Managed Services ROI Capabilities

Recruiting experienced MarTech professionals can be a challenge for marketing teams aiming for returns on their tech investments. The MarTech proficiency gap is real, and having skilled technical talent on your team is essential to maintaining the best experiences for your prospects through the buyer journey.

Hiring a MarTech Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a great solution to filling internal gaps, but what does a quality MarTech MSP actually look like in practice? How can marketing teams get the most value from having an MSP onboard?

To take full advantage of an MSP’s capabilities, Marketing teams need to understand how MSP’s facilitate success for their clients. With the right relationship goals in place, an MSP can be an invaluable resource to any team. Here’s a quick guide to achieving ROI with a MarTech MSP.

Proactive MSPs Bring Results

MSPs sell access to resources, not results: to get results, choose an MSP that takes a proactive approach to achieving goals. A proactive MarTech MSP helps marketing teams meet business goals by identifying potential issues, prioritizing goals and setting milestones to validate effectiveness. They build relationships with key stakeholders and facilitate clear and consistent communication.

A proactive approach involves providing clients with guidance in the following ways:

  • Monitor system health and lead flow to identify opportunities and areas for improvement
  • Improve, streamline and extend the MarTech stack
  • Enhance campaign performance and insights

Not sure if the MarTech MSP you’re considering has a proactive approach? Ask them if they have a roadmap for client development based on their previous work solving similar problems with other companies. An experienced MSP should be able to gauge where your company stands in terms of reaching MarTech success.

Set Goals and Milestones With Your MarTech MSP

Martech MSPs set goals with client marketing teams and establish milestones to check progress and troubleshoot issues. They collaborate with their clients to demarcate the finish lines they plan to cross together, ensuring there exists a shared understanding of what success means for the partnership. Kick-off discussions around goal setting typically focus on the client’s existing technology stack, the priorities of their C-level management, and where they are positioned in the current business landscape.

Once the MSP has defined goals with the client, flexible milestones are established to monitor and drive achievement. Like quizzes that lead up to the final exam, milestones are a way for MSPs to gauge progress or check if there are trends that indicate a potentially poor outcome.

For example, if a client has a specific goal to achieve after a 12 month mark, the MSP might set a milestone to hit 30% of that number after a 3 month period. The more milestones and check-ins, the more likely it is that the MSP and team will stay on top of the goals. The MSP can then work with the client to re-evaluate goals, address weaknesses, or provide recommendations before too much time is lost on a failing initiative.

Milestones help martech MSPs manage progress toward the business goals of the client. Clients benefit from the momentum created by regular check-ins in addition to the technical support provided by the MSP.

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Establish a System for Communication and Collaboration

A strong relationship between client and MSP is built on having a clear system of communication and collaboration, which the MSP brings to the table. The stakeholders directly connected to the goals of the partnership – usually a MarkOps leader, Marketing Manager, power user, or digital technologist – should be aware of their role and how their involvement directly impacts and supports the achievement of their business goals.

Proactive MSPs get ahead by understanding the organizational map of their client as early as possible. By understanding who the key stakeholders are, the MSP gains valuable insights into what pathways can be taken to accomplish specific goals. The MSP will also reach out to key stakeholders to explain their role as an outside technical resource, how they can help, and clarify norms and frequencies of communication.

Setting up norms of communication and collaboration are critical to achieving ROI from an MSP engagement. In our experience, a best practice is to schedule a weekly meeting with key stakeholders to drive progress. Management should take opportunities to communicate on a quarterly basis with their MSP to ensure the engagement is going smoothly.

Harness Your MSP’s Experience & Technical Expertise

An experienced MarTech MSP will push their clients to enhance their MarTech practices and facilitate the adoption of digital transformation. Companies can reap the benefits of their MSP’s technical expertise by using their MSP engagement as an opportunity to augment the capabilities of their internal team.

Like a coach, an MSP will set MarTech adoption goals in addition to client goals to drive change in the business. A skilled MSP will get to know their client, understand what makes them tick, and get them excited about the innovations that are possible.

As the engagement progresses, an MSP will show the client how their collaborative efforts are increasing returns on their technology investments. To do this, an MSP can use their knowledge of typical platform adoption and team capabilities to score the organization they are working with, and push them along tried and true learning curves to get them up to speed.

MSPs can also serve to deepen their clients’ bench in case there are resource transitions. Because MarTech MSPs embed themselves within Marketing teams while operating as an external resource, they can step in should a team member take leave of their position and bridge the gap until a solution is found. With a solid MSP, Marketing teams have an expert working with and for them, should staffing issues arise.

Make Sure Time is Well Spent

Time management is a significant consideration when working with an MSP because services are purchased in preset blocks of time. To make the most of this time, Marketing teams and MSPs should plan each month’s approach in advance, whether it is allocating hours spent toward reaching certain objectives or establishing the accountability of different stakeholders. Teams will also find it helpful to select a staff member or small group of individuals to liaise with the MSP on a regular basis to ensure that time is spent on high-priority items.

Project delays can be avoided with a proactive mindset from the start of an MSP engagement. Changing priorities and unexpected events – resulting from circumstances beyond the MSP or the Marketing Team’s control – can stunt the momentum of progress toward business goals.

Enhance Your MSP Partnerships

Marketing teams can increase the value of an MSP partnership by choosing one that takes a proactive approach. A proactive MSP collaborates effectively with internal teams, makes recommendations that get results, fills technical gaps, and keeps forward momentum going when campaigns need it the most. Companies can get the most value from MarTech MSPs by harnessing their capabilities as both technical resources and changemakers, and creating the right conditions for success.