As marketers and business owners, we all know how important it is to see results from our efforts. No matter what we’re investing our time and money into, we like to see an ROI that justifies what we’ve put into it.
That’s understandable. But how do we make the judgement when it comes to the return on that investment? When we’re talking about production or manufacturing, it’s fairly easy to track what’s going on. But what about something like marketing, where the results aren’t quite as obvious as widgets rolling off an assembly line?
Marketing Results: Is Your MSP Marketing Working?
It’s often challenging to draw conclusions about a marketing effort. While modern digital marketing tools allow you to track metrics like traffic, click-through rates, and conversions, the more creative and “human” aspects of marketing are much harder to quantify.
What really makes it challenging for many MSP owners to evaluate their marketing is the factor of time. Marketing takes time to bear fruit. It’s an ongoing process that can be frustrating when you’re eager to see a payoff.
But here’s the thing: If you don’t give marketing the time it needs to work, the results aren’t going to show.
Strategic Marketing is the Key to Success
Back when Maddy and I were working for a large MSP marketing company, we learned a lot. We also got to experience first-hand a lot of mistakes that can be made by even the most reputable firms.
The number one mistake that we saw time and time again was the lack of true strategic thinking. While the term “strategy” is tossed around a marketing office like crazy, just saying something is “strategic” doesn’t make it so.
A strategy isn’t just a plan. A strategy involves achievable goals and measurable, realistic ways to reach those goals. Most importantly, a strategy is meant to be a long-term approach.
In our previous positions, we would often see a new “strategy” roll out from the boss, only to see it overturned a few days later because it wasn’t producing results. In some cases, the “strategy” for a specific client would change every week.
That is not how a strategy is supposed to work. Sure, you can make minor tactical adjustments as needed, but your overarching plan shouldn’t change that often. Bare minimum, your marketing strategy should be laid out on a quarterly basis, and you should allow ample time for marketing efforts to produce results before proclaiming that they don’t work and scrapping your whole plan.
Plan Well and You Won’t Have Worry
The key to making your marketing strategy less stressful is to start strong. Be clear in defining your goals and put serious thought into your strategy for the coming quarter or year. Build your plan around proven marketing tools and methods that work and your odds of success are much higher.
You won’t have to wonder if your marketing is all for naught if you can lean on the proven successes of others. All you’ll need to do is give the campaign time to work.
We’ve included some great planning tools in our MarketStash Onboarding Kit, so feel free to download it and go through the materials yourself. I know you’ll find the worksheets and tutorials helpful!
Is Your Marketing Strategic or Tragic?
If you’re working with an outside marketing company or a freelancer, it’s important to ask yourself this question. Think about the number of times your “strategy” has suddenly changed. Do you get a feeling of confidence the marketing plans they’re showing you?
If it seems like your MSP marketing provider is throwing things against the wall to see if they stick, then they’re not working with a solid, effective strategy. Sometimes businesses get lucky with this sort of thing and the leads still come in, but this is just good fortune, not good leadership.
A marketing company should be confident in their work. They should be able to say “this is what we’re going to do for you” and stick to it. If they’re changing your marketing strategy every week, it usually means they don’t know how to deliver the results you’re looking for, period.
In those cases, you’re paying for someone to make guesses.
And that’s not strategic, that’s just tragic.