Today, I'd like to talk about why you need marketing in your MSP. I understand a lot of MSPs have a very robust sales tea
m and do most of their selling via direct sales. But since you have a website, you have all of these other resources available to you to get the most out of your sales team's time.
Your sales team does a great job. They convert those people who come into your business in buying customers, but how do you get people to pick up the phone and call you? Well, that's where marketing comes in. Marketing is a 24-hour sales team. Your marketing will include your website, your social media, all of these platforms that you're on where your customers can find you, when you're closed on the weekends. It's a crucial step towards attracting new customers into your business. It is how new customers become aware of your brand.
When your prospective clients have a problem, they start looking for a way to fix it. You want your company to be the first company they see and associate with fixing their problems.
What’s currently happening in the marketing world? How does that affect the MSP space? What can you do to get the best results?
Install a Security Certificate (SSL) on Your Website
In 2018, Google placed an increased emphasis on website security and they began ranking websites higher in search engine performance that had an SSL certificate. A lot of MSPs have yet to implement this change on their websites.
It affects your rank in search engines. It also affects what your customers think of your website and increases your trust factor. It is easy to implement, and is free in most cases, from your domain provider. Anyone who is computer savvy at all can implement it quickly.
The Customer Journey
How do you get your customers to interact with your brand? How do you get them to become paying customers, and eventually raving advocates for your brand? It all comes down to the customer experience. If you think about the old sales model, it's a funnel. You’ve got a lot of people in the top of the funnel and eventually you're going to squeeze them down out the bottom of the funnel and they'll become a customer.
Well, it's not really the case of the buying journey anymore. The customer journey functions very differently than what it used to. Now that funnel is more like a sift. People are falling out the sides all the time and customers don't want to be squeezed to the bottom.
The world revolves around the prospective client’s business, their problem and getting it resolved. They are not concerned about your business’s growth. They are concerned with finding the right business to solve the problem that they have, as efficiently as possible.
Your business’s success depends upon you placing your customers at the core of your business. There's a reason the old adage exists. The customer is always right. This isn't to say that the customer should take advantage of your business.
If all of your customers were to disappear tomorrow, your business would be struggling significantly. First and foremost, put your clients’ happiness and success as the one of the core values of your business. As they are successful you can be successful.
Core Message and Ideal Client
We do that here at Theia Marketing. First, we work on building out what makes your business unique. Whether you provide Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft support, server support, network support, any of these systems and infrastructure, provide better service than your competition. It’s our job as marketers to find the way that you do that best. We help you figure out what makes you the best to serve your ideal client.
That ideal client is your best customers. They pay their bills on time and let you do your job well and efficiently. They are not in your way. You want to serve them as best as you can. You'd like to have more of those ideal customers.
Building out your messaging and your advertising and marketing systems to resonate with the ideal client is critical to your marketing being successful.
When your salesman answers a phone call, he's not dealing with a phone call of someone saying, “Hey, do you fix POS systems?” When actually you work on fixing networking systems. It helps clear up what your business does for your clients. It helps your customers self-validate that you can help them before they pick up the phone and call you.
That saves you time and it saves your prospective client’s time from doing the research. It makes your prospective client work less. They don't have to call everybody to figure out if you can solve their solution.
You understand what your client’s core need is, what makes them special, what type of problems do they have that you solve. You position the information so that it's clear that you're the best solution to help them first. Now you've got great messaging.
You know who your customers are, you know what problems they have, you know how you solve their problems better than anyone else. But you still got another hurdle. How do you get in front of your customers? How do you get your brand in front of them in a consistent and repeatable basis?
Getting Your Core Message to the Right People
You reach out to them on the platforms where they are active. Just about everyone is active on Facebook, which has 2.38 billion users. It's a great platform for advertising and brand awareness. Run retargetting ads. There is also LinkedIn, with 590 million users, which connects you to decision makers.
There is also Reddit and Github.
Your prospective clients are searching online to figure out how to fix the problem themselves. Who can help me fix this problem? Or even better yet, what is this problem? I just know it's broken.
Having information out there in these platforms so that they can see, hey, this company knows how to solve my simple problem. You can Google your way to understanding most of these problems and you can solve them yourself. But if you're like most business owners, you don't have the time in the day to Google your way to knowledge on every task it takes to run your business. Neither do your clients. You need to figure out what your business is the best at and solve those problems. That'll allow you to have a scalable business with a repeatable process.
The better you communicate with your customers on the platform that they're currently active, the better they're going to know who you are when that problem arises that they need to have fixed.
Art of Storytelling
The second part of communicating with your customers is not just communicating with them on the platform that they're active, but in communicating with them in a meaningful way that they understand what you do for them. The human race’s first way of passing information is through stories.
Storytellers have existed back to BC, before Christ, back in the old Chinese empires, Neanderthals, and cavemen. There was a point in time where the only way information was communicated was through stories. Our brains have been wired for the last ten thousand years to look for the story.
If you’ve got kids, you know it's still the first way that we look to understand the problem today.
Prospective clients start by telling you a story of their problem. That story is their brain's way of trying to make sense of this information and put it in a context that they can act on. When we communicate with our clients, we need to communicate with them via story.
Resonate with what is the villain, what is that problem, the thing that's broken that they need to have fixed. If you provide a complete integrated IT service for your customers, then you saw that it department for that. You can say to your prospective clients, “I can get back to running your business and make sure your computer systems just work. They don't have to do or deal with any of the other problems that exist with a computer system.”
Once you have addressed their problem such as fixing your broken computer. But why does that matter to them? Well, because if their computer's fixed, your prospective client can be productive. They can make money, they can get back to doing what they do in their business, which is serving their clients.
When your prospective client does have a problem, call you, that's the goal. Then, your salespeople can pick up the phone and work them into the appropriate solution to help them succeed. Once they're a customer, right, that's great.
Talk to other people about the service you provide as an MSP. This is because if your clients offer a referral to a friend, a family member, we bypass that knowing phase and that liking phase of the customer journey. They go straight into the trust phase because somebody they trust just recommended your business to fix their problem. Provide remarkable service to your clients. That's why it's remarkable is it's worthy of remark.
Referral Marketing in the B2B space is about 80% success rate. If somebody you've worked with refers your company to somebody, they know you've already got better than two thirds of a chance that they're going to do business with you. Considering all other marketing efforts are far, far less successful. Providing value to your clients is your first goal is going to generate the most growth for the least amount of investment possible.
Using Marketing Data
What separates your website, your marketing material apart from your competition? When they come to your website, you get analytics data, you have cookies and tracking codes and all sorts of information to understand who they are, what they do, what are their desires, their wants, their needs are. You can tailor your website and your marketing materials so that your prospective clients are presented with timely information in front of them based on their wants, their needs and their desires. Your business is able to implement a personalized customer journey for every customer.
You can go beyond who is your ideal client and let's say you have an ideal client persona of Susie Excited. Well now you can take that down to this is actually Jane Smith and here's what she wants and tailor your marketing to Jane’s needs.
We need to do more with our data. We need to integrate that data into making sure that our clients or our customers have a clear expectation of what you provide, how you can help them, that you care about them and their success. To wrap up, this was just a quick overview of what happens in that buyer's journey and how do we get customers in the door. A lot of IT companies that we work with are still stuck in that inside sales or outside sales or direct sales approach. They are focused on solving a prospective client’s emergency, not solving their problem in the long term through managed services.