The death of Queen Elizabeth has kicked up a bunch of dust again over the ongoing family feud between King Charles and his two sons. Apparently, Prince Poppycock and the Dutchess of Many Grievances have been demoted out of the Royal Family. Someone wrote, “The entire situation is all bollixed up.” In this article I’m going to explain how easy it is for someone to be trying to execute a successful MSP marketing plan and end up getting bollixed up.
That’s a good phrase – bollixed up. You have to hand it to the Brits for having the corner on clever phrases. It was one of the things I appreciated when I lived in Leamington Spa, England, for about a year.
Here’s what the phrase “bollixed up” means: to throw into disorder, or to muck it all up, screw it all up, and get tangled up.
A frequently discussed topic within our company is, how can we prevent our members from bollixing up their MSP marketing plan when trying to execute marketing campaigns we have given them? NOTHING is simple, and every tiny decision requires a lengthy discussion, a DEMAND for the EXACT right way, and no simple answer to any one marketing question.
I cannot give the instruction to “Send a newsletter.” Out of that will pour over four dozen questions about how to get that done: How many pages should it be? Should I put it in an envelope or send it as a self-mailer? And if in an envelope, what size? What color envelope should I use? Where’s the best place to get the envelopes? Do I have to use a live stamp or can I use an indicia? Do I mail first-class? Bulk? Should I mail it at the end of the month or the beginning of the month? What day of the week is the best day to mail it? When I insert the printed newsletter, do I fold it once? Twice? If four pages, should I staple the pages or have them loose or do I print it on a larger 11 x 16 and fold it? Do I print in color? Black and white? Color on the outside but black and white inside? Can I get away with sending it only four times a year? Every other month? And who do I mail it to? Clients? Prospects? Farm list too? All the above? What if I mail it to prospects one month and clients the next? Should I have different content in the one to clients vs. the one to prospects? Do I have to call and follow up? Do I include the CEO and all employees of a company? Just the CEO? Just the CEO and a few key people? If I do a newsletter, do I still have to do a blog? Can I reuse the same articles or do I need to do different content?
This is the very definition of being bollixed up.
Similarly, many people are now all bollixed up trying to manage the ever-expanding black hole of social media – and for good reason. Gary Vaynerchuk keynoted the Datto event a few months ago. One of his core strategies for success in digital marketing is to create 64 pieces of content a DAY as a strategy for online marketing. SIXTY-FOUR! And that’s across multiple sites!
I wonder if they’ve forgotten that the majority of their day is supposed to be selling something or doing work you’re getting PAID to do. Someone trying to emulate this with their MSP marketing plan is going to get bollixed up and is very likely to get lost in the doing, confusing activity with accomplishment.
I was at a dinner with some clients last week, and the talk turned to CRM systems.
It was brought to my attention that a new feature of HubSpot is the ability to create dynamic e-mail content based on the page a prospect lands on. So, the idea is that if you land on a page that talks about cyber security, HubSpot will send an e-mail to that prospect with that specific content. Of course, if you can match the offer and follow up on what the person is interested in, that’s good. HOWEVER…
I said, and firmly believe, that while this is “cool,” it can quickly escalate into a quagmire of details and rabbit holes that need to be actively managed, sucking up a lot of time and energy for managing something that only a few dozen prospects will see (given most MSPs aren’t generating hundreds of thousands of visitors to their sites).
My belief? Give me a couple of great SDRs and direct mail, and I’ll beat the pants off any IT firm getting too far in the weeds on the tech and automation of digital marketing. Yes, digital marketing works and I’m sure that doing dynamic content pages with e-mails will give you a lift in response – but you have to be careful to not let it get all bollixed up in the details to the point where you’re spending a disproportionate amount of time getting it to work vs. doing other things that could bring a much higher return, such as hiring some SDRs, developing strategic JV partners, implementing a solid referral campaign, etc.
This IS the problem with just about everything in business. How much detail is too much? Too little?
When is the squeeze not worth the juice? Should you step back and let it be “good enough” or dig in to perfect the “thing,” whether that be a website, e-mail, telemarketing script, or some other process or procedure in our business? The devil IS in the details, but if you’re spending hours trying to create a system that delivers custom, dynamic e-mails to prospects landing on your website, but then fail to work on more readily gotten sales (like QBRs, or referrals) and/or overlooking the FIRST most important step of getting prospects to COME to your site so that your very complicated system can produce something… then you’re getting bollixed up.
I have always ignored a lot of the trends and fads in marketing, taking notes to see what’s going on, but then getting back to work and continuing to crank out an old tried and true MSP marketing plan.
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