Marketing in a Data Driven World
In July 2015 my business partner, (our MD Ronnie) attended Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference in the US. This was our first attendance at WPC and by all accounts what an awesome event.
Having dealt with many global IT vendors over the decades, we are constantly amazed by the Microsoft beast. Whilst almost all vendors myopically push their technologies at events, Microsoft is demonstrating it’s not like most other mainstream vendors.
The constant theme at WPC (and subsequently at Microsoft’s Australian Partner Conference) was “how can we help you become more successful” & “what do you need from us to grow your business” – refreshing from an IT vendor.
At WPC there was a dedicated marketing stream running over three days with presentations from channel partners, marketing agencies, social and digital consultants and others. Over three days not a word about Microsoft or its products – just people presenting on what’s happening around the world with companies that are embracing social and digital marketing.
We hadn’t initially planned on attending the marketing breakout stream, as we were at WPC to network with Microsoft staff and their partners.
Our Microsoft host Phil Goldie (Director Partner Business) was the key reason we attended the marketing sessions. In keeping with the “how can we help your business” philosophy, Phil encouraged our attendance at these sessions. We figured we really didn’t need to attend the marketing stream – we had our marketing bases covered (laugh you might). We did listen and we did attend – (we owe you Phil).
During the first day of the marketing presentations I started receiving messages from Ronnie, which then turned into daily phone calls. The general messaging “ this marketing stream is incredible, I can’t believe we haven’t jumped on board earlier, we have so much to do, we need to stop our current initiatives and completely change tack.” And so it went on for the days ahead, which turned into weeks of rethinking and planning.
My first exposure to the content from WPC was when Ronnie returned back home and shared the slide decks with me. Case study after case study with concrete examples of organisations who have embraced and invested in digital and social strategies to reach wider audiences in meaningful ways, supported by actual before and after results. It was compelling and exciting.
We participated in Microsoft’s Australia Partner conference in September and attended the Marketing stream over 3 days, equally compelling and enlightening. As we sat there, gob smacked by the statistics glowing back at us, we realised how utterly mistaken we were in our marketing approach to date.
We left with absolutely no doubt that we had to transform our marketing efforts, and throw the marketing 101 books out the window.
I like to call it our Oh my god moment, when the light bulb went on and a whole world of possibilities presented themselves. We left the conference excited with the very real prospect of a bright future for our marketing investment.
Our next challenge was how we were going to achieve this dramatic change in direction and what results we expected. What does marketing success look like?
Check out Part 1 of this series here
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