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Catch the Microsoft ModernBiz Campaign's Momentum

Microsoft's ModernBiz global marketing campaign aimed at small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) is gaining traction -- and just getting started.

If your business serves SMBs, this is a tremendous opportunity to roll out marketing activities of your own that build on Microsoft's momentum. By aligning with the ModernBiz messaging, you reinforce your partner status with prospects and, as an added benefit, you can use content that you don't have to create from scratch.

"We've tried to make it easier for partners to have a single campaign to execute while we are driving demand generation around the world with ModernBiz," explained Cheryl Kelly, general manager of SMB marketing at Microsoft. "It's a great opportunity for partners to piggyback on what we are doing."

Microsoft's multimillion-dollar demand-generation investment for ModernBiz will focus on the digital world with banner ads, videos and viral promotions all focused around the "For Your Business" campaign hub.

"We're already starting to see good results," Kelly added. "We've had over a million responses during the first four weeks of the campaign."

Build Your Distinct Messaging
To build your campaigns, there are Microsoft Ready-to-Go (RtG) resources that you can tap and tons of additional content on the For Your Business site. It is worth paying particular attention to the content on the For Your Business site. Microsoft has done an excellent job of writing content that is business problem-focused instead of product-focused.

The ModernBiz messaging supports four primary business needs of SMBs:

  • Business anywhere
  • Growing efficiently
  • Safeguarding your business
  • Connecting with customers

As you build your own messaging and campaigns, add your own experience to the topics you cover. The message will be more effective if you address a specific challenge of your target audience. If you focus on a vertical, combine the RtG content with your own industry message.

Instead of trying to touch on all four topics in any of your own marketing, focus on one benefit at a time. Send four e-mails, each covering one topic, instead of one e-mail with all four. In the campaign materials on Ready-to-Go, there are copy blocks that expand on each point.

Choose Your Tactics
There is no right or wrong here -- just be consistent and follow through. Seminars, webinars, e-mails, inbound marketing and social networking are all viable alternatives. A few ideas:

  • Hold a series of seminars, focusing on one of the four benefits at each session. The full ModernBiz Thru Partner deck of 59 slides is too much to show at a single sitting and was certainly meant to be split up. Add some real-life experience by asking a customer to speak about how you helped them solve a problem.

  • Write a series of posts for your company blog and promote them through your monthly newsletter and on social sites like LinkedIn. Use the whitepaper, infographic and video as additional calls to action in your newsletter.

  • Create an e-book by combining text from the RtG copy blocks with a high-level description of projects that you have completed for your clients. No need to include names -- just explain the service you delivered and the benefits the customer received. Providing a real-world example helps prospects see themselves and imagine what the solution would mean to them.
Prominent call-outs invite readers to find a partner.

Update Your Pinpoint Profile
Front and center on many of the pages within the For Your Business hub is a "Talk to a Microsoft Certified Partner" button that prompts for a location-based search of the Microsoft Pinpoint directory -- a great reason to update your Pinpoint profile. If you need some guidance on how to update your profile, check out this advice from other partners

One of the biggest benefits of being a Microsoft partner is the validation that comes with your association with the software leader. With ModernBiz, Microsoft is giving you the tools and the opportunity to clearly show prospects and customers your alignment. There has rarely, if ever, been a better time to build on a global Microsoft marketing initiative. Let your SMB prospects and customers know what a ModernBiz looks like.

How are you going to build on ModernBiz? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share the knowledge.

Posted by Barb Levisay on October 22, 2014