IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Solid-Gold Marketing Campaigns: Page 2 of 2

Plan your strategy. Hone a unique message focused on your value. Execute. Follow up. Now do it again. By Colleen Frye

Ed Correia, President, Sagacent Technologies

The Plan

Ed Correia, president of 19-year-old MSP Sagacent Technologies, drafts a marketing plan every year-end for four verticals: legal, medical, financial, and insurance brokerages. He runs two campaigns monthly, targeting two different verticals every other month.

Correia utilizes marketing interns to manage the plan, and touches base twice a week to go over their progress. “We look at what’s happened. What’s your plan for the day? What’s happened since our last meeting? You need to get somebody in there executing it who can think for themselves.”

The Campaign: Targeting a Vertical

Correia recently ran two email marketing campaigns for two different verticals. The topics were backing up Office 365 data and business continuity. The campaign targeted companies within a 15-mile radius of Sagacent. “I think you can do higher-touch, better-quality marketing programs, and target a smaller quantity closer to home. If you land them as a client, you’re going to be much more profitable, because they’re in your backyard.”

The campaign consisted of a short email every five to seven days that contained:

  • A brief message on the theme
  • A call to action, which could be a downloadable infographic or white paper or invite to an event
  • Duration: one month

“Each one stands on its own, looks a little bit different, but at the end of that campaign, we’re going to be able to say, ‘Who read the email? Who clicked on the link? Who looked at our call to action materials?’”

The Tool

While Correia has considered using an automated marketing platform, he is concerned about price, complexity, and human resources. “These are extremely complex tools, and if you’re going to … spend the money on them, you’ve got to dedicate personnel to it.” Retaining that person after investing in the training is another concern, he says.

Instead, he uses a free offering for Datto partners called MarketNow. While he says it is not as robust as a platform like Mindmatrix (which it’s based on), “it’s a really good place to cut your teeth.”

The Datto platform provides content tailored to specific industries on solutions such as business continuity or backup. Correia says he uses about 90% of the pre-fab materials, making small edits to graphics and content.

He plans to use SonicWall’s free marketing platform as well. That way, if a targeted group receives a separate campaign through the SonicWall platform in alternating months, “it’s not going to look identical to what’s coming through the Datto platform. We want them to become aware of us, but we don’t want them to feel like we’re spamming them.”

The Follow-up

Toward the end of every campaign, Correia makes follow-up calls inquiring if the content was of interest and if the recipient would like more information. Of course, if a prospect starts showing a lot of interest during the campaign, Correia calls them right away. These folks get moved to a “primo list,” and will receive invites to events, which are more costly than email campaigns. However, Correia says, “If you invite those people, you have a higher likelihood of engaging with them.”

The Takeaway

No matter what type of campaign you’re running, Sanguily advises focusing on the message. “What makes a company valuable is not what they offer, but how they offer it.” Your culture, your business processes, your people are all differentiators, he says. With these attributes in mind, you will be able to “create marketing that cannot be copied by a competitor.”

And remember that the goal of marketing campaigns is to build a relationship over time, Correia says. “You need to just keep doing it, little pieces over and over.” Think courtship vs. one-night stand.

Image: iStock

About the Author

Colleen Frye's picture

Colleen Frye is ChannelPro's managing editor.

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