the lasting impact on retention.
The marketing agency business has a similar challenge in this regard we need great people, too.
In Simple Selling, developing a good culture has been a priority from day one.
For example, every person on our team is Venezuelan and this commonality has enabled a bond that extends beyond work.
If you visited our Slack channel, you’d see hallacas photos in December, Miami jokes and a constant flow of memes about Maduro.
Our Slack reminds me of the locker room of a winning high school football team; we always have fun, but when it’s game time, we believe in each other because we share a common goal.