Stuart Crawford's Insights on the MSP Mountain Podcast
Like life, business is in flux right now due to the global pandemic that has persisted since the start of 2020. Just like other businesses, Managed Service providers (MSPs) are crafting new ways to stabilize and continue their growth trajectories regardless of the hurdles posed by Covid-19. Stuart Crawford is a seasoned marketing expert for MSPs with more than 25 years of experience dealing with MSPs. On a podcast with Eric Muth, Stuart shares the various strategies that forward-thinking MSPs can put in place to weather the storms and take their business to the next level. Here are a few highlights from the podcast.
Identify What Sets Your Company Apart
To create a successful marketing strategy, you must have a clear picture of the clients you aim to serve. You should know what specific IT skills your team is best at delivering and craft a company brand that conveys what you are to the marketplace.
Your potential customers could be looking for specific IT solutions such as outsourced email, help desk duties, cloud management, network and cybersecurity management, or consulting services. With so many fields for MSPs to explore, you should opt to specialize in specific skills to differentiate yourself and create a robust go-to-market strategy.
Offer Solutions That Protect Remote Workers
Following the global pandemic, many companies have taken a large volume of their work online, making "work from anywhere" the new norm. With extra time spent online, it's critical for everyone to take positive steps to enhance cybersecurity. MSPs can be a valuable resource to clients during this time by offering solutions and services that protect critical business assets. From a cybercrime perspective, the Covid-19 pandemic revealed new breeds of bad actors, methods of attack, and sources. So, placing your MSP at the forefront of curbing cyber attacks can undoubtedly steer you ahead of the competition.
Make sure you are well equipped to help your customers with long-term cybersecurity solutions that also work for the current pandemic environment. Taking a consultative approach to addressing clients' pain points can help you fill in the knowledge gaps within the industry about cybersecurity and information security. Other than offering IT support, and security endpoints, your company should be part of the conversation about long-term technology roadmaps for clients.
Focus On Trust
To build trust with your clients, you need to choose partners and solutions whose names and products impart a sense of stability and integrity. With cyber-attacks on the rise and technology changes happening in every corner, businesses can't afford to implement products or solutions that are not proven. Partnering with global IT solutions leaders can help you sway even the most trepid decision-makers.
Additionally, consider enhancing your portfolio with cost-effective and resource-efficient IT solutions that won't push your clients to break the bank. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most businesses are under pressure to reserve funds for their core projects. Although cybersecurity is an obvious priority for most companies, it doesn't mean your clients are ready or willing to add a significant expense to their IT budget.
Leverage Video Marketing
Video, specifically YouTube videos, are powerful marketing media. Almost everybody or at least 95 percent of the adult population in the US owns a smartphone. The mobile phone is the new TV, and you can take advantage of videos to intimately connect with your clients.
However, you need to learn the right techniques to cut through the noise. It's not simply about being heard; it's about forming a connection. By regularly posting videos on YouTube, potential clients will begin to form a personal connection with you. When it's finally time to sell your IT business, you'll win hands down. Besides, the fact that hardly any of your competitors are doing it or doing it wrong, you stand a chance of edging them out from the marketplace.
Other than video marketing, MSPs should pick the right mix of digital media, including web properties and social media, to convey their company story. Consider a website update to ensure it accurately reflects your brand promise and has excellent search engine optimization (SEO).
Additionally, review your sales process to ensure your digital marketing efforts are tied into your customer relationship management system. Rules of engagement must also be set to ensure that sales representatives make follow-ups with ready prospects or nurture leads who may not be ready for sales conversations. Once you've completed all these steps, then you can choose the right automated marketing technology to adopt for exceptional marketing outcomes.
Get Support for Your Marketing Efforts
MSPs can tap vendors and distributors to complement their sales and marketing efforts. However, you must decide the best possible way to engage with vendor and distribution programs. The first step is to find out what your distributors or vendors offer, such as training, events, marketing services, and through-market programs. Before requesting help, pull together a marketing plan that outlines your sales objectives and marketing strategies you've decided to use to address your objectives. Your plan should also incorporate marketing activities you'll be budgeting for and highlight the areas where you'll need help from your distribution or vendor partners.
A strategic marketing plan serves as an excellent foundation for discussions with various business partners. It should clearly articulate your business strategy in a manner that potential partners can engage in and support. Additionally, it helps you focus on where you want and need to spend time and money to achieve your short-term and long-term goals.
For more than 11 years, Ulistic has been offering strategic marketing solutions for managed IT service providers. We only work with Managed IT Service Providers (MSPs). Stuart Crawford, the Ulistic CEO, has worked in the MSP community for more than 25 years and is a leader in the digital advertising space for MSPs. If you still find it challenging navigating the digital marketing arena, let an expert in MSP marketing help you. At Ulistic, we are your one-stop shop for MSP marketing insights. Contact us today and let us help you grow your MSP business.