Performing a SWOT Analysis on a Marketing Novice
If you’ve never really marketed your business, you’ve probably had a reason that you’ve avoided it. These reasons are likely quite valid…but we have a few reasons that you’ll want to reconsider that decision.
Let’s go over these reasons with you, framed in a specific way that we’ll explain later.
Why Never Really Having Marketed is a Good Thing
Let me ask you this: can you have any bad habits if you don’t have any habits at all? Nope—by definition, you can’t. This means you have a clean slate to work with as you cultivate good marketing habits moving forward.
It also means that you have the opportunity to start off on the right foot, taking the time to really research your area, establish who your target market is, and evaluate how well your target market is represented in your selected service area before you start trying things that ultimately won’t work. This saves you money, and primes you for success.
Why Never Having Marketed Puts You at a Disadvantage
Of course, you have to also consider that you don’t have any good habits, either. Anyone who has successfully marketed their business in the past will tell you that one of the most important elements to marketing successfully is to have been doing so consistently.
So, if you’ve yet to start marketing, you’ve got a ways to go before you’ll see the kind of results you’ll want to see. After all, your intended market will need to see your brand and marketing materials somewhat regularly before your materials will make them aware of your business and services. Therefore, making an impression is going to take longer.
Why Beginning Your Marketing Effectively Creates Possibility
Let me ask you this: who would you rather investigate, a business that says nothing about what it offers, or a business that has publicized an assortment of offers—who perhaps has even come and spoken about them at an event you attended, or sent out mailers that you found in your mailbox?
I mean, it really is the core purpose of marketing. You want to draw people who are interested in the services you offer to your business and what you specifically offer, reeling them in until they are convinced to sign up for your services—ideally, much to their delight. Therefore, by marketing, you are inviting your prospects to come in and have that conversation.
Why Not Marketing Your Business Puts You in a Tough Spot
Let’s go through a little thought experiment…let’s say that three children were to each open lemonade stands in a small town, close enough to each other that they were effectively competing for customers. One of these stands served watered-down lemonade from a mix, the next served run-of-the-mill homemade lemonade, and the third served an artisan homemade lemonade, using only the finest lemons and introducing unique flavors through the use of different fruits and herbs. However, the first two had their stands set up on a high-traffic street, whereas the third had her stand down a side street. If stand three doesn’t do any marketing, it’s completely possible that nobody would ever wander down that side street to try her lemonade in the first place.
While MSP services and lemonade are certainly very different things, the same concept applies…if people aren’t aware of your services (or indeed, what “managed services” are) they aren’t going to consider them as an option. Properly marketing helps to reduce this danger.
This Has Been Something Called a SWOT Analysis
When we create marketing plans for our clients, we ask them to take an introspective look at themselves and fill out a SWOT analysis…an evaluation of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that apply to their company. The above lists are designed to express a SWOT analysis, of sorts, depicting the different reasons that marketing is ultimately a benefit.
Naturally, the SWOT that’s included in the marketing plan focuses more on your business and its current attributes, particularly where your marketing is concerned:
- Strengths pertain to any attributes that work in your favor in terms of your marketing, whether that’s a capability that your business has or a process you’ve adopted. Effectively, anything that you can share in your marketing to make your business more appealing to your prospects or that contributes to your marketing in some way should be counted as a strength—but that being said, it needs to be a real differentiator.
- Weaknesses, likewise, pertain to any attributes that could detract from your marketing’s success, such as missing proficiencies amongst your team or missing processes in your workflows. Much like your identified strengths, your weaknesses should include anything that seriously detracts from your capabilities as a business or to market yourself.
- Opportunities, therefore, are the various avenues you could potentially take to help promote your marketing’s success further. These could be things like untapped capabilities within your team or as of yet unpursued markets or verticals—effectively, any chance you have to increase the scope of your marketing efforts that has presented itself.
- Threats are, predictably, external factors that could potentially derail your business’ efforts, particularly where its marketing is concerned. Things like not having the staff or budget to commit to marketing, or having intense competition in your area are just a few examples of threats that could impact your business and its capability to market its services.
Not Sure Where to Start? Our MSP Marketing Plan is a Good Place!
Our marketing plans go far beyond the SWOT analysis, taking your service area’s business makeup, an evaluation of your business’ existing marketing as compared to your competitors’, and how your services could be used to sell themselves, in a manner of speaking. We’ll give you recommendations, best practices, and a suggested budget and calendar to get you started on the right foot.
Interested? Reach out to us at 888-546-4384! Our team of professionals are here to help you make the most of your MSP marketing efforts.