Six Secrets to Better Managed Services Marketing Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Email Jason CovitzNovember 15, 2016August 30, 2017 LinkedIn Viewed: 1914 TAGSMSPmanaged servicescustomer retentioncustomer acquisitionmarketingmarketing strategymarketing plan You can’t sell anything if clients don’t know you exist. That’s why there’s marketing. Many providers in the managed services world, tend to shortchange marketing because they mistakenly believe it’s enough to offer good technology. But technology, no matter how good, cannot attract new customers if they don’t know what it does or how it can help them succeed. It’s a mistake to assume if you build it, they will come. That may work in baseball movies, but not in the real world of managed services. You need a marketing plan, and it needs these five elements: Define your brand Your company’s brand stands for something. Put it in front of as many eyes as possible and clearly define what it means. Just as consumers immediately know what IBM, Chevrolet or Coca-Cola is when they see the logo, your customers need to recognize your company name and make a mental connection to the services you deliver. Be seen To get your brand out, you have to work for it. You must invest time, effort and money to be seen. You don’t need a budget to make yourself available to trade press for interviews or contribute guest blogs, but it’s time well spent. Also consider investing in web ads, advertorials in trade publications, and radio and TV spots – all of which are well worth the investment if you target the appropriate venues. Sharpen your focus A well-defined target customer is key in marketing. If you specialize in a vertical such as healthcare, real estate or finance, pick websites, blogs and publications that address those markets and customer personas. Identify industry associations and their events so you can offer yourself as a guest speaker, panel participant or presenter. Dazzle them with your command of their industry’s competitive challenges, market dynamics and aspirations. Introduce them to your brand and how it can help them succeed. Be social Social media is a marketing must-have these days; it’s the new word of mouth. But it intimidates some businesses. Hire a social media-savvy staffer or agency to engage customers and potentially turn them into an extension of your marketing department. Through well-designed promotions involving quizzes, surveys, information sharing, special offers and compelling videos, you can capture the interest of current and potential clients. If they like what you share, they will pass it on to others, including possibly your next customer. Don’t vanish Customers need constant reminders of what you do, especially in managed services where so much happens behind the scenes. Don’t let them think that just because they haven’t experienced any downtime for while, they don’t need you anymore. Meet with them periodically to review your activities and discuss strategy. Deliver Content Your customers and prospects need assurance that you’re an expert at what you do and, as such, the obvious choice of provider at decision-making time. Create lots of content about your services, as well as your understanding of the market and its direction. Demonstrate thought leadership through email, social media and your website to share blogs, white papers and news. Don’t bombard your clients, but keep a manageable stream of information flowing. Remember that managed services are ultimately about long-term relationships. Marketing goes a long way to fostering those relationships. To access more information about best practices in managed services including how to market, download our free guide, MSP Matters: A Roadmap to Enduring Business Success. Interested in our Managed Services Provider Program? Click here.