In three to five years, 80% of what marketers do will be based on artificial intelligence.
MSP Summit / Channel Partner Leadership Summit – Alison Bergamo knows the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for marketing. Bergamo, Director at Bergamo Marketing Groupuses this type of AI In her company because, she said, she wants to be ahead of the curve. Bergamo would not be wrong. As the statistics go, in three to five years, 80% of what marketers do will be based on this type of technology.
However, Bergamo said, “It’s not plug and play,” adding that marketers will have to use clean, unstructured data with some technology.
Bergamo was part of the panel of marketing experts who spoke at MSP Summit / Channel Partner Leadership Summit in Orlando on Thursday. Their advice for audiences spanned from using AI technology, to how to master relationships, to learning ways to market on a budget. They said the latter could not be more relevant to MSPs.
Although many MSPs are small and have limited resources, this does not mean that they should neglect marketing.
You can find money in your budget to set aside for this. said Marcial Velez (pictured above), CEO of expertex computer consultancy. “Historically, medium-sized projects grow around 10% [annually]. If you want to outperform at this rate, you have to invest in this.”
The speakers said that the investment does not have to be expensive. One can be technologically savvy about marketing without spending a lot of money. Velez said digital business cards are a great example because they can share information outside of a person’s name and company affiliation. Social media posts and blogs can also be exchanged using this tool.
“You can now start connecting to the content you want your customers to see right away. Now you can show your story,” he said.
Charlene Ignacio, CEO (center above) at CMO Expert, HireXProThey also agreed that simplicity goes a long way. I likened it to the difference between buying an expensive Mercedes (a euphemism for an expensive marketing program) and buying a Honda. She said everyone thinks they need a Mercedes, even though Honda can take you where you want to go.
“Honda is doing great. It will last 20 years more, and maintenance will be lower,” said Ignacio. “When it comes to marketing, I like to do simple things because marketing can become like a black hole (for costs).”
However, knowing whether to use AI tools and cost-effective digital business cards presupposes certain basic knowledge by the company’s team. If a company doesn’t have that knowledge and needs a marketing program to access this type of resource, where do you start?
Finding a marketing outsourcing company may be a good first step. The company may initially have luck finding marketers who understand its business model. However, panelists said a possible scenario is that marketers’ first choice won’t work. They said be prepared to fail. But fail quickly.
Take Reggie Stevens (pictured left, above), CEO of iris solutions, for example. In 2018, Stevens acquired Iris Solutions and set out to find a marketing team.
“I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said.
It turns out that marketers didn’t do that either. However, Stevens did not spend his time grumbling about the fact that he was not getting the professionals he needed to promote his company.
The pandemic has made life more complicated. Stevens knew he needed to keep his customer community engaged differently because so many people were working remotely.
He was persistent and found another marketing company.
“You know, we had this scary moment, we just got back to basics and started experimenting,” he said of his work with the new marketing team. “We started differently.”
And he started seeing results, but it took a year. This is not unusual for marketing initiatives.
He said setting reasonable expectations about how much time it will take to build a marketing pipeline is critical. It requires commitment.
However, it is more accurate than that. It’s a 24/7 operation, Velez said.
“I think the modern marketer today is someone who looks at marketing as more than just an activity,” he said. “You have to automate these systems so that you continue to communicate and do things for your existing customers and mine for any of your customers.”
“It takes someone with a really holistic view,” he added.