12 Questions An MSP Owner Should Ask Themselves When Creating A Marketing Plan
Recently 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:
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- Do you have a working, productive offer to generate leads, or will it need to be created?
- Do you have a reliable sales funnel and follow-up process for handling inbound leads, or will they have to be created?
- Do you have a CRM in place to organize, track and maximize campaigns, or does it have to be created?
- What are your specific sales and client acquisition goals, and how much of a leap is that from what you’re currently doing?
- What does the average client spend with you?
- How quickly do you want to hit the above goals?
- Do you have to make a profit on the first sale, or can you float the acquisition cost?
- Do you know what your allowable cost is per lead? Per sale?
I could go on … but these are a few of the fundamentals I’d need to know in order to create a plan, and before I could give a time frame for implementation, I need to know WHAT we’re implementing.
Further, a marketing plan is very fluid and WILL change quarter over quarter and year over year as your company changes and gets more resources, sets higher goals and has more “foundation” to build on.
For example, your first year’s marketing plan may be to implement three or four key marketing campaigns deeply and fully.
Let’s suppose you could get those going in month one – they should not be “one and done” campaigns, but marketing systems (we call them “marketing oil wells”) that you rinse and repeat week after week, month after month, year over year.
Our current lead generation oil well that we call the “Godfather” campaign has been in place and producing for nearly five years now.
Yes, we’ve tweaked it over time and we’re constantly noodling around with tiny incremental improvements, always testing new things. But fundamentally, 90% of that campaign is the SAME.
So did that campaign take a month to implement, or five years? I could make an argument either way, but it’s a stupid argument. Who cares?
As long as you have marketing systems in place that enable you to consistently hit your growth goals, what does it matter how long it takes you to get it in place?
Additionally, the question assumes (?) that it takes X months to implement and then it’s “done.”
NOTHING is further from the truth. If you’re going to be in a GROWTH business, marketing is going to be a constant, always-on discipline you practice.
If you’re finding yourself feeling overwhelmed or need help answering any of these questions, I’ve got a great team of smart, EXPERIENCED people ready to help.