Acumatica VARs – marketing needs to be an ongoing investment. Build your brand, create content and your unique voice to Acumatica content. Set up your campaigns, and be patient. It takes time to build momentum.
This is the last article in our series about how to leapfrog your competition. My first article talked about why VARs need a differentiated business strategy. Then I discussed how to focus that strategy on a target niche and find your ideal customer profile. I also encouraged you to build your brand, rather than the platform’s. Now that you have your strategy, you can start running marketing campaigns targeting your specific niche.
Incorporate Your Unique Voice
Once you’ve interviewed your customers and established your messaging, ask the Acumatica marketing team for assets to help market your services. They have hundreds of really useful pieces of content that you can reuse. But don’t just use the assets as they’re provided. Edit them. Add your voice, your brand, your messaging, and your call to action. Enhance the content with insights specifically relevant to your target audience. Make the asset your own.
Target Campaigns to Niche Audiences
When you run campaigns, target them to a specific niche audience. If you’ve done the buyer research I suggested in the last article, you now understand your specific buyer’s needs and buying process. So find the Acumatica assets that answer questions your specific prospects are asking. Customize those assets as I suggested above and build a campaign to deliver that insight to your audience.
Be Patient, Be Consistent
But remember, marketing is not a machine that delivers instant gratification. To do it well, you have to play the long game. It takes time. It takes investment. It takes patience. It takes a steady and consistent flow for a few months before you’ll begin to reap the rewards.
Mike Nessen, a business development consultant for Dynamic Tech Services, said, “resellers need to understand that the cycle has to keep flowing. You can’t stop marketing just because you won an account and are busy with the implementation. Using inbound and content marketing, you can create an engine over time. But it won’t work if you’re constantly stopping and starting. It’s like a flywheel, and it needs to stay in motion.”
Anyone who promises instant results is lying to you.
In fact, I’ll bet you’re getting bombarded with sales pitches from marketing and lead generation agencies. They promise instant results, a steady flow of qualified leads, and a healthy pipeline within weeks.
You’ve probably tried a few, with very mixed results. These firms claim to be strategic. But most of what they profess is tactics. They’re offering very specialized services – SEO, content marketing, social selling, etc. All of these are important, but they’re tactics. They’re secondary to your strategy.
When to Outsource Marketing
If you will invest in developing a marketing strategy, strong messaging, and strong content, then you can start outsourcing some of the tactics.
In fact, many aspects of marketing require highly specialized skills and can benefit from hiring outside experts. For example, Amy Spencer outsources AKA Enterprise Solutions’ SEO. “The discipline is specialized and a moving target. Google changes the algorithm so frequently that what worked yesterday won’t work today. So that’s really a full time job. We tried to do it ourselves, but we’ve learned that we need to hire an outsourced firm so we’re not always playing catch up.” But it’s really important to hire the right resource. For example, Spencer uses a firm that is already familiar with ERP and CRM. Spencer said, “They helped Anya Ciecierski launch her ERP and CRM blogs, and they also work with other resellers in the channel. So I can benefit from that experience.”
Types of Goals for Marketing
Your goals for marketing should not just be short-term lead generation. You should also be focused on increasing the value of your business for the long term. Consider these goals for your marketing efforts:
- Creating brand awareness
- Educating audience(s)
- Building credibility/trust
- Building subscribed audiences
- Generating sales/revenue
- Building loyalty with existing clients/customers
Marketing Dramatically Enhances a VAR’s Business Value
If you invest in the developing and executing an effective strategy, marketing can dramatically increase your business value, and that allows you to consider other options, like succession planning, acquiring other businesses, or being acquired. For example, several of our clients became attractive acquisition targets after they got their marketing right.
As Tim Rodman, ERP implementation consultant at Aktion Associates, told me, “You could potentially 2x the value of your business just by marketing it as a larger firm. You don’t even need to make a major change to how you deliver services. Increase your valuation by improving your marketing.”
This is the last article in the “Leapfrog Your Competition” series. You can find the rest of the articles here.
For More Information
PropelGrowth specializes in helping Acumatica VARs define effective business and go-to-market strategies that facilitate long-term growth in revenue and business value. If you’d like more information about how we might help your firm, contact us or call us at +1 970.300.2280.