Official LeftLeads Logo

7 reasons why managed service providers fail at marketing

Strategic marketing is challenging; without a comprehensive plan, companies can lose sight of their goals and fall behind their competitors. Managed service providers (MSPs) are no exception to this trend and in an industry expected to exceed $5.3 trillion in 2022, standing out from the pack is a tough ballpark to play in.  

There are 7 clear reasons why MSPs’ marketing efforts fail. If you are aware of these shortcomings, you can factor them into your marketing strategies and reach the customers who have been waiting for your services.

1. No long-term commitment

Marketing campaigns come in short-term and long-term forms. They are dependent on the campaign’s intention and the advertised services. Many MSPs fall into the trap of short-term marketing for services that require longer rollouts for the greatest impact.

While short-term strategies can work in some cases, it is essential to remember that IT is an entire industry that the average customer is unfamiliar with. Using buzzwords to grab a customer’s attention is quick and easy, but they can quickly become disinterested if there are no immediate results or your marketing stalls.

2. No target audience

A target audience is a group most likely to respond to your marketing strategies, become worthwhile leads, and turn into loyal customers. MSP owners often fail to target the audience interested in their solutions. Instead, they market to everyone.

Advertising without a target audience can result in the following:

  • Unclear messaging.
  • Misdirected messaging.
  • Potentially offensive marketing materials.
  • Wasted resources.

 Your marketing strategy should reference your ideal demographic. While not every person under the sun will be made aware of what your business has to offer straightaway, it does mean you are targeting the prospects who will become your brand ambassadors and loyal customers moving forward.

3. Too much jargon

MSP owners should understand that potential clients want to know how their services will make their lives easier. They are not looking for lessons on the nuances of your industry.

From unified communications to cloud services and technical support, the solutions MSPs offer can be highly complex to customers with little to no IT background. When MSPs sell these services, they often use too much jargon and deep dive into the technical aspects of their offerings. 

4. Not enough financial investment

Technology can be expensive for any business, particularly for IT service companies whose systems must be optimised to deliver the most value to clients. Understandably, you want to exercise caution around your business’s finances, but being too cautious can sabotage your marketing strategies.

You should be investing around 2-5% of your gross revenue into your marketing campaigns. While this would mean the scale of the advertising would be vastly different between small and medium-sized businesses (not to mention larger MSPs with offices across the globe), it does not mean that your efforts would be wasted. 

A targeted advertising campaign with the correct funding allocates resources to areas that will appeal to your target audience, resulting in a boost in lead generation and return on investment (ROI).

5. Lack of understanding regarding clients (poor value proposition)

MSPs deliver a wide range of essential services to small businesses and larger organisations. However, they can fail at identifying customers’ immediate and long-term needs.

This results from marketing plans that do not utilise a buyer persona (a description of your business’s ideal customer) or core value propositions (the unique characteristics that colour an organisation). Without these two factors, MSPs risk getting carried away with selling the world using the same generic taglines, rather than focusing on relevant solutions to capture clients’ attention and make them loyal customers.

6. Weak branding

With today’s shorter attention spans and louder voices, MSPs need strong brands to stand out in the digital media era. Comfortability can result in you becoming lost in the crowd.

To develop a solid personal brand, MSPs should:

7. Go for the hard sale

No MSP can hope to prosper without forging and maintaining valuable relationships. From vendors to prospective customers, MSP owners tend to sell their products and services without taking the time to develop beneficial partnerships. 

Relationships in business are essential for your success, and investing time and energy into cultivating them can provide your business with:

No MSP can predict their next sale, but strong relationships that are successfully maintained over time increase the chances of you signing on a new client who can increase your revenue and polish your reputation within their circles.

Digital marketing services for the IT industry’s leaders

MSPs need a cohesive marketing strategy to highlight their services and show how they will benefit their customers’ businesses. However, they can easily fall into the traps above.

The marketing consultants at LeftLeads specialise in showcasing the expertise of MSPs like yours to audiences worldwide. From laying out your business’s sales funnel to monitoring and managing the performance of your website in search engines, LeftLeads’ marketing experts will make your advertising efforts more strategic, measurable, and effective.    



  1. Avatar


    Why do some people and companies use too much jargon? Instead of explaining things in a simple, easy to understand way, they waste my time with all sorts of fancy words I don’t know about? It makes no sense to me. Nowadays, this is a major NO for me and whenever I hear someone get into it too much and using way too much jargon, I just move on.

  2. Avatar


    I know of a company that invested around 15% of their gross revenue in their first 5 years and it really paid off. Took them some years to make it work well but it was worth it. So 2-5% can be a low investment depending on your goals and size.

  3. Avatar


    Creating and catering to your buyer persona is so important! Without knowing what your perfect client looks like, how will you ever be able to serve him/her? You won’t! You need to first know who he is, what his likes and dislikes are. You need to know everything.

  4. Avatar


    Marketing to everyone is a sure recipe for failure. The more you drill down (within limits of course) the better. You can find your tribe and cater to them and if you do it well you will have a very successful business.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts