IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Vertical Marketing Strategies for Managed Service Providers

Managed service providers are similar to many other businesses in that they get comfortable with a particular marketing strategy or industry and they stick with it. Maybe you prefer to market cloud computing services, but in doing so you don’t remember to market the rest of your solutions. That is both good and bad. This strategy may allow managed service providers to perfect the marketing, sale and delivery of one service, but it challenges them in duplicating that success with multiple services, products and solutions. This affects their ability to grow and remain competitive in any industry as a whole. Here’s one important piece of advice: don’t be a one-trick-pony in your marketing efforts because you are inadvertently opening the door to competitors that may be more effective in this area. Effective vertical marketing strategies for managed service providers make them look good at addressing all of the business pain and needs in a specific niche, market or industry.

Vertical Marketing Strategy Phases

Here is a complete strategy to assist managed service providers with creating an effective vertical marketing strategy.

1.   Know your industry

Consider for a moment the industry you are in. What niche markets or industries do you assist? Managed service providers assist and support companies and institutions in many different areas: shipping, education, healthcare, law, and more. Knowing your industry is more than identifying it. It involves getting to know the ins and outs of everyday operations. Don’t envision the industry as one flat, horizontal line.

2.   Start branching out

Revamp your menu of offerings and services. You need to offer a strong and attractive set of skills to potential clients. Partner with a company that understands your industry to get a grasp on what it is the professionals need. You must implement the correct services to attract the talent and the business you want and need to thrive. If you need to enter the market sooner, consider partnering and collaborating with an established leader in the industry to help you get off the ground. This will save a lot of money during the launch and development of a new service, or entry into a new vertical.

3.   Understand everything about the sale

The sale is more than closing the deal. It begins with the marketing strategy. It is time to reconsider your managed services marketing plan and how you present yourself to potential clients. You have already researched your industry, you have honed your expertise in the field, and you have determined what it is clients need. Now sell it, but don’t try to do so on your own. Work with marketing professionals who have been through this before. You want tried and true approaches and outcomes, which comes from experience.

Once you have the marketing strategy down, prepare your team to make the sale. Your sales team must know about the new plans and represent your managed services flawlessly. They too need to understand the industry and the solutions you can provide. You might need to rethink the sales initiative and goals to make the most out of every contact to turn them into sales.

4.   Don’t be afraid to learn something new

Finally, don’t be afraid to learn something new to survive and thrive in the industry. Brush up on the data center skills you already have and prepare yourself to learn even more. As a managed service provider, you will be learning new facets of your clients’ business, which means you must have the know-how to keep them compliant, productive, and efficient. No one wants to spread their services among multiple providers, and with managed service providers, they shouldn’t have to. You are that strategic business partner. Technology changes, the industry changes, software changes, and needs change. Don’t be afraid to change and adapt too. Then and only then; when you realize you haven’t learned it all, will you be prepared to build a strong and effective vertical marketing strategy.

You are the expert in managed services. Now become the best expert in your industry. Invest in your company, your infrastructure, and yourself for better results. With these vertical marketing strategies for managed service providers, you can show new clients that you are the best solution for all their IT needs.

Want to learn more marketing and sales techniques to sell on value and increase your profitability during difficult economic times? Get The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!

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About the Author

Erick Simpson's picture

A Technology Businesses and Channel Growth and Transformation Consultant | Business Process Improvement, M&A and Integration Expert

Co-Founder of one of the first "Pure Play" MSPs in the industry, and creator of the MSP Mastered™ Methodology for Managed Services business performance improvement and the Vendor Channel Maturity Level Index™ that identifies IT channel program maturation for strategic growth, Erick Simpson is a strategic technology business growth and transformation specialist. He is experienced in improving top and bottom-line business performance by increasing operational efficiencies, boosting marketing and lead generation outcomes, accelerating sales velocity, shortening sales cycles and maximizing service efficiencies.

With over 30 years of experience in the IT industry as an Enterprise CIO, MSP, Strategic Coach and Consultant, Erick is a Business Process Improvement Expert with hundreds of successful IT Solution Provider, MSP, Cloud and Security practice business improvement consulting engagement outcomes.

One of the most prolific, recognized and sought-after  business improvement and transformation experts, authors and speakers in the industry, Erick has contributed to numerous industry publications and spoken at hundreds of events.

His published works include "The Guide to a Successful Managed Services Practice"; the definitive book on Managed Services, “The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!”, “The Best I.T. Service Delivery BOOK EVER!” and “The Best NOC and Service Desk Operations BOOK EVER!”, along with 50 Best Practice Guides.

Consulting Services for MSPs and Channel Vendors:



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