Marketing with a Theme

Marketing with a theme can help your MSP attract more customers

Written by Ian Richardson

January 1, 2024

How to start marketing with a theme

By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow
Inspired by Thursday Process with guest Taher Hamid, MSP Camp

How to start marketing with a theme

Starting marketing is a bear of task. If marketing efforts fail, the impact is massive.
First, sales teams start underperforming. Quotas get missed due to lack of qualified opportunities.
Lack of opportunity impacts the ability to keep the organization’s top talent.
Leadership experiences bewilderment about expense outlay not producing results.
The entire team can become discouraged, frustrated, and confused.
 
Not to mention the time and treasure spent. Those resources can never utilized with other efforts.
 
So let’s not do that – That sounds bad. To avoid marketing failure, use themes.
 
Themes aren’t anything complicated. All you’re doing is creating a common thread. This thread (the theme) focuses around your target client profile (TCP).
If you’re focused on your customer, that focus should attract them to your content.
In other words, themes are what makes your marketing resonate with who you want to do business with.
I’ll give an example:
If I own a MSP (an outsourced IT company), my customer’s are small business owners. If I make marketing around “cyber security best practices” it’s going to fall flat. Not because business owners don’t care about cyber security. They do – somewhat, but they don’t want to read about it.
If I made material around improving customer satisfaction for free, that will hit. I can stitch in that they own the tool (Office365) and why security matters as part of it. After all – they’ll want to protect their customer list.
 
Same end goal for me, the MSP owner – I’ll get to sell security services. The approach is different.
 
When targeted well your marketing will attract your TCP and repel bad fits.
I love a double benefit effort.
Qualified leads means every “at bat” for sales has a chance of turning into a deal. Repelling “bad fits” at the top of the funnel saves sales time – a valuable resource.
 
Getting this right helps improve all sorts of outcomes. Since we’ve established the impact, lets dive into themes.
 

What is a marketing theme?

So, what is a marketing theme anyway? What does it mean to “attract” a “TCP”?
 
The theme is an overarching concept, made up of many parts. At its core, the theme consists of:
 
  • WHAT are you talking about?
  • HOW does it make your TCP feel?
  • HOW does it impact your TCP’s organization?
  • HOW does it impact your point of contact’s life?
 
Themes can be “positive” or “negative” in nature.
A positive theme is about hopes and desires. You’re looking into the future. You’ll be talking about opportunities, ideals, growth and success. It should create “warm fuzzy” feelings in your TCP audience. A “head nod” and a smile is good outcome from “positive theme” content.
 
Inversely, a negative theme is about problems and challenges. You’re looking into current state. You may have a slight tilt into “near-term” future. Feeling evoked in your TCP should be “cold and prickly” in nature.
Resigned sighs will be common. You may ignite a slight feeling of anxiety. You should observe focused concentration from those consuming your content. The material should trigger desire to “fix” the issues brought up.
Something to keep in mind: you’re not trying to tilt your TCP into a state of panic, alarm, or stress. You’re looking for a feeling of “damn, this person is right. That sounds like us. We need to work on that. Maybe they could help…?”
 

How do you choose a theme?

Ok – so a theme is feelings and impacts, and its designed to “land” with your TCP and get them agreeing with you. How do we choose a marketing theme?
 
My friend Taher Hamid has some insights to share on this.
At the crux, your themes are what your TCP cares about. Collect information around:
 
  1. What are their challenges in their organization?
  2. What about in their individual job role?
  3. What are problems they are experiencing?
  4. What are their organizational goals?
  5. What would make their individual day to day existence “better” at work?
  6. What are their closely-held beliefs around business?
  7. What do they care about as an organization?
 
Look for patterns and trends amongst your existing clients. Tap business networks for insight. Speak with friends, family, and colleagues who fit your TCP around this list. Those patterns and trends are going to become your “theme” for targeting that TCP.
 

Final takeaways on marketing with a theme

Marketing can be a business “boat anchor” that drags down sales performance. It can shred morale and bank accounts.
It can also be a force multiplier for a company – supercharging opportunity and growth.
Create appropriate marketing campaigns with themes that will “stick the landing.”
Only with those TCP focused campaigns will you recognize ROI for your marketing.
Understand how to use themes. They will help you avoid frustrating failures. You can feel confident that your team is performing. You’ll see them excited about coming to work and energized about the future’s potential.
 
I can help create these campaign strategies with you. My calendar is available here.
We also talk marketing all the time in our newsletter – you can sign up here

More Like This:

MSP Sales Process protects margins

MSP Sales Process protects margins

MSP Sales Process protects margins By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow I’ve a bit different of an article today. This stems from a question that came across my desk on social media. I’ve quoted the question below. “Do you ever get sales guys...

MSP Project Kickoff Calls

MSP Project Kickoff Calls

MSP Project Kickoff calls By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow An interesting question ran by my social channels the other day. The basis of the question was how to kick off an MSP project with a client. They were struggling with misfires on their...

MSP Client Concentration

MSP Client Concentration

MSP Client Concentration By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow Preparing to sell a managed services provider is hard work. You must get your house in order in every sense of the word. Customer contracts Employment agreements Vendor relationships...

Do you need Marketing at your MSP

Do you need Marketing at your MSP

Do you need marketing at your MSP? By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow I speak with a lot of managed service provider owners who "need marketing." Need is such a strong word. Need implies necessity – without it we won’t survive. We need water, air,...

Whitepaper Download

 

Share This