When I talk with owners of IT businesses, it is not uncommon to hear that that they have enough clients and do not need to do any marketing. Another common retort is that “We only do marketing when we don’t have enough business”. Using marketing in this way is wrong! It should never be applied as a quick fix for diminishing turnover! If used properly, marketing may have prevented you ever being in that quagmire. Below are four reasons why attitudes to marketing need to change and how marketing regularly, can secure and firm up your business.
Going to market in a regular and consistent way, prevents you and your values being forgotten:
When you first won your customer, they had a great understanding of what you offered, as well as the values and personality of your company. Are you confident that after a few years have passed that that your business and the customers is exactly the same? Will your customer remember those values that made them choose you? With every month that passes, chances are that your customer becomes less ‘ In Sync’ with your company, to the point that some stakeholders or influencers, in their business, may not even know who you are!
In addition, there can be a small pile of dissatisfaction that builds over time, it could be a simple as someone who thought you took too long to reset their password, or that occasion the whole office lost connectivity for an hour. Without ongoing marketing activity, these things fester to become the things the customer remembers. As you communicate less, these things can start to damage your reputation making it an easy decision to choose someone else to provide services. By marketing and engaging with your customers regularly, you keep your company and services at the forefront, and minimize the risk of reputation damage or losing customers to your competition.
Regular marketing helps to shape and grow your customer base:
As Resellers and MSPs grow, they may look to target different territories and audiences. You may only be making simple changes such as taking on a new vendor for backup services. All of this means that you need to go to market and you will need to look at new data to reach these prospects. A key elements, to help shape this is… You have guessed it, marketing! By changing your strategy and messaging you will help shape your customer and prospect base, and understand what activity appeals and works with differing target audiences. Sending out an email with a catch all approach won’t allow you to fine tune your strategies to get better results.
Fill your funnel with marketing:
As mentioned previously, too many companies use marketing as a knee jerk reaction to a lack of business. Just going to market when the order book is looking empty is not the solution. Nor is becoming complacent when you feel that you have enough business. You should always strive to be filling the top of your sales funnel with prospects, ready to flow through to become customers. This will deliver the benefit of being able to choose the customers you want to work (based on profit or the effort required to service them). In addition, it affords you a database of companies that you can dive into if business starts to slow.
Marketing helps to secure your future:
Marketing in a regular and consistent way helps to secure the future of your company. Whilst you may feel that you have enough business right now, are you confident it will be the same in six months? A year, or three years? Business owners who understand the need to market, don’t wait for sales to drop off, they sow the seeds and start moving prospects through the sales funnel to ensure the business has a secure and stable sales pipeline for the future.
It’s great that your company currently has enough customers and the team is busy servicing their needs. Congratulations, I know it took blood, sweat and tears but to be honest it only proves that your business is viable right now. By starting to market in a regular and consistent way, not only will protect your current clients, but also create a pipeline of new prospects, giving your business an insurance policy for the future.