My time at a successful MSP has certainly helped shape my career as a marketing professional. The learning curve was steep. Coming from a large national Value-Added IT Reseller, it took me a while to get used to the managed “as-a-service” offering of an MSP. Promoting managed services, rather than out of the box products such as laptops, was a welcomed challenge.
Here are my top recommendations for any marketing professional in the MSP space…
First things first, pretty marketing stuff! I was told from the start of my career that marketing is all about sales enablement, and without great content, your sales teams are going into battle unarmed, with only their bare fists and cunning sales whit.
Make the sales team lives easier, ensure you have a good arsenal of;
- Product Sheets (Datasheets)
- Case Studies (Testimonials)
- Business Cards (especially for those new biz guys)
Top Tip: Make sure you have a good reserve of collateral printed, no end of times I heard “Ryan I’m off to a new business meeting this afternoon, do you have a brochure for…”
Mixam.com is a great site and doesn’t break the bank!
Connect with your sales team
Luckily, I’ve had the pleasure of working with great accounts team. Having the sales team on side, makes getting them to invest in marketing campaigns 10x easier. Make the effort to draft up that last-minute marketing mail, or “quickly put together that promo flyer.” Be a people pleaser, IT businesses aren’t all about the technology!
Top Tip: A simple “Hello”, or even offering to make the tea round, can go a long way! (especially in a smaller MSP)
Make Some Culture ‘Noise’
I don’t need to explain the power of social media, countless other blogs have beat me to it. What I will say is, mix up your social content with commercial and cultural content. Luckily my MSP gave me plenty to shout about on social media, from weekly group HIIT workouts, to a big night out at the awards. Again, you don’t just have to talk about the tech, focus on the people!
Top Tip: Try a series of blogs focussed on a specific theme, one that we tried was “Women in Tech: The Ladies of CT”
Tools for the job
A great CRM is vital for tracking prospect journeys. Ideally you don’t want to be using a different platform for email, CRM, landing pages, ads etc. HubSpot tackles this challenge head on. The ‘Marketing Starter’ package includes; CRM, email marketing platform and landing pages, as well as customisable dashboards to help you and your new business team keep track of those prospects.
Top Tip: Working on multiple platforms isn’t wrong, but why make life harder, right?
Who Dares Wins…well at least sometimes!
Don’t be afraid to try something new! Providing you plan ahead, there’s no shame in a campaign being a total flop, we’ve all been there… What is important however, is making sure you know what went wrong, and that you learn from it. Discuss the campaign with your Directors/Managers, and ensure them that you have taken into account what you need to improve on for next time.
Top Tip: Most people respect someone who will grow and learn from their mistakes, rather than sweep them under the carpet and hope no one saw!
Enjoy your work
Monday to Friday can feel like a very long time if you aren’t happy. Yes, marketing can seem like the ‘colouring in department’ but there’s a lot of graft behind the scenes. Take the time to learn about the many services your MSP provides, trust me, you may be surprised! Take pride in your work, be bold, and above all else, enjoy it!
Of course, there is so much more to marketing than the few points I have made above. I hope that you can relate to, and maybe even apply them to your marketing efforts.
I could talk about my MSP marketing experience all day, and I’m happy to, so if you ever want to catch up, share an idea or need a second opinion, please get in touch!