I’m going to let you in on a secret: my husband works in IT, and I’ve been literally begging his company for the last 4 years to go inbound. I know, it’s completely contrary to everything I believe. Why would I pursue a cold company who doesn’t think that Inbound is the best thing for them? With my husband in charge of Business Development (for both his clients and their company as a whole), he often approaches me, frustrated with their marketing efforts. They want more qualified business from their website. Their social media posts are falling flat – and their blogs just aren’t pulling in the right buyers. I get it. I hear it all the time – but convincing the executive team is a completely different story. One of the ironic things about IT Managed Services companies is that despite assisting their clients in remaining on the cutting edge of technology, many times their marketing is anything but tech-oriented. Tactics like list buying, cold calling and networking are their go-to source for leads. The most baffling part? They don’t use a tool to measure their efforts, despite paying top dollar for software that ensures their clients have 100% uptime and printing dozens of reports assessing the effectiveness of their own efforts. Why such a disparity? It’s hard to say. Forcing your clients to think more proactively in regards to their IT is something an IT Executive understands and does on a regular basis – but applying the same proactivity and technology to their marketing efforts just doesn’t have a high level of importance on the agenda (for this particular company). It’s with this blog that I’m beginning a campaign – I’m calling out my husband’s company. Over the next few months we’re going to focus very specifically on the IT industry and discover more about how effective Inbound can be. We’re even going to be offering some crazy incentives for Managed Services companies so we can get a few case studies under our belt. Let’s get started with today’s blog: Re-Techifying your Marketing.
Your Marketing Helpdesk
When a server goes down, or a user’s PC is having issues – you have a whole slough of helpful software tools that indicate what the problem is, assist in troubleshooting those issues and techs on your team that handle the problem. But how do you know when your marketing goes down? You might have Google Analytics – but knowing your traffic is only half the battle. Just like your clients suffer the expense of downtime and lost productivity, every moment you don’t spend marketing is lost revenue and opportunity. Having tools in place that allow you to be more proactive when you notice dips in traffic and leads allows you to focus more on effective marketing and less on what’s broken in your marketing process.
Pro-active Strategy Implementation
Sound familiar? How many clients have you tried to convince to be more proactive in their IT strategy? It’s easy for you to see the risks that your clients leave themselves open to when they don’t effectively plan their IT strategy, yet you somehow manage to lack a proactive strategy for your marketing. Tsk, tsk. The time has come to really develop the goals and strategy. Ask yourself the same questions that you would to understand and plan the growth of your prospects: Where do you see your company in 5 years? Set marketing goals according to that growth milestone and take the time to create a marketing strategy that suits those goals.
How many times have you told a prospect that they could be paying less in payroll for staff augmentation with more skill? The same applies to marketing. Sure, you could fork over $45-$85k for a marketing manager, but realistically you only have one person – and you know based on how you sell IT staff augmentation that’s just not enough. A team of professionals that specialize with experience and training for the same price of one payroll staffer? Easy decision, right? Practice what you preach, friend.
The time has come. The leads are drying up. The ones you get just aren’t a fit for your model. You knew you couldn’t rely on “word of mouth” and outbound tactics forever. The time has come to take your marketing to the next level. If you want to grow into the organization that you see your company being, you have to have a proactive strategy, technology and the people behind you in order to make that happen.
It’s time to go inbound.