Like many of the MarketStash team members, I’ve worked with Managed Service Providers for years. Throughout this part of my marketing career, I’ve had the pleasure of consulting with numerous MSP owners and their sales staff.
During that time, I’ve also seen these MSP professionals making a lot of the same mistakes when it comes to their marketing.
It’s always best to learn from the mistakes of others, so read the following common slip-ups carefully. Hopefully, they’ll help you avoid finding these things out the hard way!
1. Your Marketing Has No Clear Message
All marketing should have a message, otherwise it’s just babbling. Every aspect of your brand — from emails to your website — should carry a purposeful and effective message. It’s also important that your MSP’s marketing message stay consistent through ALL stages of the buying cycle.
2. Target Customer Not Defined
Before you can effectively sell to an audience, you must first know about it. What’s your target client looking for? What’s their pain point? How can you quickly deliver the message that you’re the one who can help? Defining your ideal client is very important, so we’ve included a Customer Blueprint in the “Tools” section of our content library to make it easier!
3. Too Much Focus on the Features
This is basic salesmanship. The consumer isn’t interested in features — they’re interested in how a product or service is going to make their life better. Benefits are what sell.
4. Techno-speak and IT Jargon
In the majority of cases, you’re marketing to someone with a limited knowledge of IT and business technology. Such people don’t care about the specifics to what you’re offering. All that matters to them is that you’re able to fix their problem or provide value to their business. Leave out the technical workings of your products and focus on the results that they produce.
5. Misuse of Social Media for MSP Marketing
I don’t know what’s worse, a business that does absolutely no marketing on social media, or one that wastes a lot of time marketing on social media poorly. Social media for business is it’s own unique animal, and it must be leveraged accordingly. Don’t let social media become a time sink. Always track the ROI of the time you spend using it.
6. Starting Without Marketing Goals and Plans
Everything works better with a plan. Unless you draw up a road map, you won’t know how to get from where you are to where you want to be. Of course, you don’t even have a destination until you’ve clearly defined your goals.
7. Lack of Knowledge About Your Own MSP
I’ve worked with many clients who don’t seem to know a lot about their own business. They can’t name a single unique selling proposition (USP), describe a preferred target market, or put their company vision and ideals into words. Marketing your company without first fully understanding it is a very difficult task.
8. Hiring In-House Marketing Staff When You Should Be Hiring Salespeople
When business gets slow, MSP owners often hire an in-house marketing specialist in hopes of generating new revenue. Seems like a good solution, but the truth is that it typically doesn’t produce the desired results. In many cases, the marketing and advertising isn’t the cause of the revenue slump — it’s the sales force. Marketing can bring in tons of leads without a single one converting into new business, simply because the sales force was unable to convert them.
9. No Follow-Up With Marketing Leads
Which leads to this point. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are NOT sales. Marketing efforts can get you 90% of the way to a sale, but at the end of the journey, it’s a salesperson that needs to follow up with the leads and close the deals.
10. Believing Your Perception is Global
As human beings, we all have a tendency to think that our beliefs, ideals, and feelings are shared by everyone else around us. This is called projection, and it’s the culprit behind many failed businesses. When it comes to your marketing, it’s good to keep an open mind. Just because you don’t personally like a blog post or sales letter, doesn’t mean a future client won’t either. Don’t be the person who says, “I wouldn’t respond to that, so no one else would.”
Don’t make these mistakes with your business on the line! Leverage MSP marketing experts like the MarketStash team to maximize your business growth!