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Making every second count: What MSPs can learn from  Super Bowl advertising

Posted by Jeremy Singh on Feb 11, 2016 1:36:46 PM

According to CNN, this year’s Super Bowl drew nearly 120 million viewers— and that excludes tablet views, streaming and good old-fashioned sports bar watching. Year after year, millions of people tune in to the Super Bowl and watch this spectacle of athleticism and commercialism. As I’m awash in a sea of commercials for Doritos, domestic beer, and luxury sedans, the inner marketing fanatic in me was wondering: what does the ROI look like when an ad is on such a large stage?

A lot of the ads were catchy and fun, but sometimes too quickly forgotten. While all of my friends were talking about “Puppymonkeybaby,” it took me a while to remember what product the ad was promoting. In the IT distribution channel, marketing dollars are rarely spent without a clear goal for each activity. For every dollar of investment, some kind of ROI is expected.

So what does ROI look like at the Super Bowl? That’s pretty hard to say. Fortune estimated that the average cost of a 30-second spot at the big game was about $5 million. On the other hand, the average annual marketing budget for a small to midsize managed services practice tends to be much smaller. In both cases, it’s important to make the most of the investment.

There’s a lot that MSPs can learn from Super Bowl advertising. First, it’s important to engage your audience immediately. One commercial that stood out to me was the trailer for the new Jungle Book movie. Using 3D technology to make the visual style distinctive and attention-grabbing, this ad kept me hooked during its entirety. The follow-up was equally effective, I thought, as well as simple. “Visit the website to see the rest of the trailer.” The creators of this ad knew that they only had 30 seconds to leave an impression on potential customers. They also knew that it would be difficult for a prospect to make a decision in such a short time, so they directed potential buyers somewhere where they could educate themselves in order to make a decision. Whether it’s at a tradeshow or through an email, MSPs also have to figure out how to let their customers know what is being offered to them, without being completely overwhelming. A short email or demo at a tradeshow might be a good approach, especially if it directs the prospect somewhere where they can learn more about the MSP’s offerings (like their website or social media account).

Speaking of social media, there’s a lot of tweets that take place during the Super Bowl. Last year, there were about 29 million of them. As more viewers engage with live events through social media apps like Twitter, companies like Esurance have taken advantage of this trend. For their Super Bowl spot, Esurance directed viewers to Twitter, where they could enter a sweepstakes by retweeting Esurance’s posts. For MSPs trying to engage with their customers through their social media platforms, this might not be a bad idea. While at a tradeshow, encourage booth visitors to follow and retweet your account by offering an incentive. If the content is good, they might hesitate to hit the unfollow button after the promotion has ended.

What do you think? As an MSP, are there effective marketing strategies you’ve discovered when faced with limited time and financial resources? Let us know in the comments or tweet us to let us know!

Tags: MSP Tips, MSP Best Practices, Marketing Best Practices