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Why Microsoft 'Ready-to-Go' Is Worth a New Look (Part 2)

Last week, we talked about the upgrade of Microsoft's Ready-to-Go (RTG) marketing site. This week, let's dig deeper into how partners are using the new resources. 

No matter what size or type of partner you are, there are assets on the RTG site that will help you start, accelerate or augment your marketing activities. Take Sovran, a Minnesota-based partner providing network services, managed services, communications and cloud services. Sovran is taking full advantage of the new RTG materials -- with great results.

Campaigns, Events and Syndication
Patrick Gibson, Sovran's VP of sales and marketing, said his company "really dug into the campaigns section since the site has been refreshed. We are using three of the four RTG areas, especially the campaigns and syndication."

While it uses some of the campaign materials as-is (like datasheets for sales packets), Sovran uses most of the materials as a base to build personalized messaging. Even though Sovran has a dedicated marketing professional, the materials allow the company to save time and stretch resources. PowerPoint slides provide a starting place for consultants to prepare event presentations, and articles provide the foundation for newsletters and other communication.  

"Sovran averages four events each month with the majority of our marketing focused on driving interest and attendance to those events," Gibson said. "By posting the events on the Microsoft site, we get the added benefit of the link-building value of the site. It gets our SEO [search engine optimization] rankings a bit higher."

He added, "Syndication from RTG is an awesome way to keep the content up to date on your site. Especially for partners that don't have a big marketing team. The RTG syndicated content keeps your site fresh and shows that you are a trusted advisor on behalf of Microsoft as well as the search engine optimization value. It's a no-brainer for all partners."

'Zero to Cloud Champion in Two Months'
Gibson credits RTG with accelerating Sovran's Office 365 initiative. "We are actively selling Office 365 with our products wrapped around it. We've used the Office 365 campaign to go to market," he said. "First, we used materials for internal communications to educate the sales teams. Next, we are sending out a series of five newsletters introducing Office 365. While I write the articles, I use a lot of the material from the Office 365 campaign resources. Then we will use the trial software and other materials to trickle out to customers through social media channels. 

"And we are getting results. We went from zero to cloud champion in two months. If we had to create all the content ourselves, we could not have done it so quickly."

Have you found gold in RTG? Leave a comment below or let me know so we can share the knowledge.

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Posted by Barb Levisay on September 07, 2011 at 11:57 AM