Here’s a truth that many small business owners DON’T want to embrace, much less give recognition to: the more marketing media you can use simultaneously, the more money you’ll make. You’ll also be a LOT less vulnerable to an economic downturn, a serious competitor, commoditization, media disruption (like what happened to fax broadcast) or other disruption. I would encourage you to pause for a moment and let that sink in. Think on it long and hard because I just gave you a million-dollar “secret.”

So why don’t more have it? Everyone – and I do mean everyone – wants the postcard they can e-mail to drive in clients. The “one thing” that is more important than everything else! The reality is, no business gets rich by depending on ONE media, ONE strategy, ONE anything. Diversity and complexity provide power and stability to a business. Sure, you have to start somewhere, and often “one thing” done is better than doing nothing. Regardless, you must move beyond simple, to the complex. From one-shot messaging to multiple media, all interwoven, supporting the other, and driving toward the same outcome. Now, let’s break this down…

The seven types of media

  1. “Authoritative” Print: Magazines, newspapers, books, etc.
  2. Broadcast: Real TV and radio, NOT YouTube, not podcasts
  3. Social Media: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
  4. Direct Mail: Letters, gifts, etc.
  5. Digital Media: E-mail, texting, retargeting ads, organic search, PPC, bloggers, etc.
  6. Phone Calls: Cold calling, and follow ups
  7. Human: Networking events, trade shows, referrals, canvassing, salespeople, etc.

Within each of these categories, there is a lot to know and MANY ways to screw something up, but when done right, any can deliver results. It comes down to Market, Message, Media, and Math – the MATH often being the one most misunderstood. What you lack in skill, you must make up in QUANTITY. Targeting that is too broad, watered-down messaging, and weak offers are why spammers still exist. They make up in MATH (quantity and frequency) what they screw up in too-broad targeting, poor messaging, and copywriting.

If you look at the most successful companies, they aren’t just using ONE simple media to sell. They are using MULTIPLE forms of media, or at least multichannel marketing. Look at Google as an example. They frequently use direct mail, trade show advertising, HUMAN marketing (call centers that are essentially sales departments, as well as sales executives who sell AdWords to major accounts), distribution channels (via social media marketing companies and ad agencies), and print advertising. They ARE the social media platform, and they still use these methods of marketing.

What I do is create integrated campaigns that use multi-media. Offline driving to online, to then follow up with e-mail, retargeting, and sales calls. Or online leads generated, then followed up with direct mail and telephone calls and e-mails. Essentially taking multiple lines of twine and weaving them into a strong rope. In today’s grossly distracted environment, you must utilize multi-step, multimedia marketing to generate reasonable results. It used to be that we could send out a letter with a fax-back form and get responses. Even in my own business I’ve had to create a far more sophisticated approach to selling, rather than just sending out a three-step campaign as I’ve done in the past. We live in a world of zero need. Nobody is lookin’ for you anymore. Everyone’s pretty much satiated – AND distracted by things far more interesting and entertaining to them than IT support (or marketing).

Building a sophisticated marketing process

In almost every case, getting APPOINTMENTS with qualified prospects in business to business REQUIRES a complex, sophisticated marketing PROCESS. How many steps are enough? As many as it takes to get the result.

Different variables come into play, making it impossible for a simple answer to that question. What is the quality and relationship of the list? What is the offer and what was the copy? What does the timing look like? Who else is talking to them? Who is the incumbent provider? Next, how many is enough? These are the questions to keep in mind and the variables to apply.

It should be determined by working backwards from a goal. If the close rate is 25 percent, two new clients a month will require eight appointments. Eight appointments will require at least 16 leads generated. Generating 16 leads from a list of warm, prequalified UNCONVERTED leads may only take a list of 500 to 550 (3 percent response) if the copy is powerful and offers an irresistible message that is actually delivered and read. To an ice-cold list, 16 appointments may require a reach of 3,000 (0.5 percent response) due to the lack of relationship.

Of course, all of this REQUIRES a desire to grow. You will need help from a sharp, ambitious marketing manager. Hire an inside sales team to follow up, work the leads, send materials, book appointments, and close sales. Hire techs so you can stop doing the IT work and focus on running the business. If this all sounds like a big, annoying, giant pain-in-the-rear, that’s because it is. Who wants or needs more complexity and work? On the bright side, it immediately shuts down 80 percent or more of your competition who can’t or simply won’t do the work. Others’ sloth becomes your competitive advantage.

If you’re new in the MSP marketplace and interested in working with us to create effective, complex systems so you can attract your ideal leads and consistently have potential clients calling you, claim your free gift, “The Ultimate Marketing System For MSPs and IT Services Starter Kit.”

Photo: alphaspirit / Shutterstock

Robin Robins

Posted by Robin Robins

Robin Robins is the CEO and Founder of TechnologyMarketingToolkit.com, the largest sales and marketing consulting firm in the IT channel, specializing in sales-generating marketing campaigns for MSPs, VARs, and solution providers. To date, over 7,000 IT services firms have enrolled in one or more of her programs. Visit her website for more information and to request a free one-on-one marketing consultation and marketing roadmap for your IT services firm.

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