Why MSP Marketing Efforts Fail

MSP Marketing Efforts fail constantly, avoid failure with your MSP Marketing

Written by Ian Richardson

March 18, 2024

Why MSP Marketing Efforts Fail

By Ian Richardson, Principal Consultant, Fox & Crow

Managed services providers struggle with marketing efforts. There are dozens of “experts” all preaching different strategies. Everyone has the “right method” that, if you follow exactly, promises amazing growth.

Results vary. Every provider can provide success stories. Often, results are in the middle of the road, or even outright failure.

I have hundreds of conversations every year. The people I speak with span the globe. Sales, marketing, and the results from both always comes up as a “hot topic.” I take a lot of notes. I’ve been analyzing those notes and found some common trends.

I’ve collected those trends here after being asked “why does marketing fail” the other day on social media. My hope is that you’ll find value in them. If you can avoid being one of the many conversations I have around “why did this fail” in the future, its worth it.

MSP Marketing Trends

  1. Failure lies at the feet of both the MSP and the Marketing Partner. Both sides do not do enough to around communication. Ensure that expectations, and responsibilities are clear. Get aligned on both sides of the equation. Plan to communicate early and often.
  2. Most initiatives lack funding by the MSP – proper campaigns take both time and money. Neither bucket of resources has proper allocation. MSPs expect their marketing partner to do “everything”. They’re searching for a silver bullet to their growth problem. Those don’t exist.
  3. Marketing companies are “ok” at presenting strategy. Successful engagements I come across have the strategy defined before engaging the marketer. Ask them how they can support it. MSPs can avoid this pitfall by hiring a strategist to build a growth plan. Hire marketing agencies to deliver on components of the plan.
  4. When presented with a blank slate, a marketing company will use a wide funnel approach. This is called spray and pray, or shotgun marketing. This “reach out to anyone and everyone” delivers results, but usually at a less than optimal level. Marketing agencies will go to their comfort zone in this scenario. That means its what makes them the most money, and what they’re familiar with. These methods might not be the right way to reach your target customer profile.
  5. Outsourcing execution does not mean the MSP can “set & forget” the marketing initiative. Outsourced partners need careful management, like an employee. You must set expectations. Have routine performance reviews. Both parties must understand what good looks like and manage to it. You will not save any management time with an outsourced partner.
  6. You will need to educate on how to approach your clients, regardless of partner choice. Every geography, customer segment, and MSP is different. Painting a picture of what has worked and not worked is critical information. The marketing partner needs it to develop an effective campaign.
  7. Marketing without sales process will fail. Lack of sales skillset to support leadgen is a waste of hard-earned margin. If you don’t understand how to sell, fix that first.
  8. Marketing is a numbers game. Consistent effort multiplied by volume of activity equals leads. The trick to success is ensuring that activity happens. Activity must be consistent. Ensure you are performing the right activities to begin with.

If you’re struggling with Marketing at your MSP, Fox & Crow can help. We have built marketing strategies that have worked across North America. Get the conversation started by scheduling a call at https://foxcrowgroup.com/contact

Our MSP Sales Process (https://mspsalesprocess.com) can fix issues with your sales team. Learn more at the website.

If you’re focused on sales and growth, you might find value in our newsletter. You can sign up at https://short.randr.consulting/newsletter

 

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