A Dark and Scary Night
MSP marketing had begun to characterize “The Valley”, and a new MSP was hosting a huge party with a variety of big-ticket clients. The night was Halloween, the climate was perfect, the atmosphere was festive, and then the most frightening thing happened: nobody showed up.
Though the MSP spent thousands on the get-together and marketed aggressively, not a single client came. What did they do wrong? They told people to come! They spammed out thousands of advertisements on a variety of platforms. What had they done wrong?
One of the leading marketing professionals at the company looked into it, then called around to other parties he knew of. There were several competitors that had a real raging event going, and not a few of the attendees could have been converted. Why did they go with the other providers’ party? The professional marketer looked into the situation and found out that Adversaries, Inc., the villains in this story, had used a marketing campaign that put potential customers into the center of the story that ended with their attendance of Adversaries’ Halloween soiree.
Suddenly, it was all clear: the marketing efforts had told no story and given prospective attendees nothing with which to emotionally connect. Now, thousands were lost in a wasted marketing campaign. It was the spookiest Halloween ever.
What Was That Story Really About?
The opening to this writing is an example, tongue-in-cheek and certainly contrived, that’s designed to demonstrate what a story can do. When you’re reading something of a fictional variety, you’re drawn in. You begin to identify with those about whom you’re reading. Soon, through that identification, you may be drawn into the tale enough that you form an opinion about the right course of action. The bottom line? Storytelling is effective.
This is important when sourcing new clients and when working in B2B situations. Research has shown that emotional connection makes selling to other businesses a binary affair. That is to say, one in two businesses to which you can cause to have an emotional connection with your marketing campaign will be converted to your services provided you’ve induced the correct kind of emotional connection. Create a story which solution is to accept your products or services.
How Can This Be Done?
MSP marketing campaigns that invite storytelling into their strategies need to focus on proper story construction. You’ve got to have an inciting incident that immediately pulls in prospective clients or partners. From there, you need to introduce a conflict that rises to a climax. That climax must be resolved with some product or service pertaining to your MSP. Mix, repeat, personalize.
Some stories need to be long, while some need to be short. Here’s a short one that could be used in a radio spot:
“Charlie needed the big account, but couldn’t offer fast enough services with his SMB. That’s when he found Generic Solutions Incorporated and discovered cloud computing possibilities. After instituting the cloud, he could show clients exactly the ways they could save. Now, Charlie lives in a chateau located somewhere in the Caribbean, and his company is completely sustainable. Be like Charlie.”
You can tell a story in a phrase–or a slogan. Nike’s “Just Do It” is perhaps one of the shortest stories in existence. It says there is something you must do, you haven’t done it, you should do it and their product will help you do it. All that is communicated in three words. This is effective storytelling!
Design Your Storytelling Campaign
Understand your target market, and you’ll be able to find their emotional “soft spots,” if you will. When you know where your clients have the potential for close connection, you can design story-based campaigns with precision like a narrative marksman. You can be as professional or “loose” as your clients prefer, and you’ll likely see an increase in sales. Just remember the elements of a good story:
- Inciting Incident
Design your MSP marketing campaigns this way, and make more close connections with people. Not faceless organizations, but the individuals who run them and you will have more effective client acquisition.