From The Editor | October 23, 2014

From ASCII Atlantic City: 5 Marketing Tidbits For Solutions Providers

jim roddy

By Jim Roddy, VP of Marketing, RSPA

ASCII Atlantic City

I was thrilled when I saw that Herman Pool was scheduled to present at the ASCII Success Summit in Atlantic City on October 22. I have previously described him as “a whirling dervish and marketing master on stage” and he didn’t disappoint, delivering sound advice to the nearly 100 solutions providers in attendance at Bally’s Atlantic City.

Pool has credibility because for 18 years he’s served as president of both MSP (managed services provider) DBS Technologies and Internet marketing company Vertical Axion headquartered in Rockport, TX.

Here are five key bits of information from Pool:

  1. All solutions providers should have a documented follow-up process three weeks after each client’s purchase. This will begin to create a circle of revenue from repeat customers. It’s eight times cheaper to market to current customers than potential new customers. “If you don't get this, your growth chart will look like a straight line … and that line goes to the unemployment office,” Pool said.
  2. Solutions providers need a combination of marketing avenues to effectively communicate with potential clients. “Your message has to come from multiple sources,” Pool said. “It's like boxing. Very rarely do you throw one punch and your opponent goes down. You need a combination like a newspaper ad that points prospects to your website where they will sign up for your newsletter. From your newsletter they will receive coupons to use your service. You should also make phone calls to the people who sign up for your newsletter.”
  3. Pool recommends four ways to get noticed online: a professional-quality website, an active social media presence, an active website quality content, and a weekly or monthly newsletter to keep your clients informed.
  4. The more specific you are with the audience you want to target, the better your chances of successfully marketing to them. You won’t be effective if your target audience is broad. “Business owners with over 10 PCs” is specific while “medical business owners with HIPAA compliance problems within a 60-mile radius” is an even more specific focus.
  5. Before you start promoting a marketing message, determine the unique solution you provide. Pool says to ask your customers about the problems you’ve helped them solve. Accomplish this by having direct conversations with clients or conducting an online survey. Your marketing message should address how your target audience feels about the problem and how they will feel after it’s solved. That will help your marketing message make both a logical and emotional appeal.

For more marketing advice for solutions providers, read these two articles BSM published based on Pool’s presentation at the ASCII Success Summit in Columbus in May:

The ASCII Success Summit – Atlantic City is being held October 22-23 at the Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino in New Jersey. It is the last of eight solution provider-focused conferences ASCII hosted in 2014. For more information on ASCII, go to