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News & Articles

April 25, 2022 |

Robin Robins Expands Offerings to Address More Pillars of Business

At her annual IT Sales and Marketing Boot Camp, the TMT CEO outlined a broader vision, rolled out an associated rebranding, and addressed MSP challenges and opportunities for the year ahead.

At the 15th annual IT Sales and Marketing Boot Camp, held in Nashville last week, Technology Marketing Toolkit CEO Robin Robins announced a rebranding as part of a new, broader vision for the IT marketing and sales consulting firm aimed at helping managed service providers develop aspects of their business beyond marketing. Also announced was the new TMT spokesperson for 2022 and winner of the annual Better Your Best Contest, David Javaheri, president and CEO of Waltham, Mass.-based Direct IT.

According to Robins, the rebranding from Technology Marketing Toolkit to TMT reflects the firm’s expanded scale and ambitions. “We really are a team now, it’s not just me,” she told the audience during an opening night keynote address. “I have a much bigger vision, and this is something I think that all of you have to think about. If you don’t have a bigger vision for your company, for what you can accomplish, who you can impact, change that you can make, you’re not going to be successful in business.”

Robins was quick to joke to the approximately 1,000 in-person attendees, though, “That doesn’t mean I’m going away. You’re still stuck with me.”

As part of the rebranding, Robins announced MSP Launch Academy, a new 24-month membership for startups and small MSPs with less than $500,000 in revenue that includes tools, services, and coaching across all disciplines of the business. The Technology Marketing Toolkit will no longer be sold as a product, but comes included as part of the MSP Launch Academy.

Robins also announced a slate of “experts in residence,” MSP business owners and industry thought leaders, who will be helping to guide the member offerings. Mike Bazar, CEO of Bazar Solutions, in Lubbock Texas, and Will Nobles, CEO of Atlanta-based Vector Choice, will be working with the MSP Launch Academy; Darren Patoni, president of FullScope IT, in Gilbert, Ariz., will be working with Accelerators Club; and Paul Cissel, CEO of Growth Caddie, will be working with the Producers Club.

In addition, John DiJulius of The DiJulius Group will be building out customer experience courseware for members, and Greg Crabtree, accountant and author of Simple Numbers, will continue his relationship with TMT.

In her opening night address, Robins highlighted statistics from TMT’s customer database and other studies, including ChannelPro’s 2022 State of the Channel Survey, which found MSPs largely optimistic about growth for the year ahead. That M&A activity continues to be brisk, with private equity money pouring in, is evidence that “you guys have a good business, so you should feel good about this,” she said. “You have a huge total addressable market; long-term sticky, recurring revenue; high margins; and there is clearly a growing demand” for outsourced IT services.

At the same time, Robins outlined three challenges for MSPs: eroding margins due to inflation, labor shortages (which are driving up salaries), and competition from “super MSPs”—larger, private equity-backed companies or those that are growing by acquisition or merger.

“They’re aggressively buying market share, and they’re targeting their customers and they have big marketing budgets,” she said. “They’ve got big sales team and they have the ability to really heavily invest in the operations and new client acquisitions. So the big question you’ve got to think about right now, today, is if they come into your town, if they come into your marketplace, and they come after your customers, can you compete? That’s the question now.”

Part of the answer, Robins continued, is taking advantage of three opportunities, some of which she spoke about with ChannelPro last month: growing demand from midsize companies looking for co-managed IT, advanced cybersecurity, and compliance as a service. “What I am seeing with MSPs, how they’re using compliance to sell managed services, to sell cybersecurity, to sell people a complete stack. … You’ve got to get out after this, you’ve got to learn it,” she said. “If you don’t embrace this, you’re going to have a really tough time competing with larger MSPs. That’s how they’re going to take your customers. CMMC is not going to go away. HIPAA is still out there. PCI compliance is going to get tougher. This is the golden opportunity.”

As this year’s Boot Camp event took place on the heels of the blockbuster acquisition of Datto by Kaseya, Robins invited Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola to the stage on opening night for a Q&A about the deal’s implications for channel partners. In remarks consistent with an exclusive ChannelPro interview the previous week, he assured attendees that “we are supporting all products moving forward,” and defended the economics of Kaseya’s three-year licensing.

In a short address on Wednesday, Datto Senior Vice President of Business Development Rob Rae (pictured below, second from right) reflected on the road ahead, echoing Voccola’s intent to move the platform forward. “Change is constant in our lives, isn’t it, and something that we all need to continue to adapt to,” he said. “One of the things that I do want to say is that we’re still constantly changing and evolving the way in which we come to market with our technology, with our partner programs, and that is not stopping. We’ve got some really cool product announcements that are going to be coming out over the next couple of months. Great innovation stuff, some brand-new things that you guys haven’t seen. So stay tuned for all of that continued investment into our partner programs.”

 

He added that DattoCon is still taking place on September 11-13 in Washington, D.C.

Also on Wednesday, six presenters representing five MSP companies who are all part of TMT’s Producers Club, the highest level of membership, competed in the annual Better Your Best Contest, making their case for why, based on the results of marketing programs they implemented, the attendees should vote for them to win an Aston Martin car and be TMT spokesperson for the coming year.

Javaheri, the winner, came to the U.S. from Iran at 16, founded his company in 2004, and grew it to $2 million—where it stayed for eight years. He joined TMT in 2019, and with guidance from his accountability group got to work creating new lists and what he calls “marketing bombardment,” in which every contact received six touches a month: social media ad, letter, email, follow-up phone call, email newsletter, and email Tech Tip. In addition, he hired two appointment setters and an admin, stepped away from technical duties to focus on sales full time, deployed the Keap CRM solution, and enlisted some TMT Done for You services.

In 2020, revenue grew to $3.7 million, and in 2021 he broke $5 million. MRR grew from $220,000 in 2020 to $370,000 last year, and net profit jumped from $8,000 to just shy of $1 million. He also added 40 new MRR clients in 2021.

During the week, attendees heard from two powerhouse keynote speakers: Emmitt Smith, Super Bowl champion and chairman of E. Smith Legacy Holdings, a real estate development firm; and Marcus Lemonis, star of The Profit, a CNBC reality show about saving small businesses, and chairman and CEO of Camping World.

Next year’s Boot Camp is scheduled for April 11-14 in Nashville.

Photos: Courtesy of TMT


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