With social media hogging the marketing spotlight over the past couple of years, one would think that e-mail was a relic of the past. Apparently not. The Harvard Business Review reports that e-mail is making a "triumphant resurgence." HubSpot's recent Digital Publishing Benchmarks Report found that 34.3 percent of B2B marketers are still using e-mail to drive revenue.
The good news is that the mechanics of sending out and tracking e-mail newsletters have gotten much easier over the years. But there is still that little detail of creating content month in and month out. And not just any content, but meaningful content that your prospects and customers will be interested in reading. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on December 15, 2015 at 11:30 AM0 comments
For most partners, marketing the packaged services of Microsoft's Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program is uncharted territory. Packaged services force a change in messaging from software to business value -- a welcome but challenging transition for most technology marketers. The business problem that the packaged service solves, instead of the technology behind it, has to drive the messaging and the marketing.
As you start to build the marketing plans that will support your CSP offerings, Microsoft's Cloud Profitability Scenarios should be the first stop. Under the ModernBiz campaign at the bottom of the page, the Partner Value Propositions do an excellent job explaining how cloud technologies plus partner services combine to deliver the full value to customers. These docs should be required reading for everyone on your sales and marketing teams. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 19, 2015 at 1:13 PM0 comments
For most partners, inbound marketing is still more about good intentions than flawless execution. There's no shame in that, but there is hope. The secrets of 50 Microsoft partners recognized for their mastery of inbound marketing will soon be revealed.
The "Top 50 Inbound Marketing Excellence" report from Fifty Five and Five profiles Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint product vendors who are leading the channel in marketing. The report will be released at Future Decoded, Microsoft's partner event in London taking place next month on Nov. 10-11. You can also sign up to receive the printed report through the mail after release. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on October 28, 2015 at 10:38 AM0 comments
For many partners, marketing remains the one function that seems impossible to master. Perhaps because technical minds yearn for clear-cut solutions, most partner leaders would rather take a trip to the dentist than think about marketing.
In its quest to help partners tame the marketing monster, Microsoft recently launched the "Smart Partner Marketing" site, which provides step-by-step guidance for even the most reluctant marketer. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 23, 2015 at 3:24 PM0 comments
The Executive Briefing Center (EBC) on Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., campus was designed to host high-level executives, showcasing the latest technology to enterprise clients.
Six years ago, when Michelle Follman, global alliance manager at Sogeti, learned about the EBC, she saw the potential to host a broader event, bringing multiple clients together in a unique and inspiring environment. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 09, 2015 at 11:44 AM0 comments
As independent software vendors (ISVs) look for ways to sustain growth in a changing market, building a strong community of partners and customers should be at the top of the list.
By investing in experiences beyond software, ISVs can create customer advocates and a deeply committed channel. Getting people together face-to-face for learning and a bit of fun is a proven way to build those connections and community. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on August 12, 2015 at 10:55 AM0 comments
Microsoft's global Windows 10 advertising campaign launched on July 20. While most of your clients are unlikely to be early adopters, that doesn't mean they aren't interested. Windows 10 will impact their businesses over the coming years, and you should be the one to help them understand what that means.
As you have been testing Windows 10 with your solutions, participating in the Windows Insider program and attending training sessions, you've gained insight that your clients would like to hear about. This is a great time to share those experiences and educate your customers about the next wave of technology and how it will affect their businesses. As you develop your messages, focus on the outcomes that Windows 10 and your solution sets will enable, instead of new features. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on July 23, 2015 at 8:03 AM0 comments
As promised, Microsoft has improved the Pinpoint search tool to help more visitors to the worldwide sites find their way to qualified partners. The updated Pinpoint platform is driving qualified leads to partners who invest the time to create strong, focused messaging and keep their profiles fresh.
Erik Frantzen, president and partner of Nurture Marketing, recently shared his experiences working with partners to build effective Pinpoint profiles. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on June 17, 2015 at 11:49 AM0 comments
How irritating is it to send an e-mail to the address listed on a Web site and get no response? Could it happen to someone visiting your Web site? You may think that you have the systems in place that make it easy for prospects and your existing customers to reach you, but when was the last time that you tested it?
In managing the day-to-day challenges of acquiring new customers and delivering services, it's easy to assume that all systems are working. If you haven't heard of any problems, it's probably OK. Until you get the irate call from a customer who has been trying to reach someone for days. Going proactive can help you avoid that call and the turmoil that would follow. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on May 28, 2015 at 7:57 AM0 comments
Office Sway, Microsoft's new presentation app, is going prime time, rolling out to Office 365 customers over the coming months. That makes this a great time to test out some new marketing approaches using a fun, flexible tool.
Currently in preview, Sway is part Web site, part presentation app -- and the possibilities are endless. Sway is an insanely easy way to build a Web page that looks professional without the help of a designer. There are a couple of caveats to taking design into your own hands, however. Some of the templates were definitely not intended for business, so keep in mind that simple is always better. And your viewers are busy, so keep your content short and to the point.
Posted by Barb Levisay on May 13, 2015 at 3:54 PM0 comments