Our world continues to change day by day. The new face of IT gets closer and closer to emerging from the chaos. Old features wash away under the waters of change as new features define themselves and are defined.
Change can bring hope and usually grows opportunity. While the current crisis isn’t really the opportunity anyone wanted, it’s what’s on hand. Due to the massive push to work from home in response to shelter-in-place orders, information technology is more relevant now than ever.
People need to be connected, they need to be able to work remotely when possible and they need it to all seem seamless. People need to know just how your company will make this possible for them. That’s where your marketing communications comes in.
In order to plan an IT campaign, in general, especially as a managed service provider (MSP), you have to look at the trends that are happening in the world, how they impact and are impacted by your offerings, and how to effectively and meaningfully nurture leads even in bad times to survive. The way we work is changing day by day, and so are the requirements.
Companies are looking to cut costs where possible and to aim for predictability and risk reduction over lifetime costs. Sometimes, to thrive, you just have to survive for a while. Each company is different and your offerings and your marketing will have to be adapted to fit your prospects. Let’s start with where we are and what changes are happening for IT.
What’s Happening Now?
The COVID-19 crisis has brought the world’s economies to their knees and continues to affect daily life and business. There’s no real getting around the fact that this is one of the largest changes many of us have seen in our lifetimes.
For IT departments and MSPs, there is a lot of pressure to provide seamless work-from-home solutions that work around the clock. People expect help with their business hardware or software whenever they’re working. What is your company doing to address these concerns and how are you showcasing it?
In times of uncertainty, I find that among the first things most companies cut are their marketing and sales programs. While this is understandable, it is also typically shortsighted. IT services are still necessary, and 24/7 help desks are increasingly necessary. Your marketing team can prove crucial to your business if you do it right.
What Does This Mean For Your Campaign?
As companies look to cut costs, show prospects your value and see if you can make them an offer to reduce their costs while bringing you business. Don’t undercut to undercut, but create and advertise relevant new offerings to attract some business. Let them know how you can help to make their lives easier.
I’m finding that many corporate help desks can’t handle the new influx of work. They may be forced to move from traditional 8-to-5 to 24/7 schedules, whether they want to or not. The rush to get everyone working from home steadily without being able to control the environment is creating new pressures for many businesses. Especially for those who don’t know what’s available or how to use it, how can you help them?
Needs are changing, and very few companies were ready. Shift your campaign to connect to their needs. Don’t sell false hope, but take an authentic and meaningful approach to help them help themselves.
Going From Surviving To Thriving
Is your company in a position where it can survive some risk? Is it in a place where its model can survive or adapt? Sometimes just surviving is the closest thing to thriving a company can do in difficult times, and that’s okay. Focus on what keeps your company functioning, which may mean cutting marketing to the bare minimum. But please try to keep something going for your own sake.
Considering economic changes, what do your prospects look like now? What offerings do you have that fit the change in how businesses function today? How can you create awareness of how your company can help? Finally, how do you gain a prospect’s willingness to take the risk to change?
What do your clients want and need, how do you provide it and how relevant is everything else to your sale? These questions can help you focus your campaign.
If your company offers cloud services, IT solutions or projects, or anything that helps people work remotely, remember that people are in need of help and support during this challenging time. What do you bring to your community to solve their issues? As a marketer, once you answer this, it’s up to you to communicate it effectively.