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How to create an MSP marketing audience

How to create an MSP marketing audience

In this second article of the series we will be looking at how to go about creating your own marketing audience, as explored in our recent video, linked here.

Firstly It’s important that you build a strong, local, and relevant audience for your service. You can do this by focusing on two key areas; the quality and quantity in your audience data. In the previous article – we calculated the makeup of your target audience, considered the demographic of your current customers, their size, industry, and location.

So what businesses are going to be a perfect fit?

Having considered the perfect target businesses that you would love to have on board as clients, we then looked at how to research statistics to understand the market opportunity by using the government data at hand. We then broke that information down to understand what our target focus should be.  

As we have already explored, the purpose of building an audience is to help ensure that your marketing best reaches your target prospective customers that are relevant to you, but you must also ensure that you are seen as being relevant to them.

How do you do that?

By grouping together targets by relevant factors (such as geographical location, or perhaps ideally industry vertical) you can deliver focused unique campaigns into each of those audience groups without narrowing your horizons. Each of the businesses within your audience groups are individual and, of course, have their own unique challenges. For marketing purposes, however, you must try to be relevant to them on an individual level while also being general enough to appeal to the broad demographic of that audience group. Remember these challenges are more likely to be commercial or operational challenges that you must address through technology rather than technically driven ones. This is why we recommend you build groups around like-minded personas (such as industry vertical) as the challenges surrounding the following are likely to be similar: 

  • Compliance – what is their regulatory burden?  
  • Applications – what apps do they use and what are the common challenges and pitfalls with them?
  • Priorities – what business priorities do they have?  
  • Security – what unique security implications must they consider?  
  • Workflow – what are their working practices?
  • Manpower – what job functions do they have, what do their staff do day-to-day? 

The starting point in creating any audience is to acquire raw data lists, either from traditional data houses or via an agency such as ourselves. You need to ensure that you not only acquire the organisations that meet your demographic profile but source several potentially relevant contacts within these organisations too. Remember that you don’t only need to be in front of the ultimate decision maker, critically you need to build profile with the influencers in that process too. That’s people like the finance manager, office manager, and any in-house IT contact (if they have one). All are potentially as equally important to the process as the individual who will ultimately sign off on the contract. 

Nine times out of ten the decision maker won’t be the one who will answer the phone initially. You will need to establish a relationship with the receptionist, secretary, or anyone with influence that answers the call and do your best to influence them to be beneficial to your cause – initial contact is often about creating a great and lasting first impression. This is unlikely to happen with just one interaction. A good relationship is built over time. Pitching on the first call is rarely successful unless a need is immediately identified. Early conversations should be conversational, exploratory, and broad in nature. A consultative approach as opposed to selling. The more you can find out about an organisation the greater you will understand their needs and pain points and ultimately offer solutions.  

I’m sure like many others you will have thought about GDPR while you have been reading this. You have  probably thought that GDPR will hinder your ability to act as outlined above but you would be wrong. GDPR and similar such legislation that has been designed to protect personally identifiable information does of course need to be a consideration in your sales and marketing activity. However, it is important to realise that it’s not designed to be a chokehold. The legislation is rightly intended to protect personal data from misuse, but it’s not intended to prevent companies from legitimately marketing themselves to their prospective audiences. 

Within GDPR exists what’s known as the legitimate interest clause, it is designed for this very circumstance. If you have spent time forming relevant audience lists of target contacts who would ordinarily be the people that would purchase your service (perhaps within the businesses that you already serve), it is reasonable to assume legitimate interest in those prospective contacts. Of course, should an individual request omission from your audience prospecting list you are obliged to comply and evidence that you have removed their data accordingly. Otherwise you are free to market to them.

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