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.
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