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Episode 325: Successful Lead Gen Tactics and Cultivating Thought Leadership With Crystal McFerran of The 20

Episode Summary

Crystal always had a passion for marketing and knew that’s where she wanted her career to take her.

After working at Hewlett Packard and starting two of her own companies, Crystal helped conceptualize The 20 — a marketing agency for managed service providers (MSPs) that helps with lead gen, sales and scaling their businesses. The name is derived from the 80/20 rule, “as our intention is to dominate the top 20% of the IT industry,” Crystal says.

On this episode of Tech Qualified, Crystal dives into how she approaches lead gen for a service that requires customers to make major changes within their business and how she cultivates thought leadership at The 20. She also shares what her most successful marketing campaigns are and what it takes to be a successful B2B tech marketer.

Guest Profile

Crystal McFerran

Key Insights

Episode Highlights

“We’ve created, essentially, a blueprint for managed service providers (MSPs) that includes everything that they struggle with. We find that MSPs struggle with three primary things: that’s lead gen, sales and scale — like a lot of businesses, as I’m sure you’ve seen — but especially for MSPs. So we’ve created a model that solves those issues, and it helps them to overcome the challenges they typically face to grow their businesses and take them to the next level.”
“When it comes to marketing, it’s not one-size-fits-all. There’s no magic pill or magic bullet — it takes time, money, expertise and consistency. … It all works together and it’s really about the long game. So I would say that — going back to digital marketing — if you really break it out into three categories, you have your owned media, so that’s a huge focus: your website, blog, social media profiles, email. Then, earned [media], so that would be thought leadership, media coverage, guest posts, all of them. Then paid, and that’s where we’re talking about social advertising, pay-per-click and those things. Really, it all works in conjunction.”
“The thing with marketing … is you need to be able to — and I hate using the word pivot right now, I think it’s such a buzzword — but to be able to quickly pivot. So everything we do really is data-driven and constantly looking at numbers and analyzing and figuring out, OK, what’s working really well, where should we double down our efforts and do more of that. It’s been cool to see some kind of new areas of opportunity.”
“Most businesses realize that sales and marketing have to be intermingled and work closely together to really be effective on either side — on the sales side or on the marketing side. So here, we definitely work very closely. [We] joke that marketing is the wing man for sales.”
“The content that we’re putting out that I would say is most effective is any type of social proof. I think, for MSPs, is when they’re looking at something like The 20 that’s such a huge change for their business, it’s most effective for them to read about or watch video testimonials and hear from others who have been through this process, to hear about how it transformed their business. I would say that type of content is disproportionately successful versus something we’re putting out [about] what The 20 does.”
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