Microsoft Australia has transformed its B2B marketing model, placing greater emphasis on buyer/user needs when it engages with customers, according to Nicole Beecroft, commercial marketing manager.

During the Adobe Symposium in Sydney last week, Beecroft spoke about the company’s B2B marketing transformation. 

She told attendees B2B marketers face a number of challenges, including trying to engage a complex buying committee that could be c-suite, IT or marketers, and corralling them into buying their products.

“It’s tough, it’s not for the faint-hearted. I think that’s why we love our jobs, because it is complex. But it does make this really quite challenging compared to the consumer journey, which is one person making one buying decision.”

The other challenge, Beecroft explained, is the buying cycle is no longer linear.

She said, “It is in a bit of an infinity loop now. Customers are going from, discovery, to consideration to purchase back to discovery.”

Beecroft said B2B marketers need to engage with customers at the different stages of their buying journey with personalised messages that demonstrate Microsoft understands what is going on in their business and how a company’s solutions and products serve their outcome.

“They’re looking for partners that they trust,” she said.

That required the software giant become more customer-centric, Beecroft said. Previously, when selling to customers, Microsoft was quite arrogant. “We said you just need to buy Microsoft, but that doesn’t work anymore.”

She said the company needed to think about the customer journey and not Microsoft’s.

“How do you do that at scale, and looking at sort of customers segmentation and as we progressively profile these customers, how do we become more relevant?”

Beecroft said technology and automation helping the business serve up the right experience in the right time.

Microsoft needs to be integrated, making sure all its channels work hard for them, leveraging Marketo and Adobe. “Basically looking at digital offline and online experiences and making sure that they are connected,” she explained.

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