“Now is not the time for marketing”
In short, I was shocked to read the above quote over the bank holiday weekend whilst scrolling through social media.
Is that really the case? Is now really not the time for marketing? Let’s work this through and consider the environment that we find ourselves in…
A chap I have known for a long time builds conservatories for a living. His small firm normally invests proportionally highly in his marketing with Google, amongst other mediums, to attract clients. Right now, his company’s skills are simply not required: nobody wants anybody around their home unless it is absolutely essential. For him, now is not the time for marketing.
However, in the IT / MSP sector, we are not shutdown. We work in a different way than we are perhaps used to, but we still work. Many of our clients also still work, so for this channel to shut down would be a mistake. But should we actively market our services to our clients?
As you will all have experienced, the needs of your clients have shifted significantly. Many will be nervous about spending money unnecessarily so there is little point in trying to sell them things that they may want rather than things that they actually need. That being said, many of them will not know what they need; they have found themselves reluctantly skippering in uncharted waters. They never thought that they would wind up here, they are not happy about it and they do not necessarily understand the potential threats that come with their new surroundings. It is up to us to advise and educate them in their time of need. In my opinion, to not educate or, at very least, let our clients know about new and emerging threats would be negligence!
Don’t get me wrong, they may not be happy to hear what you have to say: Many will simply want to shoot the messenger that brings complications to their door. However, you should still do your best to make them aware of the new vulnerabilities that they have, and to provide them with workable solutions.
Their first problem is the staff. These users will not just understand that they need to be even more careful than normal. Training and phishing simulations are required now more than ever. You must try to ensure that your clients do not see this as a service that they can cut to save a little money, it will bite them very hard if their employees make mistakes and let malicious actors into their network. I read last week that there has been over a 600% increase in the quantity of phishing emails since the start of March… the number was already VERY high.
The next problems are around properly securing their corporate networks. This can be many things including correctly configuring VPNs and ensuring that employees’ home computers are secured to a professional standard if they are to be used for anything work related. Your clients may be surprised by how many employees will write reports, analyse confidential data, etc. on a home computer rather than a work laptop simply because it provides a more comfortable experience… Monitoring, both operational and security, of tools such as Office365 has never been more important.
To address the original point: Now is the time to market! Just market the right solutions to the right businesses. Focus on the very real demands that you know your clients will be facing. Call your clients and run through how they are dealing with these new issues, offer advice about what is there and how you can help.
If you want to know more about anything discussed in this article, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Brigantia on 020 3358 0090.
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