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As a marketer with twenty years of experience behind me (and hopefully just as many years ahead of me), I know what it’s like to be trapped in the daily marketing grind. Believe me, I’ve been there. You’re spending so much time obsessing over the “nuts and bolts” of marketing your service that with each passing day, it feels like there is less and less time to actually grow the business you were trying to build in the first place.
But at the same time, marketing is a necessity. After all, your services aren’t going to sell themselves, right?
In truth, your services CAN more-or-less sell themselves – just not with the methods you’re currently using. If you truly want to break free of the daily marketing grind once and for all, there are a few key steps you’ll need to follow.
1. Start With Your Customer
One of the major reasons why you’re trapped in the daily marketing grind in the first place is almost certainly because your efforts began life in exactly the wrong place. Instead of starting with the needs of your customer and working your way back to your services, you started with your services and tried to build a bridge to your customer.
In most cases, this can be deadly.
Nobody is saying that your services themselves need to change – your business is your business and nobody is trying to get you to change that. What you really need, however, is some critical perspective.
When you start with your services, you’re spending far too much time trying to convince someone that managed services are the right step to take in the first place. You’re spending less time highlighting what makes your business unique and more time trying to justify your own industry’s existence.
When you start with your customers, you get a better idea of what their needs are, what they like, what they don’t like and how you can solve their problems. Then, you can build marketing around addressing those points, one-by-one. It’s less “here are what managed services can do” and more “here is what MY COMPANY can do for YOU.” It might sound like a subtle change, but in my experience, this perspective shift is often the turning point towards a much more effective marketing strategy.
Learn more about customer-targeted marketing.
2. Hone Your Message
Once you’re certain that your efforts are beginning from the right place, you can then begin to work on honing and refining your messaging over time. This, too, will require some perspective.
Part of what makes every business unique is the message at the heart of it all. In a nutshell, it’s this: “here’s what I can do for you that nobody else can.” The entirety of your marketing needs to be built around this core premise – everything you do needs to lead back to this simple message and highlight it in the most effective way possible.
So once you’ve determined exactly what that message is, everything that doesn’t directly feed back into and empower that message needs to go. “Brevity is the soul of wit,” after all.
Essentially, you need to do what you can to get rid of all the “noise” that is only serving to A) muddy that core message, B) potentially confuse your audience, and C) that isn’t relevant to the discussion you’re trying to have which is “here is why it’s a good idea to work with me instead of anyone else.”
3. The “Value” Filter
Finally, the most important way to break free of the daily marketing grind involves selling the value your services provide instead of what they do in a more literal way.
Again – it’s less “here is what I can do” and more “here is what I can do for you.” That single idea is important enough to where it absolutely needs repeating time and again.
Never publish a piece of marketing collateral that is just a glorified spec sheet – absolutely nobody cares. Instead, outline a problem and show how only you can solve it. Single out a goal and show how only you can help your customer achieve it. Contextualize things not by what you’re trying to accomplish, but through what your customers are trying to accomplish.
If you’re able to do that, you won’t have to worry about convincing customers that you’re worth their time. They’ll have already convinced themselves.
Breaking Free of the Marketing Grind
Yes, marketing is necessary – but that doesn’t mean there’s not a better way to get things done.
By starting with the needs of your customer, spending the time to hone your message in the right way and selling based on value instead of services, you’ll find that your efforts quickly start to generate their own momentum. After a certain point, you won’t have to spend nearly as much time selling your product because your product will more or less start to sell itself. Then, you can devote the maximum amount of attention to the most important goal of all: driving your business forward.
Want to further enhave your MSP marketing prowess? First of all, make sure you’re not making these 3 Common MSP Marketing Mistakes!
Over to you
How about you? Have you attempted this strategy and have success stories to share? Did something not work the way you expected? Do you find that this strategy fits with your overall company direction? Whatever the question, we’d like to know! Be sure to use the questions form below and we’ll be sure to get back with you!
Thanks for reading!
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