Wait, what!? You may be thinking to yourself – We provide managed services and sell hardware, software, etc. What does Netflix have to do with us?

Well, you’re right, I’ll give you that one. Your business model is nothing like Netflix. However, there is a lot to learn from Netflix that can be applied to marketing in the IT industry. And don’t worry, I’m not saying that you should start recreating your favorite sci-fi thriller movies in the breakroom.

So, let’s connect the dots…

The way that I see it, there are three major phases in Netflix’s history that showcase how the online DVD rental company evolved into the video streaming behemoth it is today. These key steps that guided Netflix helped them digitally disrupt and transform a multi-billion-dollar industry.

The evolution of Netflix

Let’s take a closer look at how Netflix has evolved over time:

Traditional: Netflix launched in the late 90’s renting DVD’s online and fulfilling rentals and returns via mail.

Digital: In 2006, Netflix introduced its online service, streaming content directly to subscribers.

Disruptive: Fast forward to today, where Netflix produces original movies and television shows to strengthen its portfolio.

The most important thing to note here is that as the market has evolved, Netflix has adapted to better suit their customers’ needs.

So, how does this translate to IT marketing?

Take notice of the three phases of Netflix’s evolution. Many MSPs and VARs have taken these same steps with their marketing, but many struggle to make it to that final phase – to disrupt the market and differentiate themselves from competitors.

Traditional marketing is a no-brainer; many of you have been doing it for years. And when the time came, you opted to go digital. There are certainly laggards and non-believers, but most have been able to keep up.

But change is not easy, and many are still heavily dependent on vendor and distributor marketing resources to drive demand. With many of your competitors using those very same resources, you lack the ability to differentiate your brand.

Don’t get me wrong, these are great resources that can help to expand your internal marketing capabilities. By no means should you stop using them.

Look at it this way, Netflix licenses shows and movies because they know their customers want to watch them. But Netflix also knows there’s additional opportunity – A chance to create a more meaningful relationship with customers. And that is why Netflix produces its own original content.

But it’s not a choice of which one for Netflix, they know that the best choice is both.

Now, back to you!

You’re already taking advantage of the awesome content provided by vendors. But you too have the opportunity to further engage customers by adding original content to your marketing mix.

Why are your solutions different? How do you specialize in your target markets?

Maybe you lead with your services and upsell product. What if you offer multivendor or proprietary solutions? MSPs & VARs need to lead with their own brand to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Producing original content is not a cost, it’s an investment – In both your brand and your customers. Great IT marketers leverage a healthy mix of both original and vendor provided content. Will you choose to do the same?

Be more like Netflix and leverage the best of both worlds.