Engagement marketing is a marketing strategy that directly engages consumers and invites and encourages consumers to participate in the evolution of a brand.  Mastering this strategy is a great opportunity for companies to generate brand awareness and build meaningful relationships with their customers and prospects.   As a Solution Consultant, it is my privilege to meet with our clients and help them understand how they can empower their business with this innovative marketing strategy.  It seems that almost every day I run into a client that loves the idea of engagement marketing but just does not know where to begin.  Do they start with content, nurture or lead scoring?  What about PPC and Re-Marketing?  Not to mention personalizing the website.  Each business is different, so therefore it is going to take a specialist to get started in the right direction.


Of course, you need the right software to begin with, ala Marketo, but more importantly, the right people to manage it.  Some of my clients will hire full-time specialists to staff the engagement marketing initiative, and others will train existing resources.  These strategies can work very well, but what I find more and more is that businesses are turning to Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) to ensure they take full advantage of the benefits an engagement marketing system can provide.   Managed Service Providers are partners of Marketo who specialize in a variety of areas necessary to run a great Engagement Marketing Strategy.  From implementation, to data integration, campaign strategy to content, there is an MSP out there who can help you in one or all of these areas.  It’s what they do!  There are many reasons why companies choose to leverage an MSP, and some of these reasons will apply to you I am sure.


1.  They have never done this before
Engagement marketing is a relatively new concept and even some of my large clients still haven’t mastered it.  Perhaps they are doing traditional advertising, or they might confuse email marketing with engagement, maybe they don’t understand the great ROI, whatever the case, many still have yet to make this important leap.  Hence, they do not have the strategy and tools necessary to maintain meaningful relationships with their customers.  The good news is that many Managed Service Providers do get it, and in fact are experts at using marketing automation technology to do just that.  They have acquired proficiencies in house that take years for a traditional marketing department to master (through trial and error).  Not only do they get to a positive ROI in a short amount of time, their clients learn from them as they go.


2.  They have done this before but the marketing queue is too long
In other cases I have found that even though my client has proficient resources on staff, they don’t have adequate access to them because their project or department is not a priority. What this means to the marketer is long wait times for critical and time sensitive initiatives, missed opportunities and missed ROI.  And as we know, business is moving at an ever increasing pace, so timing is everything.  Using an MSP will remove this obstacle because they can typically get your engagement campaign out very quickly and with relative ease, so now they don’t need to wait in line to get things done anymore!


3.  They don’t have the budget for it
To this I counter, they don’t have the budget not to do it; research shows that engagement marketing works.  We know that buyers are spending most of their time on self-directed journeys and that they demand a personalized approach.  So it’s imperative we communicate with them in a meaningful way throughout their journey.  Using an MSP to accomplish this goal can be surprisingly affordable.  Typically, MSP’s are supporting many different customers at the same time and therefore will get volume discounts from the vendor.  Further, they have already devised effective strategies for many clients that can be leveraged for an economy of scale.  So on a short term basis, the cost of using an MSP can be 30-40% less than deploying your own instance for the same project.  They are getting better value and a higher level of expertise.
So as you are deciding how and when to run your next (or first) engagement marketing campaign, don’t forget to consider that Marketo has a brilliant partner network with the marketing and industry expertise you need.  I have had the privilege to work with a fantastic network of Managed Service Providers that can help you take your marketing ROI to the next level.  To find the right partner for your business just ask your account executive, or visit us at on Launchpoint, our partner portal, at http://launchpoint.marketo.com.