Saying the words “marketing strategy” to the owner of an IT services company seems to bring all sorts of thoughts and emotions to the surface.

Some are good. Recognition. Interest. Concentration.

Some are bad. Boredom. Ignorance. And worst, fear.

The right marketing strategy for your services business can deliver all the things you want. A good reputation. Higher utilization rates. A healthy pipeline. Thought leadership and industry authority.   So what are these owners afraid of?

Small Target Market

Concentrating on a smaller target market is the most widely held marketing strategy fear. It is often counterintuitive to think that if you concentrate on a small audience, your business will grow.   Owners are afraid that they will lose business or market share by narrowing their focus – but it’s not true in the long term. Sure, you might miss some opportunities, but in the long run your business is much better off serving a small, engaged, appreciative target marketing than a market that is large, disengaged, and overly price conscious.

Focusing on a small marketing means you can stop trying to be everything to everyone.   You can refine and optimize your service, delivery, marketing, and achieve greater margins.

Ideal Customers

Declaring an ideal customer is another of the most widely held marketing strategy fears.   An ideal customer persona provides a clear description of the best customer your business could attract. They represent the customers who have the highest financial impact and marketing value for your business. They refer your business to other prospects just like them.

Having a clear definition of your ideal customer helps you understand their pains and gains. You will understand the outcomes they want to get to and the people that influence them. But many owners fear that focusing on an ideal customer will limit their growth, exclude potential customers in their target market, and ultimately reduce revenue.

Like narrowing your focus to a small target marketing, focusing on an ideal customer will help your business grow.


The difference you bring to the market is a foundation of your marketing strategy. Ask a business owner how they are different from everyone else, and they will usually respond, “That’s easy. We have great customer service.”   If everyone else were saying the same thing, you would have to guess that it is not much of a difference.

Some business owners fear they won’t be able to communicate a difference and maybe deep down are afraid they are just like everyone else.   That owner should look at the difference through another lens; the customer. Thinking about the difference you make in the lives of your customers should produce a list of both tangible and intangible ways you make their lives better.   Therein lies your difference – and it’s probably unique to your business.

Fewer Channels

Many business owners incorrectly believe that they should be using every marketing channel. Advertisement, print, direct mail, signage and billboards, website, social media, email and the other 10 or so channels are all possibilities for them. They falsely believe that you have to be utilizing all channels if you are going to “get the word out.”

Wisdom says you should be using the marketing channels that work best to connect your business to your ideal customs. That cannot be all of them.   A marketing strategy will help you identify and utilize a small number of marketing channels.

Living by a calendar and budget.

Most business owners don’t have a marketing calendar or budget.   This allows them to make marketing decisions based on their intuition and gut feel.   They don’t want to be constrained to doing things on a schedule or budget.   It would mean they would be saying “No” more often than “Yes” when approached by salespeople who have the latest marketing fad or specialty marketing skills that they are sure will fix the owners’ revenue and new customer woes. Additionally, many owners may not know how to go about establishing a calendar and a budget, and after all, if there are no rules, you can’t be doing it wrong.

The fact is that without a calendar and budget you are more likely to make bad decisions. You’ll have greater buyers remorse, and your marketing results will be less than you want. A marketing calendar and budget will help you establish the marketing system that will lead to greater consistency. And greater consistency will lead to better results.

You would think marketing strategy was an area to embrace, not to fear. But, many IT services company owners will still not commit themselves and their business to a strategy.Maybe the fear is about losing a sense of control or the shining a light where there may be darkness.  

Whatever the reason, the fear is unfounded.

The existence of a marketing strategy in your business will separate you from your competition and accelerate your growth.

Interested in overcoming your fear or learning more about how to improve your marketing results? Check out this post:

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