MSP marketing outreach solutions aren’t necessarily so dire as Shakespeare’s Hamlet in terms of consequences when risks are taken. Hamlet was struggling with the questions of existence. If your MSP expends a little too much in the marketing budget and doesn’t see requisite ROI, that could just be chalked up to a bad quarter… or something of the kind. It’s not the end of the world. Here’s the deal: you’ve got to look at collateral benefits and potential payoffs. Have you ever heard of opportunity cost?
If you get a client, but they take up a lot of your time and keep you from getting a better, less demanding client, then though you have some profit from that client, you pay a high opportunity cost by retaining them; and eventually should let them go.
When to Jump In
Sometimes, taking a risk has a lowered opportunity cost, but a high enough payout potential that not to take the jump is actually an objectively bad move. Quantifying this will include unpredictable variables, but it doesn’t mean you should ignore certain risks. Especially in terms of entrepreneurial pursuits, a lot of those who are successful got that way not by playing it safe, but by seeing an opportunity and taking a leap of faith. They didn’t dip their toe in the water, they ran to the cliff, sprang, completed two back-flips and a half-gainer, then canon-balled into the deep end and impressed all the ladies.
To a degree, that’s what Keith McFarland, author of The Breakthrough Company, is apt to point out. Sometimes you’ve got to take some full-bore marketing risks to have the impact you’re seeking. You’ve got to “put yourself out there,” as the saying goes. If you want to become great, you must be great; and being great is risky business. Examples of calculated marketing risks to consider include:
• Looking into sales team acquisition
• Expending budget on tradeshows
• Shelling out dough for “organic” marketing campaigns
• Instituting a PPC (pay per click) campaign
• A publicity stunt?
When it comes to MSP marketing, it may make sense to take the financial risk of hiring a sales team. You use your existing marketing solution for leads, and your sales team to convert them. Marketing and sales are separate. They overlap, but they are often most successful when compartmentalized— this allows for directed focus and professionalized skill.
Speaking of directed focus, if you can direct the focus of passerby at a tradeshow, you’re likely to command more attention, increase your lead count, and be able to give your sales team a group of potential clients who are more likely to convert. It’s a financial risk to go to such a show, but it can pay off.
If you pay for marketing campaigns that have an organic quality— that is to say: a quality wherein the marketing spreads naturally, like through a guest blog featuring incredibly useful information aimed at your target market, then you could gain a large following without having to be “obnoxious.” Marketing and sales are more successful when the sales come to you, than when you’ve got to go fight for them. But it takes a while to build such momentum!
Sometimes, you have to “grind” and that’s what PPC (pay per click) campaigns are all about. They can be successful, however; Warren Hino of Orange County’s Numa Networks was able to substantively grow his MSP in just this way.
You might consider a publicity stunt— but that’s kind of a marketing “bankruptcy” measure— as in: it’s a last resort. This can work if you pull it off, but if you don’t, it could backfire terribly bad. You’re usually better suited taking less “risky” risks; like working with an SEO company to regularly disseminate a ubiquity of content leading potential clients back to your site. This can add up over time, and help you hit your reliably profitable stride.
MSP marketing shouldn’t play it entirely safe— today’s market doesn’t often reward that. But it should take calculated risks, and those outlined here have a high track record of success.