Monthly Archives: March 2013


Top 4 Marketing Activities for IT Consulting Firms

Imate of a team talking about colo Ashburn VirginiaToday, companies successfully employ a variety of marketing methods, such as online advertisements, email campaigns, and pro-bono work in order to promote their products. Although these same methods are available to companies that are trying to promote their services, success is not guaranteed.

When it comes to marketing, promoting a service can prove to be more difficult that promoting a physical product. As a predominantly service-based company, your IT consulting firm needs a solid foundation before you start marketing your services. In order to do that, you must be easily accessible for your clients, demonstrate credibility, and establish your firm as a trusted source.

Here are a 5 more suggestions that you can incorporate into your firm’s marketing mix.

Networking

Gaining visibility in your industry is a critical first step. One way to do this is by contacting and maintaining a good working relationship with professionals in your industry. Professional networking goes beyond handing out your business cards. It involves aligning your firm with people and companies who can provide referrals, introduce you to new developments, or suggest different ideas.

Starting your own network is not a very easy task, but there are various ways to go about it. One of the most effective methods is to use the opportunity provided by various seminars and conferences in your niche or the larger IT industry. Several industry representatives attend these events and it becomes a lot easier for you to build more contacts by joining groups and interacting with event attendees.

Building A Partnership

Another way to gain visibility is through building partnerships. New partnerships can lead to good contracts in the long run. You can partner with other organizations in your industry, companies that complement your service offerings, and other agencies.

Many big companies now opt for agencies to manage their vendors as it eases the amount of contracts they have to negotiate.
 The agencies can use you for the work and simply bill the client. However, while entering partnerships with agencies, you should see to it that the agency is involved with companies that you would like to work with. Also, make sure that the work the agency provides is similar to what you do, otherwise you will have a tough time trying to sell your services.

Attaining Credibility

In addition to increasing your firm’s visibility, it’s also important to attain credibility. The most efficient way to build credibility for your IT firm is by producing good work, meeting the goals of your clients, and consistently offering customers something of value.
 Subsequently, you can build word of mouth campaigns, which are also very effective. These steps work well if you have already made yourself visible in the market, otherwise consider public speaking and writing opportunities to help you establish a reputation as an expert. Conducting workshops, speaking at events, and participating in an industry panel are other ways in which you can demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.

Your Local Community

Many firms tend to ignore meetings at the Local Rotary or Lions Club. Mid-size business owners can be present at these gatherings. Having the right impact at such gatherings can help you generate leads that secure future clients.


The New World of Datacenters

Image of datacenters like RagingWire and Rackspace.Ok, so datacenters have been around since the beginning. They originally found their homes in Universities and the basements of geeks and slowly made their way to likes of UUNET, AOL and AT&T. In the old days the major concern was the availability of bandwidth. Server rooms were unreliable and the cost for your internet access were high. With the explosion of the Internet in the mid- to late 90’s it became increasingly clear that people needed a place to put their systems that was not only secure, but could also deliver the type of bandwidth people needed. That trend really carried us through most of the last decade.

Today the world is changing. If it doesn’t exist on the web then it just probably doesn’t exist. As fiber becomes more readily available and bandwidth more of a commodity, people are less concerned with how to get bandwidth and more concerned with how to get power. At the same time, the world has gotten smaller and so have the size of our servers and infrastructures. As a result the power required to make our systems go has become prohibitive. Combine this with the ever increasing cost of power at a macro level and you have the perfect storm. Welcome to the new world order. As power costs continue to rise and we as technologists need more, it is becoming increasingly important to be in a facility where you can not only get power but a lot of it. Hence the new world order of datacenters.

The battle for your servers is no longer being waged based on bandwidth, heck I have 35 megs at my house, it is now exclusively about the ability to get power at a reasonable rate. This has forced datacenters to approach how facilities are designed and operated and how they are marketed to us. It has also led to major new initiatives in everything from Geothermal datacenters to (gasp) nuclear powered datacenters. Here is the reality, the need for power is going to increase not decrease and as technology requires more computing power energy will continue to be more and more of an issue. This means as consumers we need to not only be prepared to adjust how we think of datacenters but to adjust how we plan for the future. In fact maybe the more appropriate term for the datacenter today is power station. This is evidenced by Pennsylvania Power and Lights foray into datacenters and Hurricane Electric’s dominance in California as both a datacenter facility and power company. The new world order is here are you prepared.