Marketing has always been an area that MSPs have struggled with (that and sales). In fact, this is the reason why many MSPs look for outside help for their marketing efforts, but oftentimes, they don’t know what to look for when evaluating marketing companies.
Finding the right marketing firm requires not only time, but also knowledge. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may end up paying for it in the end — and marketing firms aren’t cheap (some charge thousands a month while others charge tens of thousands).
At some point, you’re probably going to either hire someone to do your marketing or contract the work out to a marketing firm. If you decide on the latter, there are a few things to keep in mind.
What are your marketing objectives? Identify them.
Sit down with your team to determine how a marketing firm can assist you. Ask the following question: “What would we like a marketing firm to accomplish after we hire them?” In order to give an accurate answer, figure out your company’s overarching marketing objectives. Would you like a marketing firm to help you with lead generation? Is increasing brand awareness important to you? Also, identify your marketing goals, which should be different from your marketing objectives. Lacking direction when interviewing marketing agencies could prove disastrous.
Does the marketing firm specialize in any industries?
Some marketing firms are generalists, while others are specialists. From my experience, it’s probably best to go with the latter, as you won’t have the time to educate generalists about the services you provide as an MSP. It’s a lot easier to collaborate with a marketing firm that understands your business, industry, and customers. Also, having worked with businesses similar to yours in the past, a marketing firm that specializes in your industry may already have experience with successfully marketing MSPs to relevant audiences. If anything, that gives you confidence in the firm’s ability to deliver for you.
What’s the marketing firm’s plan for you? Does it fit what you need?
When interviewing marketing agencies, having someone with you who understands marketing, even at a basic level, can be a big help. You want to be able to get a sense of what the marketing agency can offer you, and that can be challenging if you don’t know the questions you should ask. Is the firm set on building you a new flashy website? Great! But how will that website help you and your sales team with generating and converting leads? You may also need the agency to develop a social media marketing strategy and manage your social media platforms. Again, great! That’s fantastic! But what does successful social media marketing look like to you and your company? You don’t want to sign on the dotted line for empty promises. You want to ensure you and the marketing firm you sign with are in agreement about what short and long-term success looks like for the organization as a whole.
Hiring a marketing agency or a marketing individual can be very beneficial to your MSP. Knowing what to expect when evaluating companies is key to ensuring your marketing efforts bring forth positive results.