MSP marketing can be very complicated, but diminishing complication is as easy as designing an effective framework for those in marketing to employ in a forward-moving way. You want people to have a plan of action defining such momentum which has a naturalistic quality. This is what SMART is: it’s a system of identifying marketing objectives summarized in a mnemonic device to help inform action at the most basic level. What does it stand for?
MSP marketing must have a specific quality. You want to be able to find problems and opportunities. Information should have the right level of detail to do so. This is useless if there isn’t a real-world quality to the information. Reality predicates specificity. If you’re generalizing everything, then you can expect non-specific generalized solutions which aren’t as necessarily effective as they ought to be.
Once you’ve got specifics ironed out, it becomes necessary to measure and quantify that which you’ve put into practice. If it’s not performing well, you need to know as soon as possible so you can augment your strategy. If the policies you’ve specified in terms of practice and objectives are working, then you want to encourage those policies and practices as much as you can going forward.
Of course, this is all academic if there’s nothing that can be done in an actionable way to properly improve operational performance. Your specific objectives should augment staff behavior such that performance hits hitherto unseen levels of success. If that’s not happening, then what’s the point? Specific, measurable, actionable augmentation is good— but the action can’t be simply on the part of management.
Part of ensuring that the changes you’re effecting are doing what they should involves a relevant approach. For example: a specific, measurable, actionable change in IT marketing is useful if it has to do with some technological upgrade or expansion, and utterly useless if it concerns a literary application of agrarian principles. This is an extreme juxtaposition, but you see the point. If the changes you’re trying to effect don’t have any inbuilt relevancy, then they’re just going to be a waste of time even if you get solid metrics pertaining to forward change. What you’re looking for are problems that marketers in your MSP company are facing. Once the problem is specifically identified, you can iron out an objective that’s measurable and a means of enacting that objective that’s actionable.
Time, as with many things, is a double-edged sword. It cuts both ways. If an objective is taking too long, it may not be feasible for your organization, and should perhaps be excised. Once you cut out an objective that doesn’t work as it should, you’ll want to replace it with something else. With all specific, measurable, actionable, relevant objectives, you should have some time in which such things should be accomplished before they’re abandoned. But you want to have a measure of degree applied to such a strategy as well.
Benchmarks are a great way to determine whether you’re seeing any progress at all or not. Perhaps on a certain marketing objective that is designed to encompass a year’s activity, you define a time benchmark which quantifies success of a specific augmentation within a month’s time. If that benchmark is hit, you move forward. If it’s not, then perhaps it’s time to move in a new direction. What’s interesting about the SMART approach is that it has a fractal quality. You can apply principles of the whole technique to each part of the technique.
MSP marketing that employs strategies like those outlined in the SMART approach should produce the proper, positive results. Obviously, it’s good results that you are looking for. Anything you do will certainly have some result. Since marketing is such a nebulous, near-subjective area of work, you can’t expect any planned scenario, no matter how well-balanced, to work out as it should 100% of the time. But you can meter trial and error with a SMART approach that maximizes success and minimizes efforts which aren’t producing the necessary outcomes.