When planning IT services marketing campaigns for a startup, especially a VAR or MSP, the first inclination is often to start with the popular cookie-cutter shortcuts:
Market - Message - Media (in a triangle), or the ever-popular
Attention - Interest - Desire - Action (AIDA)
But what if that just wasn’t enough? Or what if those simplifications were simply putting the cart before horse?
I came across a very similar question about IT services marketing toward the end of last year on LinkedIn Answers.
Nytik Joshi, marketing manager for Jobstream Group plc in London, United Kingdom asked:
“Is there a road map for setting up the marketing function in an IT start-up where marketing was being handled by the practice and sales, predominantly?”
In response, Pat McGraw of McGraw Marketing in Baltimore, Maryland started by explaining how one single road map wouldn’t work. This is because Joshi’s company really needs to (a) tap into its existing resources and (b) concentrate on Jobstream Group plc’s goals. Essentially, it’s all about building your team with the right players, at the right time.
McGraw first suggested that Joshi’s company start with a senior marketing executive, such as a CMO or VP of marketing. This person would need a vast skill set to tackle:
Strategic planning of products/services, pricing, distribution channels, and promotion
At this early stage, to control costs and refine the processes, McGraw recommended that this senior marketing executive outsource tactical functions (PR, copywriting, design, social media, SEO/PPC, etc.) rather than hiring in-house staff.
In addition to the senior marketing executive and select freelancers and agencies, McGraw strongly lobbied for a CRM-focused position. This individual would analyze the internal processes that take products/services from development all the way through to client retention. This would ensure that the company’s sales cycle and performance metrics get baked into the CRM system.
Once the senior marketing executive has figured out the strategy, the freelancers and agencies have developed and refined the basic campaigns, and the CRM person have designed a decent platform for tracking all the data, then and only then should the company start thinking about marketing managers for various tactical needs:
Channel partner/affiliate programs
Interestingly enough, for small VARs and MSPs thinking about IT services marketing campaigns, this point in phase 2 is usually where most would begin, basically bypassing most or all of phase 1.
Perhaps if these same VARs and MSPs had Pat McGraw advising on their marketing strategy, these VARs and MSPs might consider adopting some of the phase 1 recommendations before moving onto phase 2.
What do you think of McGraw’s IT services marketing advice? Is it overkill for a one or two-person IT startup? Or, exactly what’s needed? Please share your thoughts in the COMMENTS section below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free special report on the Top 10 IT Marketing Strategies For Consistently Attracting New Business Clients to Your Small IT Business
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Big Blue Ocean
Topics:- B2B Digital Marketing Strategy