IT Solutions (ITS), a leading Managed IT Services Provider (MSP), wanted to gain more industry and regional market awareness to capitalize on the recent national trend of consolidation across the MSP landscape. A more visible profile would help the company claim the market leadership position it deserved as well as recruit and retain the high caliber employees it needed during a national expansion.
Award-winning ITS provides managed IT services, security services, digital transformation assistance and custom application development to a range of small- to medium-sized businesses in vertical markets such as pharma, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, legal and construction from its headquarters in Philadelphia as well as offices on Long Island and in St. Louis and Kansas City.
Not wanting to invest in building an internal communications team at the time, ITS decided to partner with a marketing communications agency to raise its profile. When ITS began asking fellow MSPs which agencies they used, an MSP founder referred Michael Mackenzie Communications (MMC), the agency he had worked with for many years.
“Without full-time internal resources, we were struggling to create content for our target verticals and to publish that content consistently,” said Jim Higgins, Principal, IT Solutions.
“We needed an agency that already understood the small- to medium-sized businesses market and could take control of our sporadic content effort.”
–Jim Higgins, Principal
While the range of IT services the firm provided was universal to every market, it was imperative that those services be positioned properly as solutions to the individualized business and technical drivers of each segment. Not only did ITS need a comprehensive, target-specific approach to content, they also wanted an agency that could field incoming marketing requests on a day-to-day basis. Operating without these dedicated resources was making the company’s comprehensive and strategic content-based outreach more of an opportunistic effort.
MMC began by writing newsletters, product brochures and blog posts that pushed prospects to the company website. Over time, MMC assumed full responsibility for all content efforts, creating a comprehensive content strategy that heavily emphasized influential social channels, such as LinkedIn. “In the past, posts only happened when we had news to announce,” said Higgins. “The growth we wanted to see in the next few years required us to significantly up the ante on employee recruiting and retention, which made LinkedIn an ideal platform.”
“To claim a market leading position, we needed to consistently offer compelling content that kept ITS top of mind.”
–Jim Higgins, Principal
“In the beginning, we haphazardly posted on social media platforms, but we weren’t focused or purposeful about those posts,” Higgins said. “MMC showed us how we could raise our profile and begin building a commanding market leader position by having not just one but several of our executives post on social. Social became a preferred way to appeal to potential employees and even those who weren’t considering making a move.”
“MMC showed us how to expand our influence on LinkedIn and grow our community of followers.”
–Jim Higgins, Principal
Expanding its following on LinkedIn would prove crucial as ITS executed an acquisition-fueled growth strategy. Not only did ITS regularly post about market trends and awards, LinkedIn offered an ideal way to showcase the community-focused and charitable work the firm does.
Next, MMC recommended issuing press releases to call attention to the company’s charitable donations and accentuate the benevolent nature of the ITS culture. In addition, MMC pointed out that promoting the company’s “Best Place to Work” status could reinforce the cultural differences. These press releases generated local publicity for the rapidly growing MSP, and they sparked interest in the company’s growing national footprint.
“Our culture is unique in the MSP space,” said Higgins. “Rather than just talk about it one-on-one, we were able to post about events and service efforts to bring the culture to life for our followers.”
MMC focused on posting content that would appeal to job seekers and those not considering making an employment shift. “We wanted to claim a market leading position by offering compelling content that kept ITS top of mind with every potential employee no matter where they were working,” said Higgins. “As you can imagine, this heightened presence made our employees proud to work for us and I believe it helped get us onto more job seekers’ short lists of potential employers.”
ITS uses specialized software to track the results of its marketing campaigns and to quickly identify what is working and what is not. Today, the company is three times the size it was when the two firms began working together, so clearly the approach worked.
About IT Solutions
IT Solutions Consulting, LLC is a leading, nationally recognized managed services provider specializing in proactive and strategic support for small and mid-market businesses. Founded in 1994 and headquartered near Philadelphia, PA, ITS partners with clients to align technology with business goals, secure data and networks, and improve processes through tailored, innovative solutions. In addition to providing comprehensive managed IT services, ITS offers cybersecurity, cloud, custom application development, and business intelligence services. Visit www.itsolutions-inc.com to learn more.