5 Rules for Marketing IT Consulting Services
As the need for IT solutions increases, so does the need for businesses to increase their lead generation efficiency.
While you might consider upgrading your current lead management system, you can always follow these rules from TechTarget.com to achieve effective results for your marketing campaign.
Target your audience
One of the first steps you should consider as you organize an IT consulting marketing campaign is to go after a specific vertical.
That lets you target your message and value, instead of just being yet another IT services firm. For instance, Alpheon Corp., an MSP in Morrisville, N.C., focuses its message on healthcare companies. Although about a quarter of its clients aren’t in healthcare, it’s harder to get a new customer on the general merits of IT services alone, said the company’s president and CEO, Greg Donovan.
“The rest of that pie doesn’t have a hook. The healthcare industry has a hook, and that hook is HIPAA,” he said.
Develop a message
The bottom-line goal of any IT consulting marketing program is to provide a compelling reason for clients to sign up with you rather than a competitor – and this is especially important if you aren’t ready to target a specific audience. Technology Marketing Toolkit Inc. President Robin Robins said you should identify the main concerns your target prospects will have; for IT companies, this is often response time and quality of support. Your IT consulting marketing materials should make guarantees to alleviate your leads’ concerns, and if possible, you should supplement those guarantees with customer testimonials.
The most basic form of advertising is direct mail. For good leads – again, target the audience — you can follow this up with a phone call.
One common mistake is to send out a “pretty” postcard with a gimmicky message, Robins said. Companies often send these figuring that prospects will be more likely to read a short postcard than a lengthy sales letter, but a postcard is more obviously an advertisement and could get chucked by a secretary before a decision-maker even has a chance to see it, Robins said.
Establish yourself as an expert
Another successful IT consulting marketing technique is to establish yourself as an expert to your target audience by speaking at trade shows and publishing free articles. A typical conference costs about $5,000 – including flight, hotel and sponsorship fees – and the worst-case result is one new customer within 60 days, Donovan said.
Partnering with a noncompeting company can be a good way to help build your business, but there are some things to watch for, Robins said.