How ComTech Boosted Revenue by $1.6M and MRR by $76K in One Year

Mike & Hunter FarlowMSP Marketing

ComTech is a family-owned business fortunate enough to have the founder as CEO, the eldest son as COO, and the youngest son as our marketing manager. We have the classic story of extremely slow growth with little to no marketing for the first 30 years. When Hunter graduated high school and wondered what to do next, I slid across the desk a copy of the TMT Toolkit I had bought years ago. I asked him to read it and see if this interested him. He absorbed the information, and no one expected the results that came afterward. It had taken nearly 30 years to reach the $2M mark, and within a few years, we were closing in on $5M. It’s amazing what attention to marketing and executing a plan can do for a business.

Record-Breaking Revenue And Profitability

The year 2022 ended quite well with $5.1M in revenue and a net profit of 12%. We decided as a team to push hard with multiple campaigns, price increases, and a new focus on tech labor efficiency to not only drive revenue higher but make everything as efficient and profitable as possible. Then, 2023 ended with a new record of $6.7M and 26% net profit. As recently as three years ago, I would never have guessed these numbers were possible. We look forward to 2024 and even greater success.

The Power Of CollaborationAnd Targeted Strategies

I wish I could attribute the success to one thing, but it was a constructive collaboration of many activities that boosted our numbers to these record levels. Executing multiple campaigns, fine-tuning our target market, unique events (Corvette giveaway, CyberCon live event), raising prices, etc., all played a role. I believe that is the key point here. All the oars on the boat need to be in the water and rowing. No matter how good or fast a single oar may be, all of them working together is what moves the boat.

Bright Future And Aggressive Growth Plans

Our future looks very bright. We have now honed our processes to where we feel good about acquiring other companies to grow our business. The success of the past few years has given us the means to finance it. We have also focused on our target market and we are engaging with them more than ever before. Our goal for 2024 is to reach $7.5M and by the end of 2025 reach $10M. We are all engaged in the business and having fun seeing it grow.

Campaign And Strategy Summaries

Below are summaries of the various campaigns and strategies we executed.

Recruited And Implemented Scrubbing Team

Early in 2023, we took the advice of TMT to heart and identified the various target markets we wanted to focus on. It was our mission to identify how many qualified prospects were in our service area. We enlisted a professional list scrubber to help us scrub over 13,000 contacts. This helped to fuel our marketing efforts and grow our database tremendously.

Poker Chip Campaign

We followed Robin’s Poker Chip campaign and sent out 322 mailers. We tried multiple different mailing methods to get our costs down for these mailers. We ended up landing two appointments in the short time we ran this campaign for January. Both appointments have been quoted, and the combined is $12,600. We are still in active pursuit of these deals.

Stopwatch Campaign For Managed IT

We started pivoting here with this Stopwatch campaign and focused on our unique selling proposition. One strong part of our USP is a one-hour response guarantee. We bought small USB-shaped stopwatches and used that as the “lumpy” part of our mailers. The pitch was focused on our rapid response time. The next time you call your IT company for support, start the stopwatch. If they don’t reach out within an hour, call us. We will help you. This one unfortunately was a BUST. We only sent this campaign out for roughly a month because it was quite expensive to mail weekly. No appointments were generated from this campaign, and we sent out 138 mailers.

Stopwatch Campaign To IT Folks

Given the lack of success of the first Stopwatch campaign, we made a pivot. We began targeting companies with IT directors and technical staff instead of a general approach. The idea was to focus on phones, since we’ve seen that as an easier foot in the door for this target market. Same premise as above, mailing the stopwatch, but with a different letter and call to action. Same USP pitch but for phone services. We only sent this campaign out for roughly a month because it was quite expensive to mail weekly. The foot in the door was phones, but the one prospect who booked an appointment was interested in our IT services. We mailed to 215 people, and this campaign generated one appointment. We are still pursuing this deal, and it was quoted at $51,885 MRR.

Managed IT Corvette Campaign

This is when the exciting Corvette campaign started! We launched this campaign at the end of March, and it lasted until early September, when it wrapped up at our annual CyberCon in-person event. The mailers advertised the Corvette and emphasized rapid response. We made a play on the Corvette as our “Rapid Response” vehicle and connected it back to our USP. Over a period of about six months, we mailed out to 1,661 people. We landed 15 appointments: two were no-shows, three were not a fit (via discovery calls), but one wanted a quote anyway. We met with three other people who were not ready yet for a quote, so they went back into the normal marketing cycle. Three of the prospects were quoted and we lost those deals. Lastly, four different companies have been quoted and we are still actively pursuing them. The active opportunities still out there that we are pursuing are worth $19,500 in MRR.

Co-Managed Corvette Campaign

We took the Managed IT Corvette campaign and tweaked it to apply to co-managed opportunities. We focused on the car, but more so on our phone system solution and cyber security package. It lasted the same period of about six months. During that time, we sent out 449 mailers and landed four appointments. Two discovery calls were made, but they were not yet ready for a quote. One prospect was quoted worth $1,850 in MRR but tabled the decision for later. One deal did close. The MRR closed was $600.

Follow-Up From Conferences About Corvette – Direct Mail And Phone Calls

Since we had the Corvette wrapped with decals, we were able to take it to every conference we could. This was a great visual display since the car was real, the referral program was real, and our company was legitimate. After the conferences, we would make follow-up phone calls and send postcards to attendees as well about the Corvette. We also asked if they knew anyone they could refer to us at that time to get them involved in the campaign. From this, we landed two appointments. Both have been quoted and plan to decide in the future. The total quoted amount of MRR is around $12,000.

Association Mailers To Members About Corvette

We did a special mailing to the North Carolina Medical Managers Association (NCMGMA) and Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) members, announcing the referral program and allowing them to get double entries for the car. This was done in between conferences to keep in touch with them and have conversations. We mailed 325 people involved with both organizations. We then followed up with phone calls and a few e-mails. This generated three appointments. Two of them have been quoted and plan to make a decision in the future. One wants to continue the conversation in Q1 of 2024 before we quote them and continue down the process. The quoted MRR for the two deals totals up to $17,000.

CyberCon 2023 – Fast And Furious

This is our annual event where we invite both clients and prospects with the goal of educating them. The theme for the event was “Fast and Furious” since the latest movie from that series was released over the summer. We coordinated giving away a 2023 Corvette convertible at the event, which also aligned with the theme. The purpose of the event was to show we are “The Technology Authority” they can look to and rely on for new information and help to grow their business. The goal wasn’t MRR or selling but to educate and expect the sales to come later. We did a lot of unique things to promote this event, including bringing in David Rendall and other guest speakers and mailing pop-up box invitations, mailers and phone calls. We had about 70 people in total attend our 2023 CyberCon. We have closed $2,295 in a new cyber security agreement with a client since CyberCon.

Qualifying Campaign – From Adam Spencer

The Qualifying campaign was an eye opener when we watched it. For us marketers, it is a dream to know precisely if a company is the right size for us, who the decision maker is and to have correct contact info. After studying Adam’s process, we implemented it, and it is now the foundation of ALL our direct mail. We don’t mail to anyone without them going through this campaign first. This ensures our info is correct and reduces mailers being sent back. Our campaign messages and pitches are landing on the right ears, and it has made our mailers more effective. We started this campaign in the middle of August 2023 and since then have put 2,605 people through it. We have verified and deemed 943 companies as ideal companies for us to market to.

Managed IT Aspirin Campaign

After CyberCon, we got back on track with standard weekly mailings. We did implement one significant difference. We only mail to people who have been put through the Qualifying campaign we learned and adopted from Adam Spencer. Our numbers for mailings went down, as we wanted everyone to be “Qualified” before we mailed them again. This ensures we have the right information and our messaging is landing with the right people. After CyberCon, through the end of 2023 we mailed 332 Aspirin letters but focused on response time: “Has Your IT Company Lost Their Edge And Is Slow To Respond?” This has generated three appointments for us. These opportunities went all the way to quote, but unfortunately we lost all of them. The total amount of MRR quoted was $3,400.

Co-Managed IT Aspirin Campaign

We continued to pursue this approach of taking a campaign designed for fully managed IT deals and tweaking it for the co-managed IT audience. Once again, we used a postcard for this, but still used the same Aspirin campaign technique targeting IT directors. The numbers are less on this campaign because there are far fewer co-managed companies in our area. We sent out 173 postcards for this campaign in 2023. We landed two appointments. One was a no-show we are trying to reschedule. The other isn’t ready for our cyber security solution yet. We will continue to pursue these prospects in 2024 to bring them back to the table.

Target Market Organizations

In the last few years, we recognized we need to go where our target market is. We need to be in front of them as much as possible in different ways. We are part of the NCMGMA, the ALA – Raleigh/Durham Chapter, and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants (NCACPA). We attend their conferences and events throughout the year. In NCMGMA, we became the Technology Sponsor for the podcast series they started in 2023, to get us more exposure. Our sales guy has dived deep into AI and even gotten a certification from MIT for it. That certification and the push for us to lead technology have gone a long way with these groups. We were able to speak onstage at NCACPA, which was a new group for us, and become the go-to for new technology in the other groups. Our involvement with organizations has been a leading source for us the last few years and remained strong in 2023. In total, we quoted 11 companies; total MRR quoted was $40,326. In total, we have won four new clients in 2023 worth $1,518 in new MRR.

Website Redesign And Overhaul

  • Website redesigned from scratch using a “Robinized strategy”
  • Target-market-focused and USP-focused
  • Implemented SEO and content strategy that Hunter learned in the weekly TMT Marketing Manager Coaching Club he is a member of.

Overall Marketing Improvements From 2022 To 2023

Our activity level was quite intense in 2023. We made target market changes and really focused on finding more clients that suit us. The average MRR opportunity increased by 3X compared to 2022. We had 50% fewer appointments in total than 2022, but our show-up rate stayed steady at 80%, and our show-up to quoted ratio went from 38% to 76%. Our total MRR quoted in 2022 was $34,662. In 2023, the changes we made went in a positive direction and allowed us to quote $96,448 in new MRR opportunities. Despite a low sales volume, it was reassuring that we are moving in the right direction in our marketing and focused efforts. Many of the quotes are still active and no decision has been made. We’ve noticed this new targeted market uses more decisions by committee than by a single owner. As we continue to assess how long this new sales cycle is, we expect quite a few of these quotes to close.

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