Finding Your Niche – Why IT VARs & MSPs Must Differentiate

Those in the IT channel are used to high competition. Many deals are won on price, and competition in every vertical is at an all-time high. With more options than ever to chose from, end customers can demand more at a lower cost. Does this sound familiar to you? This is the case for most VARs & MSPs. The reality is, there are many IT firms out there that try to do everything for everyone. By trying to be everything for everyone, they essentially become nothing for everyone. People want experts that know their business better than anyone.

Why It’s Scary to Niche Down

When a business owner starts a business, they often do not think of all the people they plan to avoid working with. The idea of turning down business or revenue seems insane to think about, but in reality, it could be the smartest thing they do. Let’s take a hypothetical scenario that is outside of the IT space and focused on your personal life. If you had a major leak that was flooding your house and needed immediate assistance, you likely did not call a handy man who recently fixed your roof. Your first call was most likely to a plumber who could stop the leak immediately. The reasoning for this was they were an expert who had the highest probability of preventing as much damage as possible due to their knowledge in that field. The same logic applies in the B2B space. When a business has a need, they want someone who understands them and can fix their problem. More times than not, they are willing to pay a premium for an expert who can help them better than someone else.

Becoming More Targeted Opens Up More Opportunities

When you become focused on a specific vertical or solution that you offer, you open up many opportunities. First off, you eliminate a large percentage of the competition who tries to be everything to everyone. By being an expert in a certain vertical, your clients will most likely look at you as a member of their team and bring forward opportunities you previously never would have seen. By niching down, you’re simply positioning your organization as the best in a certain vertical or best fit to deploy a certain solution. You don’t necessarily need to turn down the business that comes your way in other areas. You may find this to be a strategic decision based on your team’s skillset, but you also may find that you are fully capable of assisting in other verticals or assisting with other solutions that come your way. When you become a trusted advisor by knowing your client’s business inside and out, referrals tend to come as a side product. These can typically be in other sectors.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Businesses must have a plan if they want to grow. Any business plan must identify who the target audience is. By keeping your target audience as “everyone” you solve the needs of no one. The more targeted you get, the better off you can help that individual or business with their problems. The way our business approaches this is through persona development. We start every engagement by identifying the individuals that a specific campaign or content piece is targeting. We understand in detail what makes them tick, what keeps them up at night, and ultimately what they want. Identifying how we help them, either through an offer or content, is the easy part at that point.

Want to learn more? Download our marketing playbook for IT VARs and MSPs to learn how you can incorporate target audience development in the initial part of your next lead gen campaign.