People view marketing in a wide range of different ways and, unfortunately, almost all of them are wrong. Some see it as a proverbial megaphone — a chance to blast their message out into the ether to see how far it will go. Others see it as a way to get a leg up on their competitors, showing how they’re “better” because their products and solutions are “faster” or “more efficient” or “more powerful.”
While this is all true to a certain extent, it’s overlooking the much larger story unfolding in front of you. To be frank, modern day marketing isn’t really about “marketing” at all — at least, in the traditional sense.
It’s about discussion. It’s about the dialog that happens between your business and its customers. It’s about exchanging ideas and building a collaboration.
It’s also an opportunity. One that is far too important and impactful to pass up.
An Opportunity You Don’t Want to Lose
A lot of this comes down to the fact that the modern MSP buyer is on a very different journey than the tech buyers from even a decade ago. These days, information is more readily available than ever — and people have committed themselves to taking advantage of that.
But because of that, the modern buyer is also savvier than those of generations past. They’re unconvinced by reams of impressive technical specifications. They don’t need you to drone on and on about how cloud services are great. They know they’re great. They wouldn’t be researching them in the first place if they didn’t.
What they’re really looking for is collateral that makes them think about the possibilities that cloud services (or any other solution you’re offering) have in store for their business and their industry in the future. The challenges that they will help them solve. The ways that they will make their lives easier, or better, or more efficient.
Essentially, they want marketing that is focused on helping them understand what an MSP can do for them in particular.
The ONLY way you’re going to be able to get to that point is if you drop the “old school” approach to marketing, roll up your sleeves and have a conversation with the people you’re trying to reach.
When You Hear “Marketing,” Think “Relationships”
This also segues nicely into another important topic for MSPs in particular: relationships. It can definitely be argued that a managed services provider relies more heavily on relationships than most other types of businesses. This is especially true in an era where more and more competition seems to be creeping up all the time.
Well, relationships depend on communication and because of that, you need to start looking at your marketing efforts as what they really are: conversation stimulators.
Every single piece of collateral that you create — a blog post, a white paper, or even a more traditional advertisement — is a chance to begin a meaningful conversation with someone who is looking for a solution just like yours. But conversations, like relationships, are a two-way street. You’re only going to get as much as you give, so you’d better be prepared to give your all.
Use this conversation (and your collateral) to show that you understand their industry and the unique pain points that they’re experiencing. Show, don’t tell, that you understand what they’re trying to accomplish and why it’s so important. Prove that not only are they making the right choice by considering the jump to an MSP, but also that no other MSP will be able to generate the results they need in quite the same way that you can.
This is how you make use of the conversation opportunity that stands in front of you and this is how you craft better, more valuable relationships over time.
But if you’re still trapped in the marketing mentality of a different era, what you’re really trapped in is the daily marketing grind. You’re probably still cold calling people, coming up short, and wondering why your services don’t speak for themselves.
It’s because they don’t. They never did. Only you can do that.
When executed properly, your marketing can generate the type of real conversation that leads to more leads and, ultimately, more revenue for your business. But marketing isn’t the end of the conversation. Far from it. In the best case scenario, it’s the beginning of one. One that quickly moves onto the next destination on the buyer’s journey: your sales department.
At my MSP marketing agency – these are the types of conversations we’re helping our clients start every day. If you’d like to find out more information about how to use your MSP marketing as the opportunity to start a conversation (like it should be), then I encourage you to apply for your one-on-one strategy call with me or a team member at Tech Pro Marketing today.
Photo: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.