MSP Marketing

MSP Marketing Questions Answered: Essential FAQs for Growth in IT Services

In the dynamic world of technology, Managed Service Provers (MSPs) and other IT services firms have a lot to consider when it comes to marketing to drive growth and success. With a core focus on this market, Magnetude has a unique understanding of the key challenges and opportunities in IT services marketing, and we get a lot of really good questions from our IT and MSP clients and network—questions that are actionable and provide great insight for other firms looking to grow. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of these frequently asked questions for firms looking to market the right way in today’s environment.

From budgeting considerations to resourcing (and outsourcing) to strategy pivots, this blog covers the essential topics that matter most to your business. Our goal is to inform your strategy and empower your IT services and MSP marketing efforts. So, whether you’re fine-tuning your existing strategy or looking to adopt new tactics, start here.

Looking for more answers? Check out our LinkedIn Live Office Hours or contact us for a custom consultation.


What should IT services firms expect from marketing?

 Expect marketing to meet clear goals for growth and/or lead generation that are benchmarked against competitor data—but customer acquisition is just one component. Marketing should also be engaging your current customer/client base, studying the competition, exploring gaps in the market, and raising the company’s visibility. You can and should expect a lot from marketing.


How do I know if my messaging is or isn’t working?

Great messaging accomplishes many objectives. It emphasizes the value to the user rather than the features of the product or service, highlighting how it can solve real pain points. It makes a clear or compelling statement more effectively than competitor messaging. It tells the same story across all teams and campaigns, and each message relates to the others so it doesn’t exist in a silo. Marketing frameworks that collect all the key themes and talking points in one document are great for keeping everyone on message.

Tip: Outside support provides a fresh and honest perspective about messaging and where it could improve. It’s easy to get so focused on your view of your business that you have trouble stepping back and evaluating your messaging objectively. An IT services and MSP marketing agency will bring not just clarity and objectivity, but also diverse client experience and a breadth of industry knowledge that can help to identify unique market opportunities and tailor messages to resonate more strongly with the target audience. This external perspective can help you avoid the “echo chamber” effect, where internal biases and preconceived notions unintentionally impact your messaging.


How do new products/services affect marketing and sales efforts?

Any new offering, no matter how small, requires a go-to-market plan along with the requisite sales and marketing materials—and all of it must be in place before launch. Separate from that is a campaign targeted at current and former customers/clients. In both, the new offering should feel like a natural and exciting extension of what existed before rather than something “bolted on.” To that end, rethink how sales and marketing strategies need to change around the new offering, and investigate if the competitive landscape has changed as a result of the new offer.


Do you need a CMO or just marketing support?

Today, marketing is so specialized that one person never has the time or skills to handle everything themselves. One mid-level generalist may have technical or strategic gaps. One senior level marketer will struggle to execute everything. The closest thing to a one-size-fits-all strategy is having dynamic and scalable marketing resources to draw on as circumstances demand. Flexibility is what everyone needs. The right marketing partner can be thought of as “managed marketing services”—akin to how IT services firms and MSPs work with their own clients.

As you work to supplement the marketing team, use this free eBook to help select a high-impact marketing partner suitable for IT Services firms and MSPs in particular.


How big should the marketing budget be?

For reference, Gartner suggests that businesses in the $10-50 million range should spend at least 6.5% of revenue on marketing, but even more important is tailoring that investment. Marketing spending goes to people (employees, agencies, freelancers), technology (automation, point solutions), and out-of-pocket expenses (events, sponsorship, advertising), but the mix varies widely based on what’s feasible and what’s the desired outcome. It’s important to be sure you’re spending enough to get value out of marketing—by strategically investing in quality marketing efforts, you can be more efficient with your budget long-term.


What marketing metrics should be tracked?

For lead generation purposes, start by tracking things like quality website visits or deep social media engagements, because while these people aren’t officially leads yet, their interest suggests that marketing has some momentum. Next, qualify leads as first MQLs and then SQLs and track as they move down the sales pipeline. No matter what metrics you’re looking at—lead gen, SEO, email, Google, LinkedIn—compare them to competitor benchmarks, and look at the bad (bounce rates, unsubscribes) as much as the good.


How do you better leverage a relationship with a channel partner or vendor?

Your technology partners and vendors are an important part of your business. Some vendors are more engaged, flexible, and innovative than others, so identify which vendors fit your criteria (and which don’t) so you nurture the right relationships. Lean on them for things like collateral and programming, but beware of messages that are too skewed to the vendor. Don’t let market development funds (MDF), which some brands offer to their MSP partners to raise awareness and develop sales leads, go to waste, either. Using this money to commission reports, surveys, or research (anything original) provides great publicity and equally great support for marketing messages.


Can you measure the value of goodwill spending (like event sponsorship)?

Professional services firms need to always be thinking about serving the community and industry, not just the client, because it reinforces the position of the company as authentic and empathetic. Goodwill spending does exactly that, but you need to be realistic about the outcomes, which are not an immediate return but more a halo effect. Goodwill alone isn’t enough, either. It takes consistent content and persistent marketing and sales efforts to turn goodwill into deals.


How do we get more leads?

Increasing the quality and quantity of leads requires time, dedication, and strong alignment between sales and marketing—along with a long-term nurture campaign to convert those leads. There’s no silver bullet, but some underutilized sources for leads include referrals from current clients and posts on  employee or partner social media profiles. Paid channels such as LinkedIn ads, Google ads, or content syndication outlets like Netline can’t be ignored either.


For more detailed answers, you can watch our LinkedIn Live or download the free ebook mentioned earlier about finding right marketing firm for MSPs. If you have questions of your own to ask, please contact us.