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msp marketing future2018 is just around the corner, and, wow, it feels like it was only yesterday that I was patching computers and Windows servers for Y2K. Where does time go?

MSP marketing has changed drastically since I first started doing business development for IT Matters back in 2001. Many of the strategies we employed in 2001, 2006, and 2008 are very much old school now. I sit back almost daily and think about how much the marketing landscape has changed and how exciting the future of marketing managed services is. But, you need to be ahead of the curve, and for some, you need to resign yourselves to eating Kraft Dinner for 24 months as you wait for these efforts to pay off.

Sure, there are many who will resist my plan for the future of MSP marketing and continue to try paying $50 per click on Google Adwords, spending $5,000 a month for direct mail, and shelling out north of $6,000 per month for telemarketing. Even though we all know (and go with me on this) that we get upset when someone calls our phone when we’re not expecting a call. Yet, we still think telemarketing is the best marketing strategy ever.

Clues you’re probably missing

Look down for a second. What do you see? For many of you, it will be a device from Apple, not Microsoft. Some of you will have a Samsung device, but for many of us, we do more on our phone than any other device.

Clients use their phone for more than just making calls, but I don’t see many MSPs looking at ways to target their audiences on applications and services that run on their mobile devices.

We all continue to sit back and think, “My clients aren’t on Facebook,” or “The law firms down the street never use Instagram.” You know all the excuses, and you continue to pay your service fees to Google and for monthly telemarketing calls all while looking at your empty new leads list.

MSP marketing changes to make now

So, what are you doing wrong? The biggest flaw of most MSPs: You’re a tech company. That is the worst thing you can say about your MSP. Everyone is a tech company, and that’s why you can’t differentiate yourself from the ever-increasing ocean of competition. After all, many of you can’t clearly say with confidence what makes you different.

Here are the changes you need to make to your MSP marketing in 2018:

  1. Stop wasting money on Google Adwords and telemarketing. Stop all this today. You’re not getting any leads anyway.
  2. Change your marketing efforts to being a media company first.

What does this mean, a media company? Look around, how many of you have an Amazon Alexa or a Google Home? People consume media, but they don’t consume your advertising or free assessment gateway landing page. But, they are hungry for your content.

Meet an MSP ready for the future

I was speaking with Curtis Hyde the other day from Colorado Computer Support. Curtis is a video star in Colorado Springs. His Tuesday Tech Tips have a faithful following, and Curtis is starting to get business from the weekly content he creates. Check out an example of Curtis’ weekly tech tips.

But, Curtis didn’t have immediate success. He struggled for months trying to get the lighting right, sound sensational, and even figuring out what the message needs to be. But, Curtis didn’t quit — he kept going.

Now, look at the entire Colorado Computer Support blog. It’s full of consumable content including informational blog posts, webinar recordings, Curtis’ videos, and so much more. CCS has become a media company in order to fuel their marketing and sales efforts. They just happen to provide managed IT services to businesses throughout Colorado Springs.

The future of marketing is media. Give people great information, and they will share it with their friends and colleagues and continue to consume your information. When they have a need for what you do, they’ll call you to learn more about your complete service offerings.

Can you do this in 2018?

I know many of you will continue to run Google Adwords because it worked in the past — even though you can’t figure out why you have no conversions anymore, despite changing your landing pages and tweaking your ads.

I know a high percentage of you will still keep dialing for dollars when the decision makers you’re trying to reach hide behind a gatekeeper who’s good at their job or a caller ID that says “Do Not Answer.”

A small percentage of you will adopt 2018 thinking and start looking at media, social media, social media influencers, and video as the next wide-open marketing frontier because the other 100 MSPs in a five-mile radius haven’t awakened to the future yet. Yet, being the keyword.

Happy 2018 to everyone out there, and here’s to your success.

Photo: beeboys/

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Stuart Crawford

Posted by Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is the CEO and Creative Director with Ulistic. Ulistic specializes in working with IT service companies globally helping them connect with their markets and achieve stratospheric success. Need help? Please feel free to reach out to Stuart and his team at Ulistic. Every day, they help managed IT services companies overcome many of the challenges they have with marketing. Learn more about Ulistic at or call 716-799-1999.

One Comment

  1. Great stuff Stuart! Thanks for the mention 🙂 Also thanks for helping us figure all of this out!


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