Hey there! We hope you’re having a great start to the year.
In this month’s TPM Take, we’ll look at the different ways in which you can optimize your marketing strategy for success in 2018.
Our first take focuses on a new B2B influencer marketing model for reaching the right decision makers in your industry. The second article covers everything you need to know about setting your marketing budgets in 2018. This is followed by our last take, which explains how to create a future-proof go-to-market strategy that puts you above competitors.
So, let’s dive right in. Here are the top marketing tips, strategies, and tricks that will help you start the New Year on the right foot.
The 1:9:90 Model: A New Approach to B2B Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing will play an essential role for MSPs in 2018. By working with the right influencers, MSPs will have the ability to reach targeted audiences online, and drive massive amounts of traffic back to their sites. The key to creating an effective B2B strategy is to use the 1:9:90 Model. This model can help you identify the top 1%, top 9% and top 90% influencers in your industry.
- The 1%: These are the top influencers in your industry. They have the power to change a market by speaking, writing, tweeting or publishing a post. They can launch new product categories, create new market categories, and bring a lot of awareness to a brand. There are usually 50-100 top 1% influencers in any given industry.
- The 9%: These are the early adopters. The enthusiasts who are most likely to recommend a new service to their audience and share their experience using the product. They typically comment on posts, download content, and sign up for newsletters to give their audience valuable insights.
- The 90%: The 90% represent the majority of your market. They use Google to find out about services and use the opinions of the 1% and 9% to make purchase decisions. You’ll have a better chance of achieving mass adoption of your product if you can convince the top 1% and 9% influencers to talk about your services.
The best way to find the right influencers for your marketing campaigns is to start with a detailed buyer persona. Our article, Buyer Persona Content Marketing: Using Buying Cycles & Influencers explains all the steps you must follow to create one.
Planning for 2018: The MSP’s Guide to Marketing Budgets
As a general rule of thumb, MSPs with earnings under $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their total revenue to marketing. If you’re a newer company (one to five years old), you should increase your marketing investment to 12 – 20 percent of your total revenue.
Most of your marketing budget should go towards finding the right marketing staff or agency to carry out your activities. Once you have a dedicated marketing team on board, focus on branding, developing your site, and growing your social media presence.
Content marketing and email marketing should also be included in your marketing strategy, as they’re proven to generate the highest ROI for MSPs.
Just make sure you measure the performance of your marketing activities against industry benchmarks so you can determine whether they’re having any real impact on your business.
Before you go ahead and commit to a budget for the year, you need to have a good understanding the marketing trends that will shape how MSPs do business in 2018. In our article, 45 Marketing Statistics to Help You Prepare for 2018, we cover the most important trends to keep in mind.
5 Steps to Future-Proof Your Go-to-Market Strategy for Cloud Services
Creating an effective, future-proof go-to-market strategy for your service offerings is the best way to stand out from competitors. You can protect yourself from any road bumps you encounter along the way by following five simple tips:
- Tip 1: Look at a trend, not just a blip. Start your go-to-market strategy by identifying relevant business drivers. Business drivers are the underlying reasons for developing and launching your new solution or service. For example, revenue goals, customer interests, or industry developments.
- Tip 2: Know the best target customer for your solution. Always focus on developing specific target audiences for your services. This will help you figure out which qualities make up the best fit for your solution and allow you to pinpoint where you should allocate your sales and marketing efforts.
- Tip 3: Go beyond just keeping a close eye on the competition. Take your competitor analysis a step further by seeking out the business value behind your competitor’s decisions instead of merely looking at what they’re doing. Think about how your competitor’s new product affects their revenues, customer base, profitability, or market share.
- Tip 4: Gauge your technology partner’s true capabilities. Most cloud projects fail because their technology partner is unable to deliver the needed requirements. You can prevent this from happening to you by only working with technology partners who offer integration and flexibility as part of their cloud services solution.
- Tip 5: Leave room for instinct and gut-feeling. Not every marketing decision can be made using data. Sometimes you just have to go with your experience and intuition to decide what’s best. For example, you can track end-user experience with metrics like response times, throughput, and invocation time. However, you’ll still need to rely on your intuition to determine the effectiveness of any changes you make.
Understanding your customer’s needs is critical to the success of your go-to-market strategy. In our article, Understanding Customer Needs & Expectations of the Cloud, we explain how you can better understand the needs and expectations of your customers.