Marketing Microsoft

Making 1 + 1 = 3

Take advantage of Microsoft's online resources to boost your marketing strategies.

There are two approaches that you, as a Microsoft Partner, can take in using marketing to drive leads and sales:

  1. Do it yourself. This requires that your company have the marketing talent and resources available to get the job done.
  2. Do it with Microsoft's help. This combines the advantages of your team's expertise with the extensive marketing resources Microsoft offers partners. It's like 1 + 1 = 3. And it usually beats having to start from scratch or risk reinventing the marketing wheel.

Microsoft's marketing resources range from in-depth market research reports and suggested marketing messages to response-inducing offers (white papers, case studies, demos, etc.) and templates for direct mail, e-mail, PR or advertising. Microsoft can even help you buy lists or databases, promote your seminars and register your attendees. And in some cases, Microsoft will print and send out mailers on your behalf.

When it comes to marketing resources, you name it and they've probably got it.

You can start by actually reading those numerous e-mails you receive from Microsoft. Yes, I understand you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of Microsoft messages. But, tucked in among all the alerts about Microsoft's latest products and applications, are descriptions of new or updated marketing resources.

Rather than reading all those e-mails in real time, consider blocking out a half hour in your calendar each week for catching up on the news and clicking on the links, perhaps while having a sandwich or salad for lunch.

I also recommend blocking a second half hour to munch on some fruit or a cookie while visiting a number of key Web sites. You should start with these:

Marketing Guide for Partners
This is perhaps the best starting place for partners trying to determine how to market their products and services and to learn where to find helpful Microsoft materials.

Marketing Services for Partners
This portal takes you directly to Microsoft's Marketing Services for Partners in the United States, where you can buy lists or databases of prospects and find customizable marketing campaigns that can quickly generate leads and sales. Think of it as a virtual direct marketing agency.

Start by clicking on the "Check out the webcast" link under "A quick overview" in the right column to see an overview of the resources at this site and how best to use them.

Partner Event Services
This Web site offers Microsoft Partners in the United States in-depth information, tools and templates for scheduling, preparing and promoting events. It even functions as an event promotion and registration site where you can send prospective attendees to register.

Start learning more by clicking on the "Readiness Center" link in the left column. There you'll find everything from tutorials for planning and managing events to templates and links to other event-related resources.

Next, click on the "campaign center" link in the left column to view a list of ready-to-go events.

Microsoft Customer Incentives
This public-facing site features all the valuable offers, special financing and incentives available for Microsoft products. Use it to keep current on offers you can make to your clients to get them to buy now. The top of the page features three current promotions, but if you scroll down you'll see dozens of additional offers, all grouped by application or product family.

About the Author

M.H. "Mac" McIntosh has been providing marketing and sales consulting services for Microsoft and many of its partners for more than seven years. More than 1,000 Microsoft Partners across the United States and Canada have attended his Marketing Boot Camps and Marketing for Leads (tm) live and Web seminars. You can contact Mac via www.sales-lead-experts.com.

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