One of the benefits of being a Premier IAMCP UK member is an invitation to exclusive round tables with top Microsoft executives.
Last week, we had a great event hosted by Scott Allen, Chief Marketing Officer at Microsoft UK.
Microsoft are finally being recognised by the analysts as more innovative than Apple and other technology players. We are all familiar with the major changes in the Microsoft messaging and the internal Microsoft re-organisation from last year. This new “refresh” is now filtering down on every level of the organisation.
So what does this mean in terms of the Marketing operation in the UK?:
– Digital Transformation : “digital marketing” is old news – the new terms are “Modern Marketing” and “Digital transformation”. We should all strive to help our customers to transform their businesses. High digital capability leads to higher profitability (26%+). Social selling is everybody’s job, not just the marketing team’s.
– Team : You might have dealt with multiple marketing departments within Microsoft in the past. This is no longer the case – they combined the various marketing teams under one department. This brings so much more synergy and efficiency. Building a strong team culture is key for the leadership team. The new management team is focused on creating clarity, generating energy and delivering success. Customer obsession, diversity/inclusion and Growth Mindset Time (GMT?) came across as the new values. For example, each Microsoft employee can now block their calendars with GMT during office hours to “think creatively”/not just do their day to day tasks.
– Logos : with so many product lines, Microsoft felt that they were missing out in terms of recognition. Going forwards, they are going to use Microsoft’s core brand, instead of the sub-brands. One logo for all their solutions.
– Customer journey deliverables : Microsoft’s marketing is aiming to engage with the customer at every step of their journey and each campaign has different touch-points:
- Understand where your customers are
- Identify needs
- Make the moments matter
- Build emotional ties
- Turn customers into collaborators
– Marketing impact : marketing should not be an overhead/cost centre, but a function that helps influence business decisions and generates pipeline and revenue. This requires KPIs that are measurable and commercially savvy. There are 3 key impact areas:
1. Reputation – reputation programs seed the market for effective demand generation (awareness, PR)
2. Sales enablement – making the sales people and cycle more effective (pipeline acceleration, consumption)
3. Demand creation – creating and nurturing customer demand to generate leads – lead generation, revenue contribution
– Marketing campaigns : Microsoft is running 16 campaigns until the end of June. The new and exciting campaign is around Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Microsoft will use the TechWeek London event on the 11-17th of June 2018 to officially launch Microsoft’s AI in the UK.
Overall, it was a very successful event which allowed the attending partners not only to get an insight into the Microsoft marketing team’s structure, strategy and campaigns, but also ask questions about their own challenges and share best practices.
“This is a great community of Microsoft partners where members get the opportunity to attend a presentation on a particular topic, share ideas, challenges and potential solutions,” commented Stuart Goldwater from PragmatiQ Solutions.