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No. 15 – What is a Marketing Services Providers (MSP)?

Marketing Service Providers (MSP)

Gartner defines Marketing Service Providers (MSP) as those who supply professional services, system integration, creative services, third-party data, and application service providers (ASP) and hosting solutions for marketing organizations. 


The competencies typically include customer data integration (CDI), data quality and deduping, database marketing, prospecting, campaign management, marketing resource management (MRM), customer analytics, e-marketing, and advertising. It can range from technology hosting to full business process outsourcing.

Marketing Technology Growth

Business is not the same in 2023 and neither is the marketing department.


Marketing has undergone many changes in the last decade thanks to the convergence of technology and software. We’ve gone from grass roots marketing efforts to creating websites, e-commerce, analytics, e-mail marketing, and online events. 


This spawned enterprise software solution adoption with an ever growing list of management software and digital tools. Startups, Small-Medium businesses, and corporations began implementing a variety of softwares.


The researchers at keeps a list of over 8,000+ marketing technology solutions. That’s a lot of options to choose from! 


As more businesses and organization (of all sizes) continued onboarding new software and tools, we became inundated with data and analytics in marketing. It turned marketing from a creative, advertising, and communication function that morphed with technology. 


Now the marketing team had to understand digital marketing, websites, lead management, data intake, security, and how to execute it using the cool software solutions found.


It inevitably becomes a challenge for marketing professionals, businesses, and organizations to manage, learn, or master.

The Marketing Technologist

Accelerated growth and development created a new path in marketing – the Marketing Technologist.


This role is the person in your company (on your marketing team) that understands the integration between Marketing applications and Technology execution.


The Marketing Technologist will keep a global view and manage your marketing technology stack, own the website, the hosting environment, as well as communicate with creative and development teams on software customization. 


For startups, small business, and light marketing teams, this person might also direct rolling campaigns from conception to execution and assessment. That’s a lot of work for one individual to manage well.


Eventually, these digital tools started merging and full-on business marketing management software solutions began to dominate. There are even software and marketing tools and platforms that appeal to certain industries. 


For example, nonprofit software management solutions catered distinctly to their operations, member management, and education. Providing an all-in-one software solution to a nonprofit helps them streamline, deploy programs easily, host virtual events, collect dues, get donations, and more. 


As COVID hit globally, businesses and organizations were forced to assess their marketing and technology spend. Remote work became our new reality and offloading excess marketing and advertising tools was about saving the bottom line.



How does a business or organization manage their diverse marketing, softwares, tech stack, digital marketing/advertising, and cloud security integration in one?


That’s where Marketing Service Providers come in.




What is Marketing Service Providers (MSP)?

Marketing Service Providers enable businesses and organizations to leverage themselves with an off-site marketing team that understands marketing principles, digital content design, and technical execution with software and tools.


This enables startups, organizations, small/medium businesses, and corporations to leverage Marketing Technology expertise and execution without hiring or training an in-house team.


MSPs typically offer hybrid or full-managed marketing services with an on-going monthly fee similar to IT-as-a-Service. A variety of a la carte services with separate costs can be added when necessary for specific campaigns and events. Each client is managed with an Account Manager as the main point-of-contact.

How are Marketing Service Providers Different?

Marketing Service Providers (MSP) are mainly different because of technology expertise and implementation, in addition to digital marketing and creative.


MSP’s will be able to upgrade your website environment’s Content Management System (CMS), integrate your Customer Relationship Management (CRM), E-mail Marketing, Analytics, Social Media, and advise on a secure cloud environment.


The secure cloud is becoming more of a concern in Marketing Technology among virtually all industries. It’s especially a concern in healthcare and education


It’s important for companies and organizations of all sizes to assess their cyber security and ensure their website has the right security certificates and monitoring. Data collection and storage must be carefully assessed in the cloud and as it passes from the website to other databases.


MSPs bridge the gap between concept to operation and execution of marketing as a whole. Having a global view allows you to streamline, automate, enhance, and make insightful decisions on business operations, marketing, customer support, and so much more.


Startups, businesses, and organizations of all sizes around the world are utilizing Marketing Service Providers to upgrade marketing operations, document technology stacks, upgrade website Content Management Systems, implement and customize Customer Relationship Management Software, build automation, manage martech stack, and more.


This type of partnership requires open communication, brand experience transformation, and adoption towards change. It can help a business or organization gain a global view of your marketing efforts and spend, on- or offload software and tools, integrate website and software, and deliver a better brand experience.

How Altairzen Started

The first graphic design client I had was for a beauty company on Craigslist as a teenager. I listed my design services in a simple post and they contacted me. I designed a trade show flyer for them and earned $150. I was over the moon! Those were different times online then.


Today, I’ve spent 18 years working in startups, electric vehicle charging software and hardware, cloud, datacenter, and marketing technology. The marketing department morphed with technology as software tools became the norm and websites became more of a spaceship for docking plugins and tools that support day-to-day business.


Altairzen was founded in 2013 in Maryland. Over the last 10 years, we’ve grown into a remote boutique company with a dedicated global team. Our clients include technology companies, national and international nonprofits, global associations, e-commerce companies, healthcare companies, and more.


Thanks for learning more about Marketing Technology and Marketing Technology Service Providers!


It’s one of my passions too. I enjoy the technical, analytical, and creative aspect of this job. It’s an interesting challenge and combination of marketing and technology.



Happy Building,


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