Death of MSPs may be just around the corner

It’s time for Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to take a lesson from the retail world – change or die.

Target didn’t learn this lesson in Canada, and they’ve paid the price for it now. Not even two years ago they decided to put a major investment into opening stores across Canada, figuring Canadians would trip over their heels to come shop at the big-name store from the United States.

Now they’re closing 133 stores, laying off 17,600 employees and absorbing US$2-billion in losses. That’s on top of the $7 billion it cost to roll out the whole project.

What did they do wrong? They didn’t give Canadians any reason to shop there.

It was the same experience as every other big box store, and Canadian shoppers are tired of it! Simply putting products up on shelves and relying on their name wasn’t enough, and Target isn’t the only one feeling it. Tons of other department stores are cutting costs and shutting doors because shoppers want something different. They want an EXPERIENCE.

I.T. professionals need to learn this lesson and learn it now. The death of the MSP model is around the corner. Why? Because MSPs are all selling the same thing the same way. There’s no difference between Super Great Computer Service on Avenue A and Trusted Advisors on Boulevard B. Everyone offers the same thing – some cloud services, some proactive maintenance, some data backup, and maybe some advice on using an iPhone.

That’s not what clients need anymore.

You should be selling yourself as someone to help them understand and improve how their technology impacts their business. It’s about helping people use their technology to connect, show, and achieve their personal objectives and corporate goals. Make using technology simpler and more worthwhile for a business owner, and get them to rely on you as an idea person, not just the one who knows about computers.

Only one in 100 IT firms think marketing first, but 100 out of 100 want more leads. Ulistic is here to help managed services providers think strategically about their marketing to get more leads while still focusing on running their business. Our team engages with your team every day, providing expert marketing materials and advice to create a foundation for stratospheric success. Learn more at

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Stuart Crawford
Stuart Crawford
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 [email protected]

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