As a business owner, it’s important to take a step back every so often and examine the processes that drive your organization. Even though your plate is probably piled high with things to do, diligent maintenance of your operation will save you time, headaches, and money in the long run.
Over the years, we’ve found that many MSP owners fail to keep tabs on their own marketing efforts. Many rely on an outside agency, freelancers, or other parties to manage their marketing and then assume that everything is being handled correctly.
This is not an assumption you want to make. In fact, when you’re paying outside vendors to provide marketing services, you should watch their work closely to ensure that you’re getting a worthwhile return on your investment.
Common Issues with Marketing Service Providers
The YSE team has evaluated the marketing of numerous MSPs and Channel vendors. We often find issues such as these:
- Marketing vendors/freelancers that are not doing the work they promised.
- SEO companies that are not managing a website properly.
- Agencies that are not following basic digital marketing best-practices.
- Paid marketing tools or services that are not being used.
- Agencies and services that are not producing results.
Each of these problems means wasted money and false hope for the MSP owner who thought that his marketing was under control. Still these issues usually go unnoticed — sometimes for months or even years — because the MSP hasn’t had the time to evaluate the work.
How to Evaluate Your MSP’s Marketing
It can be challenging to appraise marketing services based on outcomes, especially early into a relationship with a freelancer or agency. It can often take months for marketing initiatives to gain traction and produce new leads or for SEO work to impact your Google ranking.
So how do you evaluate something as intangible and unpredictable (relatively speaking) as marketing?
We look at the plans that are laid out and the work that’s being done to execute them.
Here are a few ways that you can use this method to evaluate your own marketing:
1) Make sure there ARE plans.
A proper marketing strategy should not only convey intention, but also action. If a vendor promises you results but can’t show you a framework for how they intend to produce them, be wary.
2) See that plans and strategies have measurable milestones for execution.
Everything in marketing should be process-driven. From SEO to email marketing, you should be seeing a blueprint of how results are going to be produced from day one. These blueprints should have milestones that you can easily see, such as the addition of new content to the website, creation of landing pages, or the launch of a new campaign.
3) Ensure milestones are being met.
The plan means nothing without action. If you or your provider have laid out plans for deploying a marketing strategy, make sure there’s follow-through on the execution. Is the work being done and is it being done at a satisfactory level?
If your providers aren’t being transparent about what they’re doing, start asking questions.
4) Ask someone you trust to help check the work.
You may not know how to check the quality of SEO work or the viability of an email campaign, but there are plenty of professionals who are willing to help you. Our team provides complimentary 100-point Marketing Inspections to anyone who asks.
5) Consider the results you’re getting.
Marketing does take time, but at some point you will need to make a judgment call. If you feel a certain tool, service, or agency isn’t paying off, consider ending your relationship with them.
Also, if you’ve determined that a provider is NOT executing your marketing strategy as they described it to you (essentially charging you for work that they’re not doing), you should probably cut them loose without delay.
Remember, any money being wasted on agencies and providers who are not living up to expectations is money that could be spent on more lucrative marketing approaches.
Take Our MSP Marketing Self-Audit Quiz!
If you’d like to evaluate your current marketing, we would be happy to help. YSE marketing experts will conduct a thorough 100-Point Marketing Inspection using our proprietary auditing system in less than an hour. Fill out the form below if you’d like to schedule an evaluation.