And to jump straight to the conclusion: everything has to grow.
Although marketing and agriculture may seem different initially, they share many common aspects. Both require planning, strategy, patience and careful execution to be successful.
By understanding the synergy between marketing principles and agricultural processes, you can improve your marketing efforts as an MSP.
As with a farmer, the corn or wheat grows – and he needs patience – the same applies to marketing. Again, your market approach needs to grow, and it takes time.
This does not mean you should sit back in your chair and wait; instead, you should persevere.
This growth can be divided into four phases: Tillage, sowing, growing and harvesting.
The soil must be tilled before ahis seed farmer can sow. Otherwise, its seed will fall on dry ground and be food for the birds.
In marketing, it’s no different. Before you start a marketing campaign as an MSP, you need a strategy and market research. Understanding your target audience, their needs, preferences and competitive landscape is crucial to developing effective marketing campaigns.
If you don’t do this, you’ll throw your marketing budget over the top – like birds eating the seed at a farmer’s farm. After all, as an MSP, to bring in new clients, you can advertise very nicely on LinkedIn or Google.
But are they searching for the keywords in your Adwords ad? Or do you name the right pain points in your posts on LinkedIn to appeal to them?
I think that editing your marketing strategy is essential before you start working.
This includes thorough research into your target audience; what’s going on with your audience? What does your target audience need? What do you have to offer your target audience? And through which channels do you reach your target audience?
After tilling the land, a farmer goes to sow. You can translate that seeding in marketing to the initial period when you make your voice heard, for example, on LinkedIn. You start with branding and introducing people to your company.
When you start a marketing campaign, you begin seeding content. You send relevant topics to the target audience and share posts with pain points, aiming to make the potential customer consciously incompetent. You sow the message among the target audience.
A house style and recognisability are essential here, as is the tone of voice of your messages. For example, do you approach people ‘formal’ or ‘informal’?
Seeding in marketing is all about spreading your message and creating awareness among your target audience. This can be done through various channels, such as social media, email marketing and content marketing.
But keep seasonality in mind when sowing your message. Just as agricultural activities depend on seasonal patterns, marketing also depends on timing and seasonal influences.
When planning your marketing campaigns, you must consider specific periods when your target audience is more receptive to your message.
You can market all year round but play well to specific periods such as Christmas and summer holidays. For example, could you consider sharing E-books in the summer to take when travelling?
Also, use the right technology during this growing period. Both agriculture and marketing benefit from innovation and the use of new technologies.
In agriculture, advanced farming techniques and precision agriculture can increase yields. In marketing, new tools and technologies, such as automated marketing software and artificial intelligence, can help you optimise and scale your marketing efforts.
We want to advise you if you have any questions about this.
And then comes the trickiest part – both for a farmer and a Managed Service Provider.
This is where there is often the reaction that it doesn’t work. Waiting does not mean you can laze around, but you must persevere and stick to your content planning.
As a farmer checks, fertilises and waters his land daily, you monitor your content.
How does your target audience respond? Which content scores well? Does video do better than just a landing page?
Anticipate this, and adjust your content if necessary – it is an ongoing process. Remember that your message needs to grow; it needs to create awareness. Time passes before people realise they need something and think of you. Because you have been nurturing all this time.
Growing in marketing means gradually getting your message known and impacting your target audience. This takes time and consistency. The key is to push through this phase and continue to reach your target audience, delivering valuable content that piques their interest and addresses their needs.
What you can do in this, however, is adapt. If you see that growth is slower than expected, be free to make some tweaks here and there.
An excellent method for this is A/B tests. Send two emails to the world and see what gets the most clicks. Or share two posts on LinkedIn, both with a different tone of voice or image. That way, you can see what works and adjust your campaign accordingly.
And then comes the bit that makes sales very happy, and the farmer too – harvest!
Harvesting in marketing refers to when you reap the benefits of your efforts. Over time in your nurturing process, you will see people become interested and eventually turn into potential leads – MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads).
The next stage is that you have created an interested and qualified target audience ready for a sales call – SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads). This is where the sales team takes over to nurture these leads further and convert them into customers.
And not entirely unimportant is measurement. Just as a farmer measures the yield of his crops, it is essential to measure the results of your marketing efforts.
By analysing the performance of your campaigns, you can gain insight into what works and what doesn’t so that you can adjust and improve your strategy.
Do you recognise yourself in the above story? What stage of marketing are you in? Which phase is going just right, or just not right?
If you would like to know more about properly designing and executing your marketing phases, we would be happy to think with you!