MSP Marketing Blog

When To Give Up On A Marketing Campaign Or Strategy

Posted by Robin Robins On March 13th, 2014

I’ve heard it a million times: “((Fill in the blank)) doesn’t work.” Be it telemarketing, direct mail, can­vassing, webinars, etc., etc., etc. Oddly enough, I ONLY hear that about marketing that costs money; I never hear anyone lament about Facebook posts, Twitter or LinkedIn, even though I’ve not had any client show me a documented, direct line from this type of free online advertising to substantial, quantifiable sales. However, there ARE times when you SHOULD give up on a par­ticular marketing campaign.

While there is risk and instability in having too few Marketing Oil Wells, there’s also a risk in having too many, especially when a lot of what’s being done is marginally successful to outright unproductive. In a call with a client recently, we identified a radio advertising campaign they had been running for almost two years with only one really big, profit­able client coming from it, and a handful of leads that never resulted in a sale. My advice was to kill it and use the money and time to focus on what actually was working. In this case, Google AdWords.

Often I see a LOT of market­ing being done simply out of a “monkey-see, monkey-do” strategy and a focus on what is easy and cheap. Getting marketing done for the sake of “doing something” is GOOD… early on. The advice I give new clients is start doing SOMETHING and don’t worry about results just yet; but it’s critical to note that I don’t say, “Don’t ever worry about results.” The reason I give this advice is to get them to learn the ropes of IMPLEMENTING a campaign and to develop the habit of marketing. Next is a daily, weekly or monthly chipping away at refining it and improving it UNTIL it not only works, but becomes a consistent, predictable and reliable source of new clients and revenue—a REAL Marketing Oil Well. Read full article and comment →

The 4-Letter Word Keeping You From Believing In Yourself

Posted by Robin Robins On February 7th, 2014

Last month I brought Tony Horton to speak to the Producers Club. In the rare event you’re not familiar with him—even if only by name, due to the extensive advertising done by Beach Body—he’s the star fitness trainer of the P90X home DVD workout series. On various fronts, it’s the #1 best-selling home fitness program of all time, netting over $500 million in sales; and that’s NOT including the brand-new version, P90X3, that was recently released.

As part of his presentation, he conducted a morning workout for those members who cared to join us. The workout was definitely hard, but not impossible, and even at 8 months, pregnant I was able to do all but one exercise since I’ve made a determined effort to, first, get in fantastic shape before getting pregnant, and then maintain my fitness through the morning sickness, tiredness, headaches and various delights that come with growing a person inside of you. (P.S.—There’s a lesson there that applies to everything you do, every potential challenge or threat to your business. I’d suggest you take a moment to pause and reflect on what it is. I’m not handing it to you.) HOWEVER…

I DID catch myself during the workout turning to Andrea (standing next to me) and saying, “Yeah, I can’t do that!” when he was demonstrating the next exercise. But, being the pig-headed person I am, I found that once I actually tried to do the exercise, I was able to without much difficulty. This got me thinking: What else in my life am I instantly dismissing that I “can’t” do before I’ve even attempted it? Read full article and comment →

5 HUGE Pricing Mistakes Most MSPs Are Making – Are You Guilty?

Posted by Robin Robins On November 6th, 2013

1. Pricing your services in the same manner as everyone else. When most MSPs go into business, they look around and talk to all the other MSPs in the business, their contracts and what they are delivering and then model THEIR services after what they see. What they don’t realize is that what they’re doing is building a commodity—a service that looks, sounds, acts and is priced like everyone else’s. Then they wonder why they get shopped on price. Dumb.

2. Marketing to prospects who truly cannot afford your services. There are some people who simply cannot afford to buy what you’re selling, so STOP marketing to them OR figure out a business model and service where you can still profit from what they CAN afford (Wal-Mart). For example, there are certain groups in the IT industry that I’ve spoken in front of where the people are clearly small, struggling IT firms who, even when I get `em, end up in collections, have a high refund rate or simply don’t buy because they quite honestly can’t swing a $500 charge on their credit card. When invited to speak at these events, I decline. You can’t fish in a murky swamp and hope to come up with a prized tuna. Read full article and comment →

Back To School Marketing – Lesson 2 – USP 101: Why Should I Choose You Over Any And Every Other Option Available To Me?

Posted by Robin Robins On September 16th, 2013

The above is one of the most basic, fundamental questions we need to answer for our customers. Recently a new member, Anthony Hernandez of Full Service Tech, Inc. asked “How do I develop an effective USP?” The longer, more detailed and accurate answer is found in both the Toolkit and Blueprint with exercises provided for doing client and market research. Don’t skip it or skim through it lightly as most do. Here’s why:

You are grossly ignorant if you expect to be successful in business simply because you started a company offering IT support.

Most business owners (myself included) start out massively unaware of the herculean effort it takes to attract new clients. Clients have a multitude of options and, in case you haven’t noticed, there isn’t any shortage of IT companies out there that your customers can locate in seconds using the Internet. If anybody needs anything they can locate multiple companies willing to supply. With so many options so easily available, WHY SHOULD THEY CHOOSE YOU? Read full article and comment →

Back To School Marketing 101: Lesson 1 Lead Generation – How To Keep The Pipeline Full

Posted by Robin Robins On August 26th, 2013

In a recent conversation I was having with Verne Harnish, author of the Rockefeller Habits, he mentioned the #1 KPI to watch for growth in a company was “lead generation.” In another interview I did with Paul Chishom, the CEO of mindSHIFT, he also referenced “sales pipeline management” as the #1 reason for taking mindSHIFT from $5 million to $120 million in sales. Not leadership, not hiring the right people, not customer service, not getting every technical doohickey connected and talking to every other technical doohickey in the backend operations. SALES PIPELINE. Are all those other things important? Absolutely. But when it comes to growth, you can’t move the needle (get more customers) if you’re not putting enough raw material into the funnel.

Since we’re theming this “back to school,” I thought I would cover a few lead generation basics you need to know. And to illustrate my points, I thought I would provide you one of the best examples of lead generation I’ve seen in my life developed by Fisher Investments, a highly successful financial services firm catering to high net worth individuals.

1. Headline
The headline is one of the single most important elements to any campaign. In e-mail, it’s the subject line. On a telemarketing call, it’s the first opening sentence or two. At a tradeshow, it’s the banner above your booth. A good headline should telegraph a big promise, contain news or contain an element of curiosity (“is your computer support guy treating you like a bad date?”). As depicted on the illustration, “Free” is still one of the most powerful words in marketing copy and headlines.

2. Flagging Your Prospect
Every lead generation campaign should flag WHO your services are geared towards. If you target home users, state that. If your niche is government, attorneys or medical, make sure that is clear in the marketing message as soon as possible so the reader of your ad (be it online, offline or in any format) instantly has the “it’s for me” reaction. In the example, you’ll notice it’s worked into the headline. Not only does this make your marketing magnetic to the people you want to attract, but it also repels those you might not otherwise want. In the Fisher Investments example, they note “High Net Worth Individuals,” which is and continues to be their target audience. Read full article and comment →