MSP Summit/CP Leadership Summit: Experts Speak to the Power of AI, Other Tools for Effective MarketingMSP Summit/CP Leadership Summit: Experts Speak to the Power of AI, Other Tools for Effective Marketing
In three to five years, 80% of what marketers do will be dependent on artificial intelligence.
September 15, 2022
MSP SUMMIT/CHANNEL PARTNERS LEADERSHIP SUMMIT — Allison Bergamo knows the power of artificial intelligence (AI) for marketing. Bergamo, principal at Bergamo Marketing Group, uses that kind of AI at her firm because, she said, she wants to be ahead of the curve. Bergamo wouldn’t be wrong. As statistics go, in three to five years, 80% of what marketers do will be dependent on this type of technology.
Bergamo Marketing Group’s Allison Bergamo
However, “it’s not plug and play,” said Bergamo, who added that marketers will have to use clean, unstructured data with some of the technology.
Bergamo was part of a panel of marketing experts who spoke at the MSP Summit/Channel Partners Leadership Summit in Orlando on Thursday. Their advice to the audience spanned from using artificial intelligence technology, to how to master relationships, to learning ways to market on a budget. The latter couldn’t be more relevant for MSPs, they said.
Even though many MSPs are small and have finite resources, that doesn’t mean they should neglect marketing.
“You can find money in your budget to allocate toward this. It’s important,” said Marcial Velez (pictured right, above), CEO at Xperteks Computer Consultancy. “Historically MSPs grow about 10% [annually]. If you want to outperform that rate, you’ve got to invest in this.”
And the investment doesn’t have to be expensive, the panelists said. One can be technologically savvy about marketing without spending a lot of money. Velez said digital business cards are a great example because they can share information beyond someone’s name and company affiliation. Social media and blog posts can also be exchanged with this tool.
“You can now start connecting to the content that you want your customers to see right away. You can now show your story,” he said.
Charlene Ignacio, CEO (pictured middle, above) at The CMO Guru, HireXPro, also agreed that simplicity goes a long way. She likened it to the difference between buying an expensive Mercedes (a euphemism for a pricey marketing program) and buying a Honda. Everyone thinks they need the Mercedes, she said, even though a Honda can get you where you need to go.
“A Honda works perfectly. It will last you 20 years longer, and the maintenance is lower,” Ignacio said. “When it comes to marketing, I like to do simple things because marketing can become like a black hole (of costs).”
However, knowing whether to use cost-effective AI and digital business card tools presumes a certain baseline knowledge by a company’s team. If a firm doesn’t have that knowledge and needs a marketing program to attain those kind of resources, where do they begin?
Finding a company to outsource one’s marketing may be a good first step. And a firm might have luck initially finding marketers who understand its business model. However, the panelists said the likely scenario is that one’s first choice of marketers will not work out. Be prepared to fail, they said. But fail fast.
Take Reggie Stevens (pictured left, above), CEO at Iris Solutions, for example. In 2018, Stevens acquired Iris Solutions and set out to find a marketing team.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said.
It turns out neither did the marketers. Yet Stevens didn’t spend his time begrudging the fact that he didn’t get the professionals he needed to promote his company.
The pandemic made life even more complicated. Stevens knew he needed to keep his community of customers engaged differently because many people were working remotely.
He was steadfast and found another marketing firm.
“You know, we had this freak-out moment and we just went back to the basics and started experimenting,” he said about his work with the new marketing team. “We began differently.”
And he started to see results, but it took a year. This is not unusual for marketing initiatives.
Establishing reasonable expectations around how much time it takes to generate a marketing pipeline is critical, he said. It takes a commitment.
However, it’s even more granular than that. It’s a 24/7 process, Velez said.
“I think the modern marketer today is someone who looks at marketing more than just an activity,” he said. “You should automate these systems so that you’re continually outreaching and doing things for your existing customers and prospecting for any of your clients.”
He added: “It takes someone with a really holistic view.”
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