How dullness impacts your MSP's growth

30 May 2024 | by Ian Blake

"Dull is expensive commercially," says Adam Morgan, a seasoned advertising veteran and partner at Eatbigfish. Many MSPs appear indistinguishable from one another, so what is this lack of identity actually costing you?

How dullness impacts your MSP's growth blog

In the competitive world of Managed Service Providers (MSPs), the quest for differentiation is paramount. Yet, as we've delved into numerous MSPs' brand positioning or lack of them, a disheartening pattern emerges: many MSPs appear indistinguishable from one another, lacking a unique identity or a compelling narrative. It's a scenario that begs the question: what is this dullness costing your MSP?

Dull is expensive commercially

Our exploration into this phenomenon was further illuminated by the insights of Adam Morgan, a seasoned advertising veteran and partner at Eatbigfish. Through a series of interviews conducted last year, Morgan dissected the concept of dullness and its profound implications for businesses.

One noteworthy interview featured Peter Field, whose research underscored the staggering cost of dullness in marketing campaigns. Field's findings revealed that a dull campaign could require up to seven times more advertising expenditure to achieve effectiveness compared to an engaging one. For larger companies, this translates to an astronomical £15 million in additional advertising spend per campaign.

"Dull is expensive commercially," Morgan aptly summarises. Indeed, landing a dull message demands exorbitant effort and financial resources, exacerbating the challenges faced by MSPs striving to carve a niche in a crowded marketplace.

Interest your audience at every touchpoint 

This reflection prompts a critical examination of how dullness permeates the MSP landscape. While the notion of investing millions in advertising may seem inconceivable for many MSPs, the underlying lesson is universally applicable. Dullness is not exclusive to brands with hefty budgets; it's a pervasive issue with tangible repercussions.

Consider the myriad touch points through which your MSP interacts with stakeholders, prospects, customers, employees, and potential hires. From your online presence to sales engagements, every interaction shapes perceptions and influences decisions. If your brand blends seamlessly with competitors, what opportunities are slipping through the cracks?

In this context, the antithesis of dullness is interesting. It's not about flashy advertising campaigns or comedic social media antics. Instead, it's about crafting a narrative that resonates with your audience—a narrative that is relevant, valuable, surprising, distinctive, and occasionally provocative.

Take aways for success 

Drawing from Morgan's insights, here are actionable take aways for infusing interest into your MSP's brand:

  1. Speak your audience's language: Tailor your messaging to resonate with the unique needs and preferences of your target audience.
  2. Provide value: Offer solutions, insights, and expertise that enrich the lives and businesses of your audience.
  3. Surprise them: Break away from the expected and deliver experiences that captivate and intrigue.
  4. Be distinctive: Embrace what sets your MSP apart and leverage it as a competitive advantage.
  5. Don't be rational, be an antagonist: Challenge the status quo, evoke emotions, and provoke thought. 

In conclusion, the research underscores a pivotal truth: the bar is set low for MSPs. By transcending dullness and embracing interest, you not only differentiate your brand but also exponentially enhance your chances of success. As champions of transformation for your clients, you possess a rich foundation upon which to build a compelling narrative—one that resonates, inspires, and ultimately propels your MSP to new heights of growth and prosperity.

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