MSP Marketing Blog

Is This Avoidable Mistake Serving Up Clients Directly To Your Competitors?

Posted by Robin Robins On August 14th, 2019

D'ohAccording to an article on SiteImprove, 131 of 135 websites analyzed (97%) had broken links and errors on their web page.

The websites they focused on were all Fortune 1000 companies, who arguably have the resources (money and staff) to ensure this doesn’t happen. YIKES!

While there’s no truly accurate way of determining what percentage of marketing campaigns go out with broken links, incorrect phone numbers, URL typos and broken response forms, I’d personally estimate that at least one-third of all campaigns sent out make one or more of these response-crushing mistakes.

Recently, a marketing firm took out a full-page ad in an industry PRINT magazine to promote their new Facebook lead generation program (yes, there IS irony there).

Curious to see what the competition was up to, I went to the URL, only to get a “Site can’t be reached” error. Worse yet, they used a bit.ly URL to track response (at least, I would guess that’s why they used it), which meant there was no main URL for the reader to go to. Read full article and comment →

Do You Know What Marketing Systems And Processes Look Like?

Posted by Robin Robins On July 25th, 2019

One of the biggest reasons people fail in marketing is that they never get beyond random, episodic campaigns to marketing assets built on SYSTEMS and PROCESS. The other day a marketing manager asked if we had any “summer” campaigns she could run; she said she had already done a number of our campaigns and wanted something “new.” Something for the 4th of July or “hot” days of summer? While using a holiday as the basis for a campaign is perfectly fine and often a very good idea, the part of the question that worried me was the “looking for something new,” because she had “already done” a number of campaigns. This tells me she’s not graduated beyond the “episodic” approach to marketing to establishing system certainty. But when I talk about “systems,” most really don’t know what that looks like and don’t truly have any in their business. So below I’ve given you a diagram to help you understand the PROCESS of improving and innovating a working, productive system vs. finding something “new.” The ONLY time we seek truly “new” is A) when the current system or process is no longer working, or B) as a means for looking for a new control WHILE we continue to run the current process. For starters, every “Process” needs at least five things: 1. What is the result we are trying to produce with this system? What does success look like? You have to define that to know, ultimately, if the system is working. Our Godfather campaign’s goal is to facilitate the new-client acquisition and sales goals for the sales team and “success” is defined by a number of consultations conducted or “sat.” 2. Why are we doing this? A good question you should routinely ask about everything you do in your business. In this case, we’re doing this to keep the company growing, which is a critical component of hitting revenue and profit targets. Nevertheless, you should document WHY you are doing something. 3. What metrics or KPIs, both leading and trailing, do we need to monitor? For us, it’s the number mailed, the number of dials, the percentages of bad addresses, unqualifieds, dials, prospects pitched, appointments scheduled and appointments KEPT. All successful systems require metrics to be measured, reported and analyzed. 4. Who’s responsible for making this happen? Often systems and processes may involve the cooperation of multiple people. In this case, it requires my CRM administrator to ensure the list is clean and qualified. It requires our appointment-setting team to be hitting their activity goals and metrics. It requires the marketing team to ensure the printer sends the campaigns out on time, and the marketing admins to send the e-mails, Facebook ads and LinkedIn connections correctly and to follow the process outlined. ULTIMATELY, it’s up to me to ensure all of this is done correctly. 5. Documentation on how the system is SUPPOSED to work. Processes require documentation on how things SHOULD be happening. If it’s in your head, or in someone else’s head, it’s not good to anyone. It HAS to be documented and shared. Once the above five things are in place, we go through a constant evolution of the following steps: INNOVATION: What is one thing we can test to try and improve the output, productivity or results? Recently we tested adding on an additional FULL-SIZED mail package after the first, sent a week later (we tested postcards in the past). Doing this nearly tripled our results. We are further testing a few variations on the e-mail and LinkedIn aspects of the campaign, as well as the scripts. Sometimes you get a BIG win like the one described here. Other times you get zero lift, or even a decline. IMPLEMENTATION: Once you’ve chosen an improvement or innovation to a system to test, it needs to be IMPLEMENTED properly. Quite honestly, THIS is where most systems fall apart. It requires management to check for compliance, and train and/or discipline when non-compliance is found. For example, a colleague of mine who does marketing for chiropractors had one of his members complain the ads and offers weren’t “working.” Being local, he decided to visit this client’s office and see what was going on. Upon visiting, he overheard the front- desk secretary say to a prospective client calling in that the “offer is just a hoax” and that they only do this as a “marketing ploy” to get new patients. Problem found. If you want to make sure the process is being followed, you have to monitor, secret shop and be willing to sniff around. NOBODY likes doing this, but it’s essential to know if the innovation or improvement you’ve cooked up is actually being implemented. QUANTIFICATION: Once you’re certain an innovation has been implemented, then we quantify the impact. When retailers tested, asking, “Have you been in here before?” against the normal “Can I help you?” they found a 30% increase in sales. Something as SIMPLE as that made a huge difference. EVALUATION: Once we’ve quantified the impact, we DECIDE if this is something we want to continue. We evaluate the results and decide what to do. DOCUMENTATION: If the impact is positive, we make that the NEW standard for that process and document this as the new operating procedure (next step). From there, we go back to INNOVATION. I will caution you NOT to test two or three “new” innovations in a process at one time. If you change the list and the telemarketing script, we won’t know which one had the impact. Some tests (innovations) will show instant, immediate improvement, while others will need to “simmer” for a while before you can come to any conclusions. Still with me? Good. I know this sounds like a lot of work. It is. But there are resources to help you. There are ways to make it easier. I’m going on tour this fall to show how to crush the five most common barriers that get in the way of marketing your business to become more profitable and I would love to see you there. Get more info and register at www.MarketingImplementationRoadshow.com And if you’re not there yet or you have questions, sign up for a FREE, private, one-on-one consultation where you’ll get a customized marketing road map to get more leads, appointments and sales for your company. Go to https://www.technologymarketingtoolkit.com/consult One of the biggest reasons people fail in marketing is that they never get beyond random, episodic campaigns to marketing assets built on SYSTEMS and PROCESS.

The other day a marketing manager asked if we had any “summer” campaigns she could run; she said she had already done a number of our campaigns and wanted something “new.” Something for the 4th of July or “hot” days of summer?

While using a holiday as the basis for a campaign is perfectly fine and often a very good idea, the part of the question that worried me was the “looking for something new,” because she had “already done” a number of campaigns. This tells me she’s not graduated beyond the “episodic” approach to marketing to establishing system certainty.

But when I talk about “systems,” most really don’t know what that looks like and don’t truly have any in their business. So below I’ve given you a diagram to help you understand the PROCESS of improving and innovating a working, productive system vs. finding something “new.”

The ONLY time we seek truly “new” is A) when the current system or process is no longer working, or B) as a means for looking for a new control WHILE we continue to run the current process. Read full article and comment →

MARKETING FIREWORKS: Using Ego Appeal in Marketing Your MSP

Posted by Robin Robins On July 10th, 2019

I’ve often said marketing is simply psychology plus math…a “manipulation” of emotions and focus with an intent to get a prospective client to buy from you.

Most people cringe at the thought of using any type of emotional appeal in their advertising, yet it’s been proven over and over again that all human beings make their buying decisions based on an emotion or feeling, NOT just facts.

Therefore, if you refuse to use emotion in your marketing copy and sales strategy, stubbornly insisting on sticking to a LOGICAL argument laden with facts, you will be suppressing your response and overall success.

I had a client once change the name of their managed services plan from “Silver, Gold and Platinum” to “Home Business, Economy and Premier” and describe the “Economy” service as one for those businesses that are not as financially stable and secure as they’d like to be but still want quality IT support, and the “Premier” service designed exclusively for successful CEOs of fast-growing companies that need IT handled…who want “first class, white glove” service and wouldn’t settle for anything less.

INSTANTLY (and changing no other aspect of his pitch) he had prospects skipping OVER the “Home Business” service and only considering the other two; PLUS he more than doubled the number of businesses that took the high-end plan.

Again, no change in what’s included or the pricing. It shocked the heck out of him, but didn’t surprise me in the least.

Question for you: Are you relying too much on facts and logic to make a sale?

How might you build more emotional juice into your marketing and your sales presentation?

For example, let’s take technical network audits. I know some tiptoe around this when presenting the report to the prospect, afraid of what they feel is “fear-mongering” or talking bad about the competition.

Nuts. You MUST make mountains out of molehills. Worse yet, many don’t even conduct such an audit, citing it’s “too much work” or unnecessary. Crazy.

You’re getting ONE CHANCE to make a solid case for why they need managed services…and why they need it from you. You have cheaper and more aggressive competitors vying for the business.

There are a million reasons why they WON’T buy now. Why only have ONE pillar holding up the roof? Why not build the Parthenon?

Interested in working with us to learn how to use this and other ideas that will make your marketing more effective, attracting your ideal leads and consistently making your phone ring? Claim your free gift, “The Ultimate Marketing System For MSPs and IT Services Starter Kit.” Click Here Now.

When It Comes TO MSP Sales, No Guts, No Glory (Or Money)

Posted by Robin Robins On June 26th, 2019

WinnerLast year I started a book club with my team where we all read and/or listen to an educational program and get together on Friday morning to discuss and look for practical applications of the ideas. One of our first books was Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount and it’s still top of mind a year later for underscoring one very critical point: if you want to be successful in sales, you MUST prospect.

I find a lot of salespeople (and members) obsess over the “no” and “not interested” responses they get when following up on marketing campaigns.

What should I say?  What do I do?  What am I doing wrong?

They allow the criticism to shut them down, reducing them to a timid, frightened, quivering pulp, thereby making them even more ineffective on the phone due to the stench of uncertainty and fear rolling off them.

When I question them about their numbers (how many did they call, how many did they actually reach and what percentage gave them the one-finger salute, telling them to bug off), they GUESS. Read full article and comment →

How To Tell If Your Marketing Is Productive

Posted by Robin Robins 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 by Robin Robins 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?

Read full article and comment →

Before You Outsource Your Marketing, Consider These 6 Tips

Posted by Robin Robins On June 11th, 2019

Call Center Support

I recently saw a website selling marketing services to MSPs that offered to “send out blurbs several times a week” via your company’s social media pages. Another offered to do “e-mail blasts” to your list.

It got me thinking … is that really how you think of essential communications to your clients and prospects who you are trying to build trust with, gain an audience with and (ultimately) get money from? In blurbs and blasts?

Unfortunately, that’s exactly how many see marketing: an unsavory “time-consuming” task they want to shove off their plate and abdicate to someone else.

NOT with the intention of making it really work, not to further their position of authority, not to really connect, but simply to check off the box that it’s being done.

Marketing? Who has time for THAT? Read full article and comment →

How To Use Tradeshows To Attract Clients

Posted by Mike Stodola On May 10th, 2019

“We tell our customers to try something different to grow their businesses, so I knew we had to do the same,” explained Dana Liedholm, Chief Marketing Officer for ID Agent.

And they didn’t just try to do one thing different, they did everything different… and the result was 87 new partners in just three days, PLUS re-engaging a lot of past partners.

Here’s what they did.

Recently at the IT Sales And Marketing Boot Camp, ID Agent set up shop with a big goal in mind and more importantly the plan to achieve it.

“We created incentives to get current and new partners bringing their friends over to our booth and rewarding both of them for doing so.”

The short of it was this. There were a number of ways during the three days that you could earn points. For some this was throwing a puck through a hole (pictured), for others it was wearing an ID Agent t-shirt at the event, going to a presentation, and for many it was getting someone to visit the ID Agent booth and sign up to be a partner.

Read full article and comment →