A quick guide to MSP marketing

| By: Maddie Metheny

There’s a certain irony to the business practices of managed services providers (MSPs). As an MSP, you’ve mastered some of the most complex concepts of modern information technology. The technical concepts of SIEM, SOC, and BCDR are mysterious and incomprehensible. Yet, despite the complexity of everyday challenges, the same talented and capable MSPs struggle to grasp the basics of effective marketing and lead generation. 

Marketing is undoubtedly a major pain point for MSPs, but it can be simplified for them to integrate effective marketing practices. By focusing on understanding and satisfying customer needs rather than the value the product or service provides to its clients, your business can increase revenue and growth with the right messaging, lead generation, and sales tactics.

It's not always easy being an MSP 

The need for reliable MSPs is not going anywhere. In fact, the amount small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will spend on managed services is expected to grow by 93 billion by 2026. As this increases, they will rely on MSPs like you to constantly stay one step ahead of their evolving technical needs. 

While this is true, there’s another truth to the equation—it isn’t always easy. Despite the need for trusted MSPs to protect, defend, and recover from threats, there’s a gap for some MSPs when it comes to:

  • Accelerating recurring revenue
  • Sales growth + go-to-market
  • Conveying business value

With the right guidance, MSPs can stand apart from the status quo and offer unmatched service to clients and prospects through strategic marketing efforts.  

Understand your buyer 

The very first step to marketing is establishing who you are marketing to or your target market. A target market is a group of people with a specific set of characteristics that sets them apart to direct marketing efforts and resources toward. Some questions that help establish this group include: 

  • What kind of services do you offer? Who needs those services?
  • What demographics does your ideal customer fit into?

What problems does your business help solve?
Once you have a good idea of your target market, you can begin your research. Market intelligence gives MSPs a complete picture of everything they need to know about their customers, competitors, and industry trends. 

Effective market research involves talking with current customers and prospects and analyzing data to determine which products and services are in demand, who’s buying them, and how they can best be competitively marketed and sold. With this information, you can begin to strategize your marketing efforts.  

Start strategizing your marketing efforts 

The overarching goal of MSP marketing is to create successful lead generation for your business. With information on your target market, you can narrow down your ideal customer based on that data. Buying personas gives a profile of the ideal clients and prospects most willing to purchase your products or services. 

Outbound and inbound marketing are the primary building blocks for those efforts. When beginning your marketing strategy, it will take trial and error to determine which strategies are most effective for your business. 

Inbound marketing  

The natural evolution of marketing to an increasingly tech-savvy, educated, and connected clientele has led to the development of inbound marketing strategies. Inbound marketing drives buying decisions because of its emphasis on internet presence. While the web is a leading form used in inbound marketing, others include:

Of course, due to its technical nature and the increase of technology in marketing, inbound is used more often than its counterpart, outbound marketing.  

Outbound marketing 

Outbound marketing is a form of marketing that generates demand by pushing your message to clients and prospects through various channels. Typical outbound marketing mediums include:

  • Direct mail
  • Print and online advertising
  • Cold calling
  • Telemarketing
  • Sales fliers

While some criticize outdated outbound marketing methods, MSPs can successfully use outbound marketing to generate strong, qualified leads by blending outbound methods into a large overall marketing strategy and crafting messages that demonstrate your value.

Engagement marketing 

Engagement marketing is the multi-pronged approach to demand generation that encourages active engagement between a business and its audience. At its heart, engagement marketing is reliant on the development, distribution, and promotion of relevant and engaging content.  

Content marketing  

Content marketing is the creation and distribution of content aimed to inform and educate your audience. Whether it's an email newsletter, webpage, or social media posting, MSPs need to create relevant, thoughtful, and useful information that gets prospective clients to view the content and act on it.  

However, when using content marketing, it’s important to keep your clients in mind. No one wants to be constantly sold to but rather engaged through value-added content. By sharing your unique expertise with a humanistic tone, you'll engage with clients and develop valuable relationships. 

There are various mediums to share valuable content with clients and prospects, including:  

  • Whitepapers 
  • Case studies
  • Webinars and live streams
  • In-person events
  • Blogging
  • And more!

How to get started 

Marketing your MSP must be a priority if you want to scale your business and attract new customers, further engage with existing clients, and increase return on investment (ROI). However, we understand that marketing is a major pain point for MSPs like you, but we're here to help! 

The ConnectWise Partner Program 

Even with the best guidance, it can still be a challenge to kickstart your marketing efforts. Let us help! With the ConnectWise Partner Program, you’ll receive go-to-market strategy, marketing, and sales guidance to achieve your most ambitious vision of success. But that’s not all. In our exclusive Partner Portal, you gain immediate access to:

  • Educational resources to expand your knowledge of historical and trending topics
  • In-depth training videos to enable your sales and marketing teams
  • White-labeled marketing assets for you to brand and share with your target audience
  • Go-to-market campaigns with emails, social media graphics, landing pages, and more

Take the first step toward marketing your business with our team of experts ready to help you grow.  

A Complete Guide to MSP Marketing

Are you looking for a deeper dive into the MSP Marketing Guide? Check out this eBook to explore more on marketing your MSP practice.