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The Single, Simple Trick That Will Get 3 To 4 Times More Response From Every Single Marketing Campaign, Guaranteed

Posted On October 22nd, 2020

Any ideas on what it is? Hint: It’s the thing that got you to read this article – the headline.

The headline is “the ad for the ad.” It’s the device that, if well-written, will stop the right reader-prospect in their tracks and get them involved in reading your campaign and taking action. In the example above, I could have written “How To Get Your Wife To Chase You Around The Bedroom Like A Horny Teenager” and gotten even more response than with the one I used. I could have even pivoted off that as an example of the importance of headlines; however, I would have attracted the WRONG person with the WRONG proposition – i.e., a desperate husband looking for a little more love in his life (to put it politely). Read full article and comment →

The Importance Of Holding Your Marketing Accountable To A Result

Posted On September 16th, 2020

The Importance Of Holding Your Marketing Accountable To A ResultIf I hear someone say their hope for marketing is “brand awareness” or to “get my name out there” one more time I’m gonna start a protest against slovenly, wasteful marketing. At least then I wouldn’t get my events shut down, but I digress…

To my point: Let’s suppose the “branding” folks managed an employee the same way they are suggesting you manage your marketing. The job description for “Bob” the employee would look something like this:

“Bob, your job is to get our name out there and make sure you are making people aware of our brand. Since we have no way of measuring just how effective you are, you won’t be subject to any regular meetings or reviews and you won’t have any strict hours. You can come and go as you please. Just as long as you come back once in a while and give us some assurance that you are, in some manner, shouting our name to the world, we’re all good and will continue to pay you. No one will monitor your performance. No one will attempt to measure your effectiveness or the impact you’re having on the organization. No one will look at your productivity, and we won’t tie you to specific leads, clients and sales coming in the door. We’ll just assume it’s working. Every couple of months we’ll look to see if sales have gone up. If they have, you’ll get all the credit. To assist you in this effort, we’ll give you a very hefty budget so you look your professional best. After all, we want to win the popularity contest and receive useless awards for our “creativity” or our cleverness. In fact, we’d like you to be vague, cute and clever. You’ll be dressed in the finest suits and given a Bentley to drive around in. You’ll eat at the finest restaurants, wining and dining whomever will listen to your message. Your expense account won’t be beholden to any particular type of client, but if we get enough people liking the experience, you’ll continue to be paid. If we don’t get enough sales, you can just blame the economy, the competition, who’s in the White House or any other outside factor.”

Laugh if you will, but that’s how a lot of companies manage their marketing efforts. My rule has been never to invest a marketing dollar that cannot be directly and accurately tracked back to generating a lead, a customer or a sale. Simple. That’s why my marketing is so shocking to many when they first see it; the word they use is “direct” if they’re kind, “aggressive” if they’re not.

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Grabbing Attention

Posted On September 9th, 2020

attentionTo the right is a favorite “article” from the Weekly World News (the only RELIABLE news outlet these days) that I keep in my files as inspiration for a marketing campaign somewhere in the future. I DO think an ad run like this around Halloween with an offer to “exorcise the demon” in your computer would do really well – but I suspect many would not use it for fear of criticism, particularly from “love thy neighbor” Christians who would heap fire and brimstone on your head because they find this deeply offensive (but hey – in THIS day and age, if you’re not pissing someone off by noon every day, you’re not trying at ALL).

But the MAIN point of sharing this with you: a stern reminder that you HAVE to figure out how to get your prospects’ attention with your marketing or your marketing will fail miserably. This is why I encourage “lumpy” or odd direct mail – it makes a much more significant impact than a plain vanilla postcard or “professional” letter. So, a few things to keep in mind:


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Nice Is A Path To NOWHERE

Posted On August 27th, 2020

In one of my favorite books, Harry Beckwith’s What Clients Love, is this story:

NICE IS NOWHERE. You do NOT want everyone to like what you do.

Ian Schrager created a revolutionary chain of elite hotels. His properties are to hotels what Salvador Dali paintings are to art – not for everyone. Schrager expressly designs his hotels for one traveler in 25. “Let 24 of 25 despise them, for all I care,” he has said. “Just so one in 25 loves them.” Can any marketer afford to write off 96% of the public? Schrager’s small hotels net more than $20 million a year (2003).

He’s since sold his hotel group, but has made a small fortune on his approach. His idea of being different and “not for everyone” is scary as hell to most businesspeople, though. In a world where “Likes” and followers are the new status quo for being successful in business (entirely a FALSE metric if viewed in isolation from other critical metrics like profit), and online trolls abound and pressure you to conform to their viewpoints, it CAN feel “dangerous” to stand out and take an unpopular view. Disapproving things and shaming and bullying others is a full-time job for many, a pastime for many. Believe me, I know.

It’s in conflict with everything you’ve been taught about service and the customer always being “right.” Choosing to be deliberately and blatantly against the majority is a stance that will challenge every fiber of your being and test your self-confidence. Read full article and comment →

7 Marketing Oil Wells You MUST Be Doing Consistently

Posted On August 21st, 2020

We are about to head into another recession, and most MSPs will be looking to cut costs, including marketing (they look at it as an expense not an investment – but correct marketing will always be an investment). A recession is the ideal time for growing your MSP, as the number of competitors you have will drop.

To take advantage of this opportunity, you must have at least the following seven basic marketing oil wells in place and conduct them on a consistent basis.

1. QBRs/Quick Shot E-mails – Clients

You should be doing QBRs EVERY QUARTER with your best clients. If possible, do them with all clients, but if you lack time or resources, then do technology business reviews (TBRs) with the smaller clients. For those TBR clients, you can send quick shot (cross-sell or upsell) e-mails in the quarters that you are not having the meeting.

2. 9-Word E-mail – Unconverted Leads

This should also be actioned EVERY QUARTER. Go back and look at every lead in the past six months you were in the sales process with (e.g., went to do an assessment or gave a proposal) who then went quiet despite you contacting them many times. (NOTE: Do not send this e-mail to leads who are active in your sales pipeline currently.) Read full article and comment →

“The most oppressive prisons are those that are self-made.”

Posted On August 12th, 2020

A few months ago, while cleaning out  a drawer, I came across an old e-mail someone sent me that was nothing more than a VERY long, passionate, personal assault on me, my character and how “undeserved” my success was, given the fact I had never run an IT business. This person was on my e-mail list (which THEY opted in to) but wasn’t a client– so everything stated was not based on actually knowing what I do or what my program entails. It was all just piss and vinegar unloaded. I printed it and saved it because to me it was an excellent example that I was really making progress.

What’s ironic is that she (yep, it was a woman) is very active in communities that are for advancing women in technology. When I read her comments, which were really nothing more than a string of juvenile insults, I laughed. Then I thought, hang on a minute, aren’t YOU supposed to be SUPPORTING and encouraging the advancement of women? Even if she didn’t like me, for whatever reason, shouldn’t she at LEAST applaud my success in this “male-dominated” industry? As my eight-year-old would say with a big eye roll, “Whaaaateverrrrrr…” Read full article and comment →

How To Tell If Your Marketing Is Productive

Posted On June 19th, 2019

Hamster WheelFrom AdWeek: 62% of small businesses see NO return on their investment in Facebook.

From Forbes: 44% of businesses can’t even measure social media ROI.

Despite this, according to a survey from the Manifest, 63% of small businesses plan on increasing their spend on social media (!). One social media “expert” commenting on this said that “not all social media traffic generates revenue” (Really? Who’da thunk) and went on to suggest that “you might measure conversations that originated with a social media visit and use that as a gauge of success.”

He went on to say that it was especially important for start-ups to get followers because an initial “audience” was more important than an initial customer base.

Count me unconvinced.

I’m not against using social media – what I AM against is wasting time, focus, energy and money on marketing activities that don’t directly lead to a paying client. Read full article and comment →

12 Questions An MSP Owner Should Ask Themselves When Creating A Marketing Plan

Posted On June 12th, 2019
12 QuestionsRecently a new client asked, “What is the average in months for an MSP to implement a marketing plan?”

Impossible to answer because you first have to determine what a marketing plan means for your business, but it led me to outline several important things that a business owner needs to know before a plan can be created.

In this instance, let’s assume a marketing plan is the strategy for how you are going to achieve your revenue and client acquisition goals. Therefore, we need to know the following:

  1. What resources do you have available to you right now in money? People (salespeople, marketing, their skill level, etc.)? Lists? Campaigns and marketing systems in place? Relationships with strategic partners and JVs? Anything else?
  2. Have you clarified WHO you want as a client? Do you have a list of them? If yes, is it a COLD list or a warm list of clients and prospects?
  3. Do you know your current market size? When do we run out of rope? Is it big enough to feed us? Too small to hit our goals?
  4. Do you know who your top competitors are, and do you have a plan for replacing the incumbent IF your competitor is another MSP/IT services company?
  5. Do you have a working, productive offer to generate leads, or will it need to be created?
  6. Do you have a reliable sales funnel and follow-up process for handling inbound leads, or will they have to be created?
  7. Do you have a CRM in place to organize, track and maximize campaigns, or does it have to be created?
  8. What are your specific sales and client acquisition goals, and how much of a leap is that from what you’re currently doing?
  9. What does the average client spend with you?
  10. How quickly do you want to hit the above goals?
  11. Do you have to make a profit on the first sale, or can you float the acquisition cost?
  12. Do you know what your allowable cost is per lead? Per sale?

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