Did Microsoft Azure’s Approach to Marketing Help Its Company’s Quarter?

It’s rewarding to see a company succeed — especially when they’re considered an underdog in their respective industry. Microsoft, for example, is a quintessential comeback story in the tech industry. It was the tech industry leader for decades until being supplanted agile companies, like Google and Apple, that were more capable of adapting to a digital age.

Today, the organization is back near the top. It’s now the world’s fourth-most valuable company, nipping on Alphabet’s heels (in May it even surpassed the Google conglomerate) and just had an excellent earnings report.

What gives? Well, a lot of hard work from dedicated employees and key investments in critical areas, such as the company’s cloud platform, Microsoft Azure. Azure, in fact, is one of the prime drivers behind the company’s growth spurt. Its cloud platform is so successful that it’s growing faster than Amazon’s AWS. That’s serious pipeline.

To us, we can’t help but think that Microsoft Azure’s marketing efforts played a critical role in an organization’s overall success. While the tech giant possesses the funds to buy their way into a market, the company’s ethos — and practicality — demanded it takes a long-term, ground-up approach to marketing that informs customers, trains partners and provides sales with the insights they need — and do so quickly. It’s a traditional, well-oiled global demand generation machine refined for the modern era and it works. Trust us, we’ve seen it in action.

Microsoft’s successes — and other growth successes — should be a wake-up call to organizations chasing global growth. Its message: growth is a team effort, and putting everything in the right place first pays off in the long run. Curious about how Azure boosted its global marketing efforts? Check out our case study explaining how they re-invented their webinars for success and register for our upcoming episode of the Webinar Best Practices Series, “Taking Your Webinars Global.”

Microsoft and ON24 Team Up for Seamless Webinars

At ON24, we’re all about making personal engagement at scale as easy as possible. Which is why we’re pretty excited to be selected as the only webinar platform supported by the flourishing Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform. And it’s a booming platform, seeing a 65 percent growth rate during the first three quarters of fiscal 2018 — even faster than Microsoft Office 365.

Dynamics 365 is a combination of applications, including customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and marketing automation, hosted on Microsoft Azure, the company’s cloud platform. Dynamics 365 for Marketing is an ideal solution for marketers and marketing agencies seeking to simplify their business applications on the Microsoft stack.

To get a better idea of just what this partnership between Microsoft and ON24 entails — and what everyone gets out of it — we sat down with Lou Pelosi, VP of Business Development and Partnerships at ON24 to ask him a few questions about this development. Here’s what he had to say:

Q:

Can you explain the relationship between Microsoft and ON24?

Lou Pelosi:

From a high level, we’ve expanded our customer and technical relationship with Microsoft and signed a co-marketing agreement with their Microsoft Dynamics 365 team. The goals of the agreement are to drive greater value for our joint customers and to market and sell together to obtain new customers.

Q:

What was the impetus for this partnership?

Lou Pelosi:

Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 for Marketing earlier this spring to connect sales and marketing and help them to make smarter decisions to maximize marketing ROI. Our strategies and promises — especially when it comes to facilitating both human engagement and actionable insights at scale — to marketers are aligned and complementary.

Microsoft, and Dynamics 365, in particular, has been on a tear recently. Market share is up, the stock price has tripled in recent years, and investing in new SaaS architectures and applications which have significant momentum in the market.

Q:

How will ON24 work with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing?

Lou Pelosi:

The Microsoft marketing application includes an out-of-the-box ON24 adapter allowing marketers to schedule and reserve ON24 webinars without leaving the marketing application. It also provides both the ON24 presenter and audience URLs to use in emails and landing pages for event promotion and execution. Ultimately, the marketer understands who registered, who attended and collects actionable data on engaged attendees.

Microsoft customers must still purchase an ON24 account, but the initial integration simplifies the webinar process. ON24 is making a special 30-day free trial available to Dynamics 365 for Marketing customers and prospect. You can learn more here.

Q:

How will this evolve over time?

Lou Pelosi:

Microsoft and ON24 continue to invest heavily in marketing technologies and solutions. There are several ways our relationship could evolve as we move forward. Options include improving the out-of-the-box integration capabilities to add more fields and more data for the marketer to gain more insights, improving workflows to simplify webinar management and execution and collaborating on our broader portfolio of martech solutions. We’ll be working diligently in the coming months to communicate our value to customers, prospects and partners. If there are any questions about how you can benefit from the partnership, you can email dynamics@on24.com.

It’s Time to Wake Up Your Scale

Let’s talk about scale. As a concept, it’s simple enough — you take an item or set of figures and expand or contract — proportionally — as needed. Projectors, for example, can scale from a small frame to a massive frame with little effort. Similarly, you hold down the “shift” key when expanding a picture in PowerPoint or Word you’re making that image scale.

As a concept, scale is great.

Scale is great, of course, unless you need to scale revenue-generating ideas. Programs, people, pipeline — they’re all easy to scale in concept, but executing proportional growth for an organization is very, very difficult — doubly so if your role depends on it.

The ON24 Engagement Platform removes the difficulty from scaling your webinar events. It provides you with the tools you need to take a webinar from a few viewers to thousands or whittling an event intended for a massive audience down to a select few. Whether you’re using a global or account-based campaign, you have the power to stretch, shrink and scale your webinars to suit your needs.

Even more impactful is the platform’s ability to scale your programs — whether it’s marketing, certifications, continuing education or more — to your next market. ON24 makes it easy for you to push your hard-fought-for programs, and the ON24 platform, to peers in any region, regardless if they reside in a different county, state, country or global region. In fact, with ON24’s easy-to-use platform, you can teach distant co-workers and co-marketers — through ON24 and its robust, interactive widget — on how they can build and scale webinar campaigns and programs. This provides your organization with both marketing power and regional marketing programs that can scale specifically for a particular theatre of operations — extending your brand, your messaging and your values anywhere on the planet in a one-to-one scale.

So go ahead, expand your marketing efforts. Push your demos overseas. Send your campaigns on a round-world trip and tip off your regional peers on the power of scalable webinars. It’s time to wake up your webinars and your scalability.