Marketing Your MSP in the COVID-19 Recovery Era
When the pandemic started, demand for IT services skyrocketed as organizations required new solutions that facilitated remote working in a secure manner. MSPs were at the forefront of facilitating this change and this trend is likely to continue as organizations move to a hybrid workspace in the future. Capitalizing on these new opportunities requires developing a solid marketing plan and consistent investments. However, according to the 2021 IT Glue global MSP Benchmark Survey, 32% of MSPs lowered their marketing investments over the last year. This is a worrying trend that could seriously affect your MSP growth.
Your marketing efforts should be consistent and continuous if you want to ensure constant growth. With the world still battling the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to create a marketing strategy specifically suited for COVID-era recovery. New challenges keep emerging when it comes to targeting the right customers, defining value proposition and sending the right message to potential customers. Also, your new marketing strategies need to be completely digital since face-to-face meetings are no longer an option.
Tailoring marketing strategies for the right audience and creating new marketing initiatives are imperative to ensure successful business growth for all MSPs. In this blog, we’ll cover how you can do just that.
Targeting the Right Customers
Your marketing initiatives begin with identifying the right customers. Without this, you risk spending your limited marketing budget on an audience that’s of no value to your company. Make sure you create an ideal customer profile and focus your marketing efforts only on targeting those customers. When creating marketing materials, focus on their pain points and consider the existing solutions in the market.
Once you have figured out who your target customers are and how to appeal to them, it is time to define your value proposition through your marketing content.
Defining Your Value Proposition
The marketing materials you create should focus on the value proposition you offer. Ask yourself the following questions before developing marketing content – How do you differentiate your services from others in the market? Do you have any contingency plans for another crisis? Make sure you focus on this messaging while appealing to your target audience.
Even after the pandemic, a hybrid work environment is likely to be the future for most organizations. Provide information about the challenges your customers are likely to face in this environment and how you can help overcome them. Your messaging should be structured and actionable. Rather than selling fear, your messaging should focus on benefits such as cost savings, efficiency, security, etc. Also, don’t forget to include the right call to action in your marketing materials.
Cross-Selling and Upselling Opportunities
Bringing in new customers can be tricky and expensive. However, catering to existing customers who stick with you even during an economic downturn is a lot easier. This is why you need to identify potential cross-selling and upselling opportunities in your offerings. You can also have a session with all your customers on what they think about their future IT needs. This will help you gain some perspective on what your customers actually need.
You can also leverage your CRM and PSA to generate reports about new opportunities. Most importantly, you need to conduct quarterly business reviews (QBRs) and leverage the feedback gained from customers to identify their needs. This will also prove valuable when you plan to make new technology investments to future-proof your MSP.
Creating a Marketing Strategy
Considering the changes we have witnessed since the beginning of the pandemic alone, your COVID-era recovery marketing strategy cannot be the same as your pre-pandemic strategy.
Your messaging, marketing channels, analytics, metrics, etc., need to be updated in line with the evolving needs of your customers.
For instance, you can no longer rely on traditional networking and face-to-face meetings to deliver your message to your potential customers. Leverage your social media and digital marketing channels to promote your services. These channels can help expand your reach with a limited budget and the return on investment can be tracked easily.
When creating content, make sure you exhibit thought leadership rather than focusing exclusively on sales-oriented messages. Your potential customers should understand that you know what you are doing. Use blogs, landing pages and video content to deliver your message. All the marketing content you create should tie back to your services and have a call to action for your audience to take appropriate steps.
Your marketing initiatives should be more than just about appealing to new, potential customers. You also need to focus on strengthening your partnerships with your existing customers. This involves networking with them frequently and gaining knowledge on how they operate. If most of your customers belong to a specific industry or niche, you need to improve your knowledge about the industry. This will help you understand your customers’ needs and serve them better.
You can use the vCIO services to explore their requirements beyond the basic technology stack. In times of crisis, you need to reach out to your customers periodically and enquire about their evolving requirements. When it comes to building relationships, your customers should know that you are here for them no matter what.
Although we are in the middle of one of the worst health crises in history, hard times don’t last forever. You need to focus on the future of your business and what changes need to be made as the industry evolves. Always make sure you target the right customers, define your value, identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities, and develop a marketing plan to make the most of your marketing efforts. With the right marketing strategies, you can build solid relationships with your customers and ensure continuous growth.