Pereion Solutions Blog

The Value of Marketing Automation for IT Service Providers

Posted by Greg Jackman

Tue, Jun 17, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

Marketing automation provides the tools that make it possible for IT service providers, or managed service providers, to build pipeline and grow their businesses. When we refer to marketing automation we’re talking about applying techology that allows you to more fully understand and interact, with potential buyers throughout the sales lifecycle. Marketing automation provides the resources to identify, nurture, and close these prospects in a manner that is valuable to them.

 

The key feature of any marketing automation tool is to focus on the relevance of communications: Deliver personalized messages to your targeted audience.

 

The most significant capabilities of any marketing automation tool are:

  • Segmentation tools within your databases
  • Automated communications with trigger marketing
  • Campaign creation, design, deployment & measurement
  • CRM integration and synchronization
  • Lead management, scoring, routing, and nurturing
  • Tracking, logging & analyzing you website traffic
  • Systematic demand creating activities
  • Optimizing your social media efforts
  • Real-time sales alerts for specified prospect activity

As a result of these capabilities, marketing automation is able to produce these key benefits:

  • Drives revenue and improves ROI
  • Improves integrated data management
  • Increases conversion rates

To build on this point, Gleanster Research conducted a study on the effects of marketing automation, showing that it has the capability to yield strong results at low marketing costs:

 

Reasons to Implement Marketing Automation1

gleanster reasons2 resized 600

 

Furthermore, there is evidence that the marketing industry is beginning to pay attention to these statistics and recognize the value in creating demand through marketing automation: 

  • Companies that use automation experience a 10%+ increase in revenue within 6 to 9 months.2

  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost.3

  • The adoption of marketing automation technology is expected to increase by 50% by 2015.4

  • Businesses that use marketing automation experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.4

 

Act-On & HubSpot are two Pereion partners that provide marketing automation services.

 

Act-On is a cloud-based marketing automation platform with simple tools that track and measure any of your complex programs. They provide you with straight-forward approaches that analyze your web traffic, nurture your leads, integrate with your CRM, and allow you to easily manage your campaigns.

After just six months of implementing Act-On's marketing automation tools, NuGrowth Solutions, a provider of sales and marketing services, nearly tripled their lead generation with an increase of 192%, and improved their open rates by 34%.5 They were able to achieve this explosive growth because of Act-On's capabilities to:

  • Engage prospects productively through lead nurturing
  • Execute on enhanced segmentation lists
  • Deliver results quickly to the right sales people
  • Automate follow-up email responses to the appropriate prospects
  • Track and compare campaign results effectively

HubSpot’s marketing automation also feeds your sales pipeline, offering marketing analytics to optimize all your programs. They offer automated workflows to set up your marketing automation process so you’re able to engage and nurture your contacts with targeted, personalized emails at the most relevant time. These workflows are based on your buyer persona and goals. HubSpot provides the tools for you to attract, convert, track, categorize and profile your leads according to their characteristics and behavior.

Australian Rezdy, a B2B company that produces online reservation software for leisurely travel, had to grow their business with limited staff and resources. With HubSpot’s marketing automation tools, their nurturing program increased their lead generation by 500% and web traffic by 380%.6

Are you using a marketing automation platform? How has it benefited your company?  If you’d like to discuss the specific marketing automation objectives for your business, please use the comment section below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

For more information on the best inbound marketing practices for a IT Service Provider, (including marketing automation on page 17) please download our Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers:

Pereion Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers

Please also feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below, as well, to continue receiving information on how IT solution providers utilize marketing automation, and other inbound marketing strategies.

Pereion Logo      IT Marketing Services LinkedIn Showcase Page     Pereion Solutions Blog
1Leveraging CRM Marketing Automation with Digital Marketing Tools, Digital Warriors, 2014.
2 The Data You Need to Make a Compelling Case for Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, 2014.
3All The Marketing Statistics You Need, HubSpot, 2014.
4100 Stats, Charts, and Graphs to Get Inbound Marketing Buy-In, HubSpot, 2014.
5Using Act-On, NuGrowth Sees 3X Increase in Leads, Act-On, 2014.
6Australian Rezdy Software Uses Marketing Automation to Increase Leads by 500%, HubSpot, 2014.

Topics: Pereion Solutions, IT Marketing Services, Marketing Automation Provider, Marketing Automation, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Technology

The Role of Social Media in IT Service Provider Marketing

Posted by Greg Jackman

Mon, Jun 2, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

The real core value of social media marketing is relationship development with your potential customers. Focusing on the right conversations, with the right content, in the right areas, with the right people.

According to HubSpot’s 2013 State of Inbound Marketing report, social media drove 14% of marketers’ total lead pipeline in 2013.1

One of the biggest misnomers about social media is that it doesn’t apply to B2B companies. When in fact, 84% of B2B marketers use social media in some form.2 As a B2B, you’re able to use social media to create brand awareness, encourage social sharing, and most importantly, gain trust.

Marketers today are choosing to invest their resources into inbound marketing methods more and more, with social media and SEO leading the way. Traditional marketing methods, such as telemarketing and pay-per-click are dropping off, reinforcing the idea of progressing towards more of a focus on customer relationship development practices.

 Social Media Leads Marketing Time and Budget Allocation2

 

The Case for Inbound Marketing for MSPs   Part 4   Social Media   Image2 resized 600

Social media is not a one-way street. If no one is discussing, interacting or sharing your content, a vital piece of your social media marketing strategy is missing.

The key concept among any social media platforms is to stay engaged in the conversation.

Create a voice in your target market to position your company as a thought leader within your industry. Depending on the size and type of your company and industry, you’ll mainly want to focus on these social media platforms:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook

If you're looking for a more technical audience, you'll want to seek out specific forums like Toolbox.com, Stack Overflow, Slashdot, and Digg.

LinkedIn provides a network of business professionals, like IT solution providers, and is more appropriate for a larger market base. Acting as a business-building tool, LinkedIn allows you to collaborate with other experts in your industry, giving you the opportunity for your targeted messages to reach the proper audience and be more effective. Communication on LinkedIn occurs in their following areas:

  • Company Pages
  • Company Showcase Pages
  • Groups

Twitter can also be a good tool for B2B marketing, as it’s a very quick and easy way to:

  • Pick up vendor communications
  • Join a broader conversation
  • Follow your favorite companies
  • Connect with decision makers and influencers in those companies

You don’t have to worry as much about always creating content on Twitter. If you’re struggling with the idea of starting a blog, Twitter provides that simple, effective touch into your customers with little effort.

Facebook works the best when trying to promote your business within a small market, targeting personal values such as family, friends, and neighbors. That said, Facebook leads social media customer sources, with 52% of all marketers sourcing a lead from Facebook in 2013 and 74% saying Facebook is important to their lead generation strategies.1

LinkedIn has proven to play a major role in the social media world by increasing brand awareness, creating conversations, and building positive reputations. The following are a couple best practice examples of LinkedIn tactics:


  • Prudential Retirement, a financial solutions provider, engaged their audience enough to spark 11,000 poll responses and 230 comments from LinkedIn members on their LinkedIn polls.3
  • ADP, the payroll solutions provider, created a LinkedIn Company page that grew to 85,000 followers in one year and 1.3 million impressions per month.4

 

B-Co Communications’ story shows us a great real world example of how Twitter is able to generate several promising business leads. B-Co Communications is a very small PR firm in Canada that was able to attract media coverage from just one Tweet leading to several quality leads. Part of the beauty of Twitter (and social media in general) is that regardless of the size of your company, it levels the playing field because it’s personal enough for anyone to be able to engage their target customer.

At the end of the day, you want social media to generate direct leads, and produce new customers for your business. Social media's reach will have a multiplier effect on your website traffic. Regular social media engagement and interaction will at least increase your website traffic, lead to higher conversion rates, and keep your digital marketing efforts moving in the right direction.

To learn more about social media marketing for IT Service Providers, we encourage you to download the Pereion Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers:


Pereion Marketing Playbook for IT Service Providers

 

If you’d like to discuss your social media objectives with us, or inbound marketing in general, please use the comment section below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

Please also feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below, as well, to continue receiving information on how IT solution providers utilize social media, and other inbound marketing strategies.

 

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1 Free Report: 2013 State of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, 2013.
2100 Stats, Charts, and Graphs to Get Inbound Marketing Buy-In, HubSpot, 2014.
3Prudential Retirement Case Study, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, 2012.
4ADP Case Study, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, 2013.

Topics: Pereion Solutions, IT Marketing Services, Marketing Analytics, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing

6 Simple Steps to Improve SEO in MSP Marketing

Posted by Greg Jackman

Tue, May 13, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

I know you have probably heard over and over again that SEO is important to enhancing your website and growing your lead generation. That said, with all the technical changes in search algorithms it can be difficult to sort through and just focus on those items that will make a difference in Search Engine Optimization. What specific steps should I be taking? This is intended to give you a few actionable steps to keep your website SEO in good shape: 

  

1. Build a Solid Keyword Plan.

a. Put together a list of words and terms relevant to your business or industry and prioritize the ones you’d like to rank for (these can also make good blog topic ideas). Remember that people are using full sentences or longer phrases more and more in their searches. Keep your target locations in mind as well.

b. Take advantage of SEO tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner, Act-On Inbound or Hubspot’s Keyword Research Tool to check the rankings of your keywords and note their competition levels. Also, keep in mind that certain popular terms within your industry, will be extremely difficult for you to rank for, regardless of the size of your company.

 

2. Add appropriate Metadata on every page of your website.

       a. The Page Title should contain no more than 70 characters.

       b. The Meta Description shouldn’t exceed 50 characters.

       c. The Meta keywords should have no more than 500 characters.

Note: Keywords that are more towards the front of the metadata copy will rank better in search.

 

3. Optimize the body copy of all webpages with keywords as naturally as possible (avoid keyword stuffing) for the purpose of human readers, not Google crawlers.

a. Headers & URLs: Place the most important keywords towards the beginning of your headers and URLs. Choose keywords you think will get clicked and shared the most. The term Social search refers to how content being shared on social media increases the amount of links and traffic to your webpages, and thereby improves search rankings.

b. Links: Include keywords in the text of your hyperlinks, especially in the first ones listed on a page. Note that it’s better to link to a page that is already ranking well in SEO.

c. Tags: Using tags sparingly. Tags themselves do not improve SEO; rather it’s the relating of one piece of content to another. Overusing tags, or creating tags that share the same words, looks like duplicate content to Google crawlers and you’ll be penalized.

d. Image Text/Alt Text: Use keywords in your image text. Not only will this be visible to search engines, but if an image doesn’t load properly for a visitor, they will at least still be able to read the text that describes that image.

 

4. Link Building. Sharing links with your Alliance Partners (and vica versa) will grow your website’s link profile, draw the attention of search engines, and direct more web traffic to your website.

 

5. Mobile Optimization. Since a significant portion of today’s internet search traffic comes from mobile devices, Google penalized the search rankings of webpages that aren’t mobile optimized.

 

6. Blogging. Every time you create a new blog page, you’re creating another dynamic page, or dynamic content. So by creating an ongoing blogging strategy, you’ll continuously be adding fresh content and developing a quantity of pages for Google to rank on your website.

 

As you can see, a solid SEO strategy is essential to driving more prospects to your website, and keeping them on your site. So by optimizing all the pages of your website, you increase your chances of those prospects finding you in local search results, retaining their attention, and eventually increasing your conversion rate. The graphs below put into perspective the marketing channels companies spend their time and energy on, versus what channel produces the best results: SEO.

SEO, Social Media Play Key Roles in Customer Acquisition1

SEO, MSP marketing

According to this chart, SEO leads have a 15% close rate, while direct mail (outbound lead) only has a 7% close rate. So as you can see, working to improve your SEO is one of the most effective uses of your time and effort, in terms of converting sales, acquiring customers, and overall business success.

Just look to the real world for further proof on how SEO is benefiting businesses everywhere. Focusing on how HubSpot’s SEO Tools helped align their SEO practices, the following three companies were able to grow:

  1. Sobieski Services, a subset of The Sobieski Group providing plumbing, heating, and air conditioning solutions, increased their web traffic by 55%.2
  2. Legacy Dental boosted their website visits by 145% over the course of two years. In particular, their organic search inflated by 169%.3
  3. Paranet, a Managed Service Provider, increased their:
    • Monthly organic leads by 2000%4
    • Web traffic by 148%4
    • Landing page conversion by 1000%4

 

By now, we hope we have given you enough information to help you get started applying stronger SEO practices for your business. Feel free to read more on inbound marketing topics in our other MSP Marketing Plan blog posts. Act-On and HubSpot also offer valuable SEO guidance on their respective websites as well.

We encourage you to download our Marketing Playbook for MSPs to help you in your marketing efforts:

MSP Inbound Marketing

If you’d like to discuss your inbound marketing, marketing automation, or your specific SEO objectives with us, please use the comment section below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

Please also feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below, as well, to continue receiving information on how MSPs can utilize marketing strategies.

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1100 Stats, Charts, and Graphs to Get Inbound Marketing Buy-In, HubSpot, 2014.
2Sobieski Services Increases Revenue 125% with HubSpot Lead Intelligence, HubSpot, 2014.
3Health Services Success Story: Legacy Dental, HubSpot, 2014.
4 Paranet Increases Organic Leads By 2000% Using HubSpot, HubSpot, 2014.
 

Topics: Pereion Solutions, IT Marketing Services, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Pereion

Can Inbound Marketing Really Double Lead Generation For a MSP?

Posted by Greg Jackman

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 @ 07:04 AM

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) have a lot on their plate. But in the end, just like everyone else, you need to find the best approaches to grow your business. To grow your business you need to dramatically increase lead generation. So how are other MSPs doing it? Inbound Marketing is one of the key tools growing MSPs are using to grow lead generation across expanding service areas.

When talking about inbound marketing, the most important aspects include:

  1. Maintaining a consistent Blog
  2. Exercising proper SEO techniques
  3. Coordinating an organized Social Media strategy

The Inbound Marketing Methodology is one of the best way to convert strangers into visitors, into leads, into customers, and finally into promoters of your business. The graphic below shows this process through four steps1:

  1. Attract
  2. Convert
  3. Close
  4. Delight
Inbound Marketing Methodology

Statistics are consistently showing that businessess are buying into the Inbound Marketing movement:

Nearly 50% of CEOs Report
Complete Inbound Integration2

 

Inbound Integration

Several MSPs have already learned how inbound marketing is able to help their businesses grow. NSK Inc., an IT consulting and outsourcing firm, was able to accomplish the following thanks to HubSpot’s inbound marketing tools and techniques involving best blogging and SEO practices:

  • Increased client revenue by 207%3
  • Increased lead volume by 200%3
  • Increased in web traffic by more than 100%3
  • Decreased paid marketing spend by 50%3

 

So as an MSP whether you’re in the beginning or the more advanced stages of implementing inbound marketing practices, try asking yourself the following questions to help stimulate your thought process:

  • Can Inbound Marketing improve your company’s marketing ROI?
  • What are your most important sources of leads today?
  • Specific to Inbound Marketing, how does your 2014 budget compare to your 2013 budget?
  • What % of your leads currently come from inbound marketing? From outbound marketing?
  • What % of your annual lead generation budget will be spent on inbound tactics? On outbound tactics?
  • What is your cost per lead for inbound channels, such as blogging, SEO and social media versus outbound marketing?
  • Do you supplement inbound marketing with paid digital advertising?
  • What % of leads comes from these channels?
  • What % of those leads convert to actual sales?
  • How will you promote that new managed service practice you are launching? 

 

Hopefully these questions will help stimulate some fresh ideas on Inbound Marketing and help you increase your lead generation, conversion rates, ROI, and ultimately, grow your business. As your business grows and you launch new services, Inbound Marketing provides you with a vehicle to launch and promote that new service offering. 

We encourage you to download our Inbound Marketing eBook for MSPs to help you in your inbound marketing efforts:

MSP Inbound Marketing

If you’d like to discuss your specific MSP inbound marketing goals with us, please use the comment section below or contact Steve Perry directly at slperry@pereion.com.

Please also feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can subscribe to the Pereion blog below to continue receiving information on how MSPs can utilize inbound marketing strategies.

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1Inbound Methodology, HubSpot, 2014.
2The Data You Need to Make a Compelling Case for Inbound Marketing, HubSpot, 2014.
3IT Consultant NSK, Inc. Sees 207% Increase in New Client Revenue using Inbound, HubSpot, 2014.

Topics: Pereion Solutions, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Pereion

Build a MSP Marketing Plan That Will Increase Lead Generation

Posted by Greg Jackman

Mon, Feb 3, 2014 @ 13:02 PM

Last year, HubSpot released their ROI Report that leaves no doubt that the inbound marketing movement is alive and flourishing across all types of industries. According to the 2013 HubSpot ROI Report1, 93% of companies using inbound marketing have increased their lead generation2. The principles of inbound marketing should be incorporated into an overall MSP Marketing plan, there are solid proof points in the industry of success. For example, Paranet, a managed IT services and consulting firm, increased their monthly organic leads by 2000%, their web traffic by 148%, and their landing page conversions by 1000%3 by implementing inbound marketing practices with HubSpot.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of inbound marketing, it’s an online marketing methodology based on the idea of creating quality content around a product or service to educate potential clients. Inbound marketing practices include blogging, SEO, social media, webinars and other forms of content, like whitepapers or eBooks. As opposed to traditional outbound marketing tactics, like cold calling or sending email blasts, inbound marketing earns the attention of customers by aligning with their specific interests and focusing on naturally attracting leads through website traffic and lead nurturing.

So through MSP inbound marketing tactics, we aim to educate your prospects and clients about your solutions in order to improve your:

  • Traffic generation
  • Online lead generation
  • Conversion of leads to customers
  • Marketing automation and analytics 

MSP marketing transforms your marketing and enables you to market to your clients in the way they buy. Your MSP marketing plan will need to address the needs of potential customers as they shop and research their options online.

Pereion provides MSP’s with the Inbound Marketing eBook for Managed Service Providers so you’re able to formulate an efficient MSP marketing plan. This eBook methodically walks you through everything that needs careful consideration within the MSP marketing process. Pay special attention to the specific tactics identified as part of an overall MSP marketing plan, including:

  • Targeting your blogging practices
  • Implementing appropriate SEO methods
  • Essential involvement on social media forums
  • Aligning digital advertising with your overall plan
  • Researching for suitable offers for clients in each of the 3 funnel positions
  • Scheduling lead nurturing emails

To download our Inbound Marketing eBook for Managed Service Providers, please click on:

MSP Inbound Marketing

We would welcome your feedback, so if you’d like to discuss your own MSP marketing goals or challenges, please take advantage of the comment section below. To learn more about our MSP marketing services or if you have any questions, please send an email to Steve Perry at slperry@pereion.com.

Please feel free to share this blog using the social media icons above. You can also subscribe to the Pereion blog below to receive additional tips on MSP marketing strategies.

 

1 Return on Investment from Inbound Marketing through Implementing HubSpot Software, HubSpot, January 2013.

2 93% of Companies Using Inbound Marketing Increase Lead Generation [New ROI Data], Hubspot, February 2013.

3 Paranet Increases Organic Leads By 2000% Using HubSpot, HubSpot.

 

Pereion Solutions                   Pereion Solutions Blog

Topics: Pereion Solutions, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Pereion, VAR Marketing

New Channel Incentive Payment Solution for Service Providers

Posted by Steven Perry

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 @ 07:04 AM

The shifts in the IT marketplace to Cloud delivery models is well underway, SaaS and Managed Service providers are all evolving their business models and creating new channels to sell their solutions.   These evolving business models and new channels are creating many new business opportunities, successful cloud service providers of all types including SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and managed service providers are developing new channel distribution models and deploying new fee structures to their channel partners. 

There is significant debate in the market about how to design the right incentive or fee structures for channel partners that are reselling or referring SaaS or managed service offerings.  While there is significant debate and experimentation on incentive models and fee structures, regardless of that fee structure, successful service providers need the processes and tools to implement and manage those channel incentive payments. The complexity in this environment is driven by the recurring revenue model, variability in offerings and fee structures, and ultimately the volume of channel partners or partner sales representatives. 

NetCommissions Incentive Payment Solution

 

 

 

 

Pereion Solutions and NetCommissions are teaming together to bring to market a Channel Incentive Payment Solution that is uniquely able to handle the needs of Cloud Service providers of all types that are going to market through channel partners and require a system with the flexibility to handle recurring fee payments across multiple offerings and a number of channel partners.  Pereion Solutions brings channel management skills and experience in developing and managing channel incentive programs.  NetCommissions has a proven platform to manage and implement commission and incentive payment systems.

Companies in the initial stages of building their indirect channel often manage incentives and fees with off line systems such as spreadsheets. This approach makes sense when the partner count is low and the complexity of the process is manageable. The technology is ubiquitous and trained support staff is relatively easy to find.

Channel compensation approaches for the cloud based SaaS market where fees and incentives are linked to contracts that span multiple years pose many challenges, but clearly one of the most daunting is how best to managing incentives in a SaaS world of recurring subscription revenue streams. This process often involves tracking and matching, bookings, service delivery and invoices to rules which define each channel partner’s contract and commission fee schedule.

Complications typically arise because as your partner network grows so does the complexity of channel incentives. Overlay a growing product portfolio and spreadsheet based systems typically reach a breaking point. Research has shown that as one tries to scale a spreadsheet based process, the incidence of human error increases as does the level of effort to manage the process.

This solution overcomes this obstacle by enabling you to improve the value of your investments in channel commissions & fees and eliminate the excess effort you put into administering channel incentives. How?

Ease of use: Point and click interface targeted for the skill set of a business analyst. The NetCommissions platform enables managers to easily administer the process, maintain their channel hierarchy and easily set up the business rules that drive incentive calculations.

Cloud based: Take full advantage of our web based approach that is scalable, sustainable and requires little to no IT support or skills.

Ensure Timely and Accurate Payments: Take advantage of a robust platform built to streamline and support the unique needs of sales incentive compensation.

Save Time:  Save yourself time administering a manual process and instead focus that critical time on activities with higher strategic impact.

Improve communication: Crisp and clear reporting builds trust and loyalty within the channel.

As a channel manager, if you are managing a growing SaaS or Managed Services channel business than you may want to consider a cloud based Channel Incentive Management software solution that ensures that your channel management process is streamlined, efficient and delivers tremendous value to your business. 

 

Contact Me - Channel Incentive Solution

 

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Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Management, MSP, Pereion, SAAS

Leverage Inbound Marketing for MSP Marketing Plan!

Posted by Steven Perry

Fri, Oct 5, 2012 @ 13:10 PM

If you are building a Managed Service Provider or MSP business then you need to consider how to optimize your marketing to be more efficient and compete in today's crowded cloud environment.  Everyone is racing to the ubiquitous cloud, you need to find new ways to get your offerings in front of the right prospects at the right time.  Given the shift to recurring revenue models inherent to a MSP business model, you need to consider how to lower the cost of a lead if you are going to maintain an affordable marketing expense position.  Based on a 2011 study conducted by HubSpot an inbound marketing lead costs 62% less than an outbound marketing lead.

Inbound Marketing 

 

What is Inbound Marketing?  

Inbound Marketing is a process that leverages a series of online tools, such as Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Blogs, Landing Pages, and Analytics to deliver improved ROI with your marketing investment. An Inbound Marketing methodology consists of four key elements:

  • Driving increased traffic to your website
  • Generating leads from the traffic
  • Converting those leads to sales
  • Then measuring and analyzing your results  

Inbound marketing should not be the sole element of your MSP marketing plan, but it needs to be part of the mix.  Customers shopping for Managed Services are clearly searching for and researching options online, an MSP marketing plan needs to reflect that. When you combine the practical realities of where clients of these services look for information with the need to improve the marketing ROI in a shifting business model, a good Inbound marketing plan is imperative.  

To learn more about Inbound Marketing, you can request a copy of a Guide to Internet Marketing below. If you are interested in taking the next step, we do offer an Inbound Marketing Assessment which will give you a perspective of where you stand today and can help you understand where you stack up against your competition. 

 Request Internet  Marketing Whitepaper

 

Topics: Channel Marketing, MSP, MSP Marketing, Inbound Marketing

Building an MSP Ecosystem

Posted by Steven Perry

Thu, Sep 27, 2012 @ 12:09 PM

Yesterday IBM announced a new Managed Service Provider or MSP program, I had the opportunity to sit through the global announcement.  It was strong announcement on IBM's part in that it laid out a clear and compelling set of benefits for MSP partners.  The IBM press release for the announcement can be found at the following link: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/38943.wss.  The new program provides differentiated offerings and benefits to MSP partners in the following areas: 

  • Access to IBM offering and Global Centre's 
  • New marketing and sales support options
  • Leverages IBM PureSystems and SmartCloud offerings
  • Innovative Financing Options

It is clear that IBM is now serious about building out there own MSP Ecosystem that will allow them to more effectively sell into that market. While it was a good announcement on IBM's behalf, the market does expect this level of support from IBM and other vendors as well.

Ecosystem is one of those consulting words, that can seem a bit theoretical. However, in the MSP environment it is real. 

The challenge really lies in front of the Managed Service Providers themselves in creating their own Partner Ecosystem.  In addition to building out the physical offerings they need to provide, they need to rethink the partnerships they have and the way they go to market. 

  • What software partnerships will they maintain? 
  • What hardware or service partnerships will they leverage? 
  • Will they create a partner sales channel to sell their offerings?
  • Will that be a resale or referral model?  
  • What are the economics of an MSP or Cloud channel delivery model?
  • Is the go to market model efficent enough to support a partner channel based on the margin structure? 
  • What is required to enable and manage this new channel? 
  • Does the model change if they play at different layers in the Cloud stack, i.e. SAAS vs PAAS vs IAAS? 

While the large technology vendors are used to dealing with these questions, this is new ground for many firms that are new to the MSP market and historically have played in more traditional business models. It is clear that the marketplace shift is real and that those MSPs that find the way to build their own robust Ecosystem of partners with the right channel model will be the winners.  It will be an interesting journey.  If you need a partner to help navigate this journey, give us a call.

Request MSP Channel Development Consult

Topics: Pereion Solutions, Channel Consulting Services, MSP

About this blog

This blog provides insight and tips on Customer Experience Analytics, especially in the usage of Acoustic Experience Analytics (Tealeaf) and Acoustic Analytics (CXA) to optimize web and mobile experience.

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