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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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Ask The Experts

March 22, 2024 |

How Can I Market Nationally Instead of Locally?

Carrie Richardson shares six points to mull over that will help you build a more effective marketing plan.

Many MSPs start locally because it makes it easier to get started – the friends and family list, plus there are shared experiences in local communities and it is easier to build rapport.

If you want to scale, you need to think about expanding outside of the local market. However, this is where you might find some challenges. Before you begin that process, take some time to mull over these six points:

Consideration No. 1: Have You Effectively Expanded Regionally?

If your MSP’s client base is local, why not first consider expanding regionally first? National marketing can be expensive and time consuming, keep expanding in your own backyard before trying to expand nationally.

Consideration No. 2: Are You Niche Focused?

If you are already well-established in your regional market and are ready to expand nationally, consider focusing on one niche. In my experience, national marketing needs focus to be effective. Whether you specialize in advertising firms, funeral homes or medical clinics, you will have more success telling one story to one type of company. The problems of a 50-seat health clinic in San Francisco do not closely mimic the problems of an accounting firm in Bethesda, MD.

Consideration No. 3: Do You Have a Network to Tap Into?

Your current customers and happy former customers can help you expand nationally in their verticals. If they attend conferences, they interact with peers in other states. Find out what events they go to and attend some.

Before making a major investment as a sponsor at a national show, go as an attendee. Most events will allow a potential sponsor to evaluate the event for one year. Try before you buy and see where the highest concentration of new opportunity lives.

Consideration No. 4: What Does Your Marketing Budget Look Like?

Assume whatever you’re spending in your market now to generate local results will be necessary to succeed in every market you wish to have a presence in. Remember how long it took for you to establish a healthy sales funnel in one place?

Being the new kid in town isn’t easy. Align your expectations. It took you years to be a trusted provider locally; it will likely take years to replicate success in an unfamiliar city and you’ll need to measure your ROI regularly and tweak in each market. Think of a national campaign as being more like a half dozen concurrent local campaigns.

Carrie Richardson of Richardson & Richardson Consulting

Carrie Richardson

Consideration No. 5: Test the Market First Before Investing Heavily

Some markets are far more saturated. Your pricing model may be completely off base for a different market. Test multiple markets using the methods you already know work for you now.

Trying a new market and a new marketing method at the same time is a recipe for failure. One variable only. A very smart MSP owner I know started a small telemarketing practice for other MSPs and chose their expansion locations/M&A targets based on the cities they had the most success in over a three-year period.

Consideration No. 6: Visit the Areas You’re Targeting for Expansion

Once you decide the next area for expansion, you should visit the areas and learn the subtleties of that market. Join the local chamber and introduce yourself to members. Talk to the local economic development agencies. Find out the little details that would be a dead giveaway that you are not from around here. Nothing kills your marketing campaign faster than mispronouncing a common street name or suburb hundreds of times daily your first month in town.

The big secrets to planning a successful national marketing strategy? Do your homework and take your time. Mistakes at scale are expensive and sometimes unrecoverable. Good luck!

Carrie Richardson co-founded Richardson & Richardson Consulting with her partner Ian in 2022 after successfully exiting from her MSP marketing agency, Managed Sales Pros. Her major focus in 2024 is building inexpensive and effective marketing systems for SMBs who know they need marketing but don’t know how to get started. Learn more fascinating facts about Richardson at channelWise.

Have a question? Email our experts now!

Image: iStock

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