In 2020, TSL Marketing surveyed 244 business leaders at managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs). We asked close-ended and open-ended questions about their digital marketing plans for 2020.
After reviewing the results, we were able to identify 5 Top Focus Areas for MSP/MSSPs in 2020.
Here’s an overview of the top 5 focus areas, along with some of TSL’s tips for success:
The survey found that MSPs are struggling to stand out as different from their competitors in a crowded market. Many companies don’t spend enough time and effort understanding and focusing on their differentiators. To market themselves successfully, MSPs must communicate their unique qualities clearly and concisely using all digital channels.
TSL recommends using the company website to rebrand the company to emphasize differentiators, attract the right visitors, and promote brand awareness.
2) Using Digital Advertising
We learned how MSPs are investing in digital advertising. Of the responders, 21% invest less than $1,000 in digital advertising. 15% invest between $1,001 and $2,500, and 12% invest between $2,501 and $5,000. Only 7% make no investment.
TSL advises MSPs to use LinkedIn for B2B digital marketing efforts and invest in Google AdWords. Make the most of your investment by using metrics. These metrics allow you to measure which channels work best so you can invest in the right channels. Metrics also help you track leads from their source to a close.
3) Finding Quality Salespeople
Many MSPs are dissatisfied with the quality of salespeople. Salespeople at MSPs often fall short of sales goals. These salespeople are challenged by the task of making managed services come across as a tangible product.
TSL agrees that it’s hard to find high-quality salespeople. We recommend that you make the most of the salespeople you have. Take advantage of the skills of your current sales leaders to get quality leads. Also, optimize your use of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform — such as the HubSpot CRM — by using it to track leads through to closure.
4) Finding and Nurturing Quality Leads
MSPs aren’t happy with the quality of leads they are getting. Almost half of the MSPs gave their leads an average rating. Fewer than 10% rated their leads as excellent. One a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being an “excellent” rating, only 32% rated their leads as a 4.
TSL recommends that MSPs nurture leads to progress them down the sales funnel and turn them into high quality leads. To nurture leads, MSPs should combine inbound and outbound marketing and align sales and marketing to generate sales qualified leads. Leads should be found, nurtured, and progressed at all stages in the sales funnel.
According to the survey, the COVID-19 pandemic is the top challenge MSPs are facing in 2020. MSPs have been forced to rethink their projected marketing investments because of social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Events were included as part of many MSP marketing budgets. However, these in-person events won’t be possible, so MSPs need to take advantage of digital marketing instead.
TSL points out that, even prior to the pandemic, MSPs should have invested in digital marketing. For those that didn’t, now’s your chance. We recommend investing event funding in content marketing, digital advertising, and outbound marketing.
For the marketing survey, TSL targeted MSPs and MSSPs. Respondents included small and medium-sized businesses with less than 100 employees to 1,000 employees and enterprises with more than 1,000 employees.