For managed service providers, a multi-faceted, well-rounded marketing plan works best. You can’t rely solely on word-of-mouth marketing, but you can’t simply focus on Google Adwords or attending industry events either. A balanced combination of marketing activities geared to fuel your marketing funnel helps you attract and capture new leads, as well as to grow your existing customer relationships.
Many Partners have asked us for tips on marketing activities such as email campaigns or pay-per-click advertising, but one that we think is often overlooked is industry awards.
Industry awards provide businesses with an opportunity to be recognized for their successes in front of their peers, prospects, and customers. While some award entries will be free, others will require you to pay a fee to submit a nomination. Whether you prefer to think of investing in awards as part of a public relations program or as a complement to an advertising budget, you will find at least one unique benefit of being an award recipient: Validation. And that, is something advertising dollars can’t buy.
When you submit an award nomination worthy of a “win,” you are leveraging a powerful MSP marketing tool and positioning your business to:
- Stand out from your competition. The more exposure you get, the better. And, if you can use that exposure to highlight your strengths as compared to your competitors, you’ll benefit even more. Being featured as an award winner increases your visibility in the marketplace, enabling more prospects to find you, and it reminds your existing customers that they made the right choice when they decided to work with you.
- Boost your credibility. Having an independent party with no vested interest give you an award makes it much easier for you to communicate your value proposition and highlight your strengths. Instead of telling prospects and customers that you are great, you can show them. Whether it’s a certificate you hang on the wall or a series of mentions in industry articles, being listed as a winner means people will be talking about you. And, chances are good that the organization doing the talking has a large following.
- Share the spotlight with your customers. Many award nominations allow for you to feature detailed stories about work you have done with or for your clients. This is a chance for you to work closely with your customers and get them some exposure as well. You’ll be able to create fantastic testimonials that get published and that you can use for months to come.
What kinds of awards should you target?
Look for awards that you’ve seen your competitors and peers recognized in or ones that are coordinated by organizations, associations, or publications you know your prospects follow. To help you get started, we found a great award that many of the service providers we work with could benefit from submitting a nomination for.
CRN is now accepting applications for its 10th annual Fast Growth 150 list! The Fast Growth 150 ranks the fastest growing solution providers, resellers, consultants, and integrators in North America based on gross revenue growth over a two-year period.
To be eligible, you need to meet the following criteria:
- VARs, solution providers, integrators, MSPs, and IT consultants are all eligible. Vendors/manufacturers do not qualify.
- 2012 gross revenue must be at least $1M.
- Company must be founded before 2012.
- Must be an independent company, not a subsidiary or division.
Be sure to check out all of the detailed eligibility rules first, and if you qualify, go ahead and nominate your company. The deadline for nominations is August 28. Good luck!
Photo Credit: Mikeg44311 on Flickr. Used under CC by 2.0 license.