I get asked these questions every day: “Stuart, what can you do for our managed services business? How can you help us get more leads? What can you do today to help us reach our targets?”

Every MSP out there wants more business. They all want a steady stream of “hot” leads. But what is the ultimate goal for your managed services marketing?

It’s quite simple: The ultimate goal of your managed service marketing efforts is to increase “top of mind” awareness about you, your company and the partners you elect to work with.

Here is a quick question for you. Can you name a company that sells cars? How about a company that delivers pizzas? I am sure many of you came up with one of the leaders in these industries pretty quickly. But, what happens if we quiz your prospect base about naming an IT services company?

Crickets chirping.

Deer in the highlights.

Why? Because managed service companies fail most of the time to establish that top of mind awareness with the market place.

How do you resolve this? It’s easy. Simply follow these very simple steps:

  • Advertising: You have to do this. Where? Stop with the trade publications of the vertical markets you serve, and start thinking outside the box. How about sports programs? Keith Marchiano, Regional Manager for One Source Imaging Solutions, a Baltimore IT consulting firm, saw an opportunity to advertise in leading NCAA college basketball program. Why? Keith said, “Do you how many CEOs and business professionals attend college basketball games?” Smart answer. In short, you must get your company name out there in the market place in ways that will make you stand out. We will share more strategies on advertising in future blog posts.
  • Marketing Materials: Two critical items I learned early in my business education were “Why are we in business?” and “What is our core story?”  These are the only things that matter. Not the technology. Why am I mentioning this now? Because our why statement and our core story became the foundation of our marketing materials. We covered how we helped businesses in our verticals achieve their goals wrapped around our why statement and core story.
  • Internet: The Internet is easy but it has also made us lazy when it comes to MSP marketing. The Internet is littered with blog posts fed by article aggregators all saying the same useless stuff. How does your MSP stand out online when you look exactly like your competition? You don’t! You must work hard to produce quality content and then create online followings through your social networks and other online resources such as your newsletter list.
  • Media: You must become a subject matter expert with the local and vertical media. Why? Local media is hungry for information and struggling to find resources that are always available to help them with their story. Most of the successful managed service providers have a media strategy. Luis Alvarez, who runs Alvarez Technology Group, a Salinas IT Consulting Company, appears weekly on many local area radio programs. This strategy allows for Alvarez to gain top of mind awareness with businesses in the Salinas area. He shares his expertise, takes part in his community, and gets his name out there. Need examples? Check out Luis’ radio spots.

We are just scratching the surface here.

There are a total of seven must-focus areas that all MSPs must execute on a daily basis. Chris Michalec, President of Winston-Salem IT consulting company, Parkway Tech, summarizes the importance of his MSP marketing: “It is the engine that drives our business. Without marketing, how do new clients find us and how do our existing clients do more business with us?”

Simply put – they don’t.

Ulistic provides marketing services to managed services providers. The Ulistic team acts as part of your team, engaging and working with your MSP each day to assist in providing the foundation for stratospheric success. Learn more at Ulistic.com.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Stuart Crawford is an MSP marketing specialist and coaching professional. He is president of Ulistic Inc., a managed services coaching, mentorship, sales and outsourced marketing services firm. For more info call u 716.799.1999 or email info@ulistic.com