What Is MSP Marketing? 21 Strategies To Drive New Business

Posted by Robin Robins On April 4th, 2017

what is MSP marketing

As a managed services provider, you make IT support accessible to companies of all shapes and sizes. But without effective MSP marketing in place, you miss out on opportunities to acquire monthly recurring revenue and grow your business.

Through working with thousands of MSPs across the U.S., we’ve found many struggle with lead generation and closing the loop with new business. To win more clients, you need a well-executed MSP marketing strategy in place to draw in targeted customers and guide them through the sales process.

What Is MSP Marketing?

Many MSPs think that marketing and sales activities are the same, but this is not the case. MSP marketing is a marketing plan, campaign or strategy designed to facilitate the sale of managed IT services. Marketing activities help you reach your target audience and influence prospects to contact you.

Because the MSP sales process is highly consultative, you can spend weeks, months and sometimes even years closing a customer. Effective MSP marketing engages and educates leads to expedite the sales cycle.

The goal of your MSP marketing should be to secure an appointment with qualified prospects interested in outsourcing network monitoring and maintenance on a contractual basis.

But documenting and rolling out your MSP marketing strategy is easier said than done. So where do you start?

MSP Marketing Strategies To Grow Your MRR

To help you understand the marketing strategies other MSPs use to close business, we conducted a survey of more than 500 MSPs. Here are the most common ways they promote and sell their managed IT services offering and generate leads:

Answer Choices Responses
None, I rely 100% on referrals 39.02% 206
Social Media (LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) 27.08% 143
Local networking groups (Chamber, BNI, LeTip, etc.) 26.14% 138
E-mail 23.11% 122
Natural SEO strategies 21.02% 111
Newsletters 15.72% 83
Pay per click advertising (Google Adwords, etc.) 14.96% 79
Joint ventures and partnering 14.02% 74
Telemarketing 13.07% 69
Direct mail 11.74% 62
Other, please specify 10.80% 57
Trade show booths and sponsorships 9.85% 52
An outside sales team 8.14% 43
Yellow Pages 6.25% 33
Canvassing 6.25% 33
Vendor marketing initiatives 4.92% 26
Seminars 4.17% 22
Press releases 3.98% 21
Radio ads 3.03% 16
Teleseminars and webinars 2.84% 15
TV ads 0.95% 5
Total Respondents: 528

Let’s highlight three of the top marketing strategies MSPs reported using.

Referral Marketing

Many businesses take referrals for granted, and very few have a plan in place for generating referrals. A referral from a happy customer is the best way to gain new sales leads.

You can actively generate new customers by offering referral discounts, conducting referral events and planning contests to see which customer can provide the most referrals in a certain time frame. You should ask for referrals regularly and have a generous reward system in place for the customers who refer you.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is an important marketing and branding activity. Social media helps you establish your company as a trusted industry expert, build market awareness for your services and engage with customers and prospects.

An effective social media strategy requires you to plan out your content and post regularly. Posting sporadically won’t cut it. Use the platform to share your own content and distribute valuable, timely industry news and tips that your audience would want to read. Add personality to your content with images, videos and hashtags to help build credibility and generate sales leads.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another popular marketing strategy for driving business. Email is a cheap and effective way to connect with IT leads and customers and share company news, product updates and educational content.

When implementing an email marketing strategy, building a high-quality subscriber list is key. Collect business cards at industry events, get email addresses from your sales prospects and make sure your existing clients are on the list.

How To Implement A Cohesive MSP Marketing

These are the top marketing strategies MSPs reported using to sell managed services. But through working with thousands of MSPs and IT services providers, I know most of the marketing they do doesn’t drive results.

Even the process of collecting and responding to referrals isn’t structured into an effective lead generation system. Instead, the process is disorganized, disjointed and often improvised.

To generate leads and drive sales for your managed services offering, your MSP marketing strategy should connect the dots from prospect to customer.

Need help implementing a cohesive MSP marketing strategy? Click here to access a FREE guide to managed IT services marketing, lead generation and IT services sales success.