IT’S EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS by J. Walter Thompson New York, UM for Microsoft

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IT’S EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS

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Industry Software & Multimedia Productions, SaaS
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency J. Walter Thompson New York
Agency UM
Released September 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Business Products & Services
Advertiser: MICROSOFT
Product/Service: BUSINESS SERVERS & TOOLS
Agency: UM
Agency: JWT
Date of First Appearance: Sep 21 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: UM, New York, USA
Senior Vice President/Group Communications Director: Brian Monahan
Senior Director Digital Marcom: Bill Capodanno (Microsoft)
Senior Vice President/Group Media Director: Leila Chism
Manager Marcom Media: Jamie Conner (Microsoft)
Manager Marcom Media: Erin Wagnild (Microsoft)
Associate Media Director: Phil Lincoln
Associate Media Director: Liz Franks
Media Supervisor: Adam Kanter
Director of Marcom Communications: Deanna Singleton (Microsoft)
Chief Creative Officer: Gayle Troberman (Microsoft)
Media placement: Online - IT Sites, Technology Sites - 28 September 2009
Media placement: Mobile - Admob, Cbsi, Google Mobile, TMCnet, Yahoo, ZDE - 28 September 2009
Media placement: Print - IT Trade Media, Eg. CIO, Computerworld, EWeek - 21 September 2009

Results and Effectiveness
Amongst IT professionals who recognise the campaign, we are seeing significant movement in positive perceptions around the Efficiency Platform message and product consideration, especially those prospects reached by multiple channels. In addition to these primary goals, we also see a broader impact of Marcom on additional metrics such as product awareness and preference which is important for long purchase-cycle products. The cost per engagement (getting people to engage with the content: read a white paper, download a demo, etc.) has dropped 60% from Microsoft’s historical category benchmark. And the aggregate volume of engagements increased 20 times historical volumes.

Creative Execution
IT Political Playbook executed in 31 markets, implementing innovative tactics under three strategic planks: establish Microsoft’s IT Efficiency platform, support product ‘candidates’ with informative, engaging content, and activate Microsoft’s base of loyalists. 1) Establishing the Platform Message: Efficiency * ‘Front page’ placement for all key destinations favoured by IT professionals became the foundation for our ‘efficiency’ message. * We instituted a weekly messaging pipeline to drive rapid-response ‘news’—from inception to in-market in under four business days! 2) Supporting the Candidates: Product Engagement * “Publishing Hub” areas within IT media sites combined regularly refreshed Microsoft content, relevant publisher content, and community commentary. * We delivered robust product evidence in-unit to inform and engage IT Pros without requiring a visit to the campaign page. 3) Activating the Base: Microsoft Advocacy * Designed to influence ‘Swing voters,’ ‘Town Halls’ on IT sites like Tech Target and IT Toolbox.com held Microsoft-hosted discussions among IT Professionals.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
Historically, Microsoft has run individual campaigns for every enterprise product. The problem was limited orchestration across campaigns and the campaigns did not accrue to a universal proposition. Our challenge was to support individual products, but ensure they rolled up into a larger brand statement. For IT Professionals, their relationship to Microsoft is a lot like a relationship to a Political Party. Some IT professionals love the company, others hate it, and many are “swing” voters who have mixed perceptions based on their need. Like a political party, Microsoft also has a slate of technology “candidates” that, although independent, together convey some core values, such as end user “ease-of-use,” interoperability, and ease of implementation. Like individual politicians, each technology “candidate” is locked in competition against other formidable alternatives. As a political party supports multiple candidates in individual elections, we sought to create a single, comprehensive communications strategy, “The IT Political Playbook.”