Marie Rourke

As president and founder of WhiteFox, Marie is recognized throughout the IT channel for her straightforward, business-minded approach to channel marketing, PR and communications. With more than 15 years of experience in the IT channel, Marie is a friendly face at industry events and a respected advisor and colleague to many of the channel’s most innovative companies and business partners. Marie launched WhiteFox Marketing and Communications in 2005 with the vision of bringing channel relationships, marketing, PR and communications to the forefront of companies’ business growth strategies and tactics.
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Recent Posts

Define Your Purpose. Share Your Story.

Posted by Marie Rourke on Mar 1, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Purpose-driven marketing is making headlines, differentiating companies and influencing deals daily. Take a look at the “Helpful Honda” campaign, or the “American Express Small Business” campaign. Both deliver a halo-effect around the respective brands and for good reason. What they are doing is having a positive impact on their target audience. 

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Topics: MSP Marketing

A good MSP marketing plan is not a to-do list

Posted by Marie Rourke on Sep 28, 2016 11:22:00 AM

Marketing isn’t a series of check boxes. It’s a way to engage, empower, and take actions that will create an exceptional experience and exceed business goals. And contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t require hundreds of thousands of dollars to get it done right. What is required, though, is initiative, time, drive, and consistency. Oh, and a solid plan. 

A good marketing plan keeps the business focused on achieving its goals and communicating its differentiated value. It uncovers new opportunities, inspires discussion, encourages engagement, and fuels the corporate culture. Marketing also drives sales leads and can help close the deal with the right content and collateral in play.

So what makes for a good MSP marketing plan?

The topic was white hot at ChannelCon and XChange this year and for good reason.

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Topics: MSP Marketing

5 Tips for working with the press

Posted by Marie Rourke on Jun 29, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Before the Internet, blogging, and social media, businesses relied heavily on advertising and public relations to build brand awareness. The joke among marketing leaders to clients was, “You either pray for space or pay for space—or both.”

Fast forward from Mad Men to 2016, and advertising still plays an important role in the marketing mix and social media’s relevance is undeniable. Yet for many, it’s the “earned” media placements secured by PR that businesses covet the most. Why? Because it’s not perceived as pay for play.

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Happy customers are great lead generators

Posted by Marie Rourke on Jun 1, 2016 11:21:04 AM

As a successful MSP, you look to your peers for validation of a vendor, specific technology, or a new service model. Your customers do the same, and when they’re happy, business is good—and your marketing should be even better!

There are a number of best practices for integrating happy customers into your marketing program and using their voices and experience to more effectively market and sell your services. Here are a handful of our clients’ top picks:

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Topics: Lead Generation

The Art of Blogging in Four Simple Steps

Posted by Marie Rourke on Apr 13, 2016 11:00:00 AM

In the late 1990s, what began as a way for people to keep an online diary of happenings in their personal lives blossomed into what is now referred to as “blogging.” Largely fueled by the decline in print journalism, organizations of all sizes, from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, saw blogging as a way to harness the power of the online journal to share ideas, promote thought leadership, and communicate with key stakeholders about their businesses in ways they never could before.

Today, while there are thousands of blogs to be found online, organizations of all sizes still struggle when it comes to filling the content funnel, and IT solution providers and MSPs are no exception. While there are those who are very good at providing weekly, or in some cases daily, updates, many are hard-pressed to come up with bi-monthly or even monthly posts. We know that limited time and resources are what keeps organizations from creating timely and relevant blog content, and this is especially true for SMBs.

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Topics: Content Marketing

Simple steps for getting your MSP marketing on the right track

Posted by Marie Rourke on Mar 15, 2016 3:22:04 PM

Yes, marketing is a pain point for most MSPs. But it doesn’t have to be. If you take the time to assess what you really need to get done, doing it will become that much easier.  

The fact is, no one knows your customers and business value better than you do. Sure, an experienced marketing communications pro will help you better articulate your answers and nail your pitch. And if for whatever reason you don’t think you’ve got the right answers, ask your customers this simple question: “Why do you do business with us?”

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Topics: MSP Marketing

PR advice for IT service providers: How to make your words matter

Posted by Marie Rourke on Feb 4, 2016 12:18:34 PM

We have all heard the phrase, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” And the truth is both are equally important. Yet, there’s another question that many ignore, and that’s the why behind the comments we make — not to mention the when, where, and to whom. 

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Topics: Content Marketing

3 Things MSPs need to consider before writing a press release

Posted by Marie Rourke on Dec 29, 2015 12:28:03 PM

As an IT service provider, building and communicating your brand effectively should be a top priority every day. It’s not a one-and-done effort. Branding is an integrated and ongoing part of doing business that every IT service provider needs to own.

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Topics: MSP Marketing

7 Things MSPs Need to Stop Saying to Their Customers

Posted by Marie Rourke on Nov 30, 2015 4:44:29 PM

In an interview, presentation, or meeting, what you don’t say has significant impact on how your message is received and remembered. In fact, it's often as important as what you do say. As an executive communications coach, I constantly remind our clients to avoid using words that distract, diminish, and derail the point they're making.

A few examples include the words but, actually, and honestly, as well as the phrases “We’re trying,” “We believe,” “To be honest,” and “What I can tell you is this ….”

These words and phrases are bad for business and often leave the reporter, the audience, your peers, and your customers to question the truth, relevance, and value of your statements.

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Topics: MSP Marketing

It’s time for MSPs to start shouting about their service

Posted by Marie Rourke on Oct 7, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Two areas of business quickly differentiate great channel partners from the rest — Customer Service and Brand Recognition. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once said: “In the old world, you devoted 30 percent of your time to building a great service and 70 percent of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.” This statement is true for most companies, but it doesn’t represent the reality VARs and MSPs are facing.

Great channel partners have always focused on delivering exceptional service. It’s part of their DNA and core differentiation. Yet, for many, building the company’s brand — much less shouting about it — has never been a priority, until recently. 

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Topics: MSP Marketing

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