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MSP Marketing Red Flags

MSP Marketing Red Flags: 10 Missing Pieces For Growing Your MSP With Digital Marketing

Although the managed services industry is thriving and growing on the whole, many MSPs on the ground are struggling to stand out, get found, and start new prospect conversations.  

Your MSP’s marketing and sales efforts are crucial for this, but to open the doors to prospect conversations you need to use the right keys.  

These 10 red flags are valuable signs that your MSP’s marketing could be improved. By dealing with these alone, you’ll be able to stand out from the vast majority of your competition. Let’s dive in!

1. You don’t have a marketing strategy 

It’s not about what you have at any point – it’s how you use it. 

As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail! Consistency and effort are fundamental when all is said and done, but a good marketing strategy will help you to prioritise your efforts and multiply the return that you get from your efforts. Planning is your marketing multiplier! 

Know your market, your audience, how to reach them, how your services and products can serve them, and how they think about them, craft a message, position your brand, and then bring it all together with an actionable and measurable plan.  

2. Your MSP’s website is not up to scratch 

A website that is not up-to-date, appealing and persuasive is one that will lose many potential leads among the first hurdles! Because your website is your digital flagship for marketing your MSP online, this is a key area we focus on as an MSP marketing agency. There are free resources you can access to get you on the right track:  

Our website conversion checklist blog gives you a full guide for improving your website, and our website assessment tool helps you to see where your website stands and ask the right questions for improving it. 

3. Your brand is bland 

Is your brand something of a blank canvas?  

Your brand is your business’s persona; it is the front-face of your business and people have varying levels of awareness, trust, and endearment to it. An MSP with an overly professional veneer, one that uses excessive business-ese and abstract language can risk not only joining a pool of similar noise, they’re also going to struggle to engage their audience at a deeper level.  

Like a person, make your brand unique, noticeable, authentically expressive, and known for something. It can be professional and serious in its demeanour if that’s what resonates with you, just make sure your message and story is unique.  

For example, at Wingman MSP Marketing, we lean into aviation-focused messaging in how we brand our services (we’re getting Concorde back in vogue!) and messaging which reflects our beloved founder, Dave’s, passion for flying. Be wary that, being something for everyone is going to fade your brand’s message into the crowd of noise! White is in all of the colours yes, but it’s the contrast between distinctive colours that really appeals and gets our attention!  

4. You aren’t measuring your MSP’s digital marketing

As Peter Drucker suggests, we can’t manage what we can’t measure. Measuring your marketing is your key to understanding what works and what doesn’t, it’s also a way of keeping your pulse on your progress.  

Especially if you’re a startup MSP, seeing a tangible return on your marketing can take time, but by measuring variables like followers, engagement, and prospect conversions, you can put your progress into context and remind yourself that your marketing is making an impact.  

5. You don’t have irresistible offers 

If they want apples, give them apples! 

What is an irresistible offer? It’s an offering such as a call to action that speaks deeply to the interests and desires that are on your prospects’ minds, right now! In principle, the more it’s on their mind, the more a CTA about it will grab their interest.  

Under business-as-usual conditions, a prospect in the financial services industry may not be swayed to get a consultation for example, but they may be swayed to get a gap analysis about their compliance with a new Rule coming in from the SEC.  

6. You’re not differentiating your MSP’s value proposition 

If you’re too generic about who you help, how, why, and with what means, your message won’t resonate as vividly with the people you’re best positioned to help!  

Focus on what your target market want and need, how they frame those things, and then speak to that wherever they are with your products, services, and how you do business. Your value proposition includes other broader but just as important elements such as your business’s ethos, values and culture. Your proposition is not just material, it’s psychological.  

Just last week, our director, Mark, ran a marketing clinic with a solopreneur. He had just moved to the US from Europe, was working on his kitchen table and hadn’t won a single client.  

He was aiming to target financial and healthcare institutions, but he didn’t have a value proposition! Yet, he was aiming for some of the hardest clients to reach. Hopefully this is not your situation, but if you feel your messaging doesn’t stand out and entice, there’s definitely an opportunity to make transformative leaps in progress!  

7. You use vendor/generic content for your MSP’s content marketing 

Being a copy-cat is easy, but it makes getting results hard! 

If your content begins with “in today’s digital world” there’s a good chance about half of your readers will let out a sigh. Why? They know what’s coming; generic, quite unhelpful, bland, and repetitive content. Yikes!  

There are two key pitfalls here:  

  • Using generative AI tools for content such as ChatGPT 
  • Using vendor-sourced content 

Even worse, when the two are combined (i.e. a vendor uses ChatGPT to create content and then distributes that out for MSPs to use), not only will this be repetitive and rather bland, search engines like Google will notice and tend to down-rank pages with this content – it’s algorithm will attempt to show the original or most trustworthy version of the same content online.  

If you’re scarce on time, these methods can be of some help, but the key is to personalise them so that they are more relevant and unique, and thus more findable and readable.  

8. You aren’t being consistent!  

Great things take time, and they unfold gradually, and then suddenly. This is exactly why consistency is so important for your MSP’s marketing success. Consistency paired with reflection will get your MSP’s marketing ahead of most of the others in the market!  

One of the great things about consistency is that it encourages innovation when you have an open mindset – the more you do your marketing, the better you’re going to get at it. Act, reflect, and act again to get the most out of the consistency principle.  

Paired with measurement, your gradual progress is going to give you some jet fuel, a positive feedback loop, that will start mounting in your favour; it’s just a matter of time – and effort!  

9. You lack social proof for your MSP

Some MSPs have been in the businesses for decades but they don’t really talk about this! Some have many opportunities to collect reviews/testimonials, but don’t.  

Social proof is key because it lowers the perceived risk of doing business with your MSP, while bringing up your perceived value.  

If you’re lacking testimonials, reviews, case studies, or the right messaging and look on your online and material marketing collateral, know that you can make the process of selling yourself easier for you, and your audience! It’s also relative; ask yourself, ‘how strong is my social proof compared to my competition?’ 

10. Your online presence is lacking (Google Business Profile & Bing Places Profile)  

This is a big one! Some MSPs lack a listing on search engines like Google and Bing which can help them to get found, the first key step on the journey to creating conversations.  

When people search for IT services or even your business itself on Google or Bing, the first thing they’re going to see is your Google Business or Bing Places profile. Our website conversion checklist has handy tips you can use to build a stand-out profile on both platforms.   

Bonus: You’re not influencing on social media!


Every MSP has a sphere of influence that they can expand 

You’ve probably noticed that marketing has moved in its ethos from products to personality, and your MSP needs to follow suit! Alongside the personality of your MSP’s brand, you need to use your own personality to build a circle of influence online.  

Personal branding is important, which can be a rather tricky thing to hear for the more introverted MSP leaders out there! If that’s you, not to worry; influencing should be tailored to what feels authentic to you, rather than to the images that people think of when the word ‘influencer’ comes to mind.  

Influencing takes three key ingredients: consistency, thought leadership, and personality:  

Engage consistently: Consistency also applies to building a following around yourself! Here though, be consistent in your relationship-building and engagement with others. Marketing used to be more of a one-way street; it now goes both ways.  

Thought leadership: Focus relentlessly on the questions, big and small, that your audience care about. Make their lives easier, speak to their interests, make their day a little better, make it all digestible and actionable for them, be generous with the value you provide. Show up where they are! 

Personality: People love personality! Let your personality stand out, don’t be afraid to be passionate and get your voice heard, and make yourself memorable.  

The green flags of MSP marketing success

Quite simply, the opposite of the 10 red flags!  

  • A Cutting-Edge Website: Your MSP’s website is regularly updated, visually appealing, and persuasively designed, serving as an effective digital flagship that captures and retains potential leads. 
  • A Marketing Strategy: You have a well-defined marketing strategy that helps in prioritising efforts, reaching the right audience, and maximising the returns on your marketing investments. 
  • Distinctive Brand: Your brand is unique, authentically expressive, and stands out in the market, making it memorable and engaging to your target audience. 
  • Measurement of Marketing Efforts: You consistently measure your marketing activities, which helps in understanding what strategies work best and tracking the progress of your marketing efforts. 
  • Irresistible Offers: Your MSP creates compelling offers that are directly aligned with the current needs and desires of your prospects, enhancing the likelihood of conversion. 
  • Strong Differentiation: Your MSP’s value proposition is clearly differentiated, resonating emotionally with prospects and effectively distinguishing your services in a crowded market. 
  • Customised Content Creation: You create unique and personalised content, steering clear of generic phrasing and repetitive information, serving to drive engagement and SEO performance. 
  • Consistency: Your marketing efforts are consistent, fostering gradual and significant improvements and innovations in your strategies over time. 
  • Strong Social Proof: Your MSP leverages testimonials, case studies, and reviews to their potential, making it easier for your prospects to take the next step with you.  
  • Strong Online Presence: Your MSP maintains a strong presence on major search platforms like Google, Bing, and social media platforms. 
  • Influential Presence: You consistently build your influence through engaging thought leadership and a distinctive personality. 

Seeing red? Let’s get your MSP marketing in the green! 

Don’t fret if your MSP fits some of these red flags, an MSP that doesn’t have at least one is as rare as a unicorn! With awareness of what can be improved, you can shift the situation step by step.  

We’re here to give you a hand and a steer should you need it. If you haven’t already, consider one of our free services to get your MSP’s marketing on the path to success!  

Our free website review and action plan will give you the actionable insights and fundamentals that you need to get found and engage your prospects online.  

Our website benchmarking tool gives you a score and a handy, actionable checklist of questions that you can use to transform your website into a market leader.  

Have questions about your MSP’s marketing and need a trusty sounding board? We can do that too. Simply connect with us for an informal chat and we’ll be glad to meet and help you. 

That’s all for now, until next time, have a great week ahead! 

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