Step 2—Identify the problems
Determine what problems your identified vertical has that you can solve. Once you have evaluated the problems and defined the solutions, you can create a story and messaging that speaks to those problem/solution sets. The story and messaging will be essential to creating your actual marketing materials.
Step 3—Compile a list of targets
Next you need to compile a list of identified businesses in your target area. Try and find out who the decision makers and gatekeepers are at each company to make sure you are speaking directly to the right people. Keep in mind that a good gatekeeper is designed to let the right vendors in while keeping the wrong vendors out. They are a great source of information and can help you pre-qualify or disqualify a potential client. (For more tips here, check out another of my blogs: 5 Ways to Get Past the Gatekeeper and Book More Meetings.)
Step 4—Get your message out
Now it’s time to start sending out your marketing messages. If you compiled your list from search engines or the phone book, keep in mind you do not have permission or an existing relationship to be able to send them email. Therefore, you should start with physical mail or phone calls where the call to action should be primarily to set a meeting, and secondarily to get permission/opt-in for more information.
Step 5—Get social
Another way to create a buzz is sharing relevant posts on social media. If you do not have a business Facebook page, create one. Start generating short blog-style posts that speak directly to the problems your target market faces. Use images and video to increase the attractiveness of your posts to make sure they get seen. If you want to accelerate the response to your posts, you can use paid promotion to boost those posts to a targeted demographic.
Step 6—Don’t give up
Whatever happens, be persistent and follow up. Like any marketing, consistency and persistence is key. Be consistent in your efforts for at least six months and do not forget to follow up with everyone who responds to your call to action quickly.
The most important thing is to identify the opportunities early so you are the first to market with your targeted messaging. With the lifetime value of a customer being highly dependent on the time a customer is with you, building a relationship with a prospect is worth the long-term value, even if it takes a while before they become a customer.
Eric Anthony is principal of customer experience at SolarWinds MSP. Before joining SolarWinds, Eric ran his own managed services provider business for over six years.
You can follow Eric on Twitter at @EricAnthonyMSP