Microsoft Office 2010 – Brazil’s launching campaignGustavo Donda & Don ValdezAdvanced Social Media Marketing - NYUBusiness SituationMicrosoft Office 2010Research data shows that most of the consumers use less than 30% of thefeatures available on their current versions of Microsoft Office. Moreover,convincing them to upgrade to a newerversion with even more featuresisn’t aneasy task. Despite this situation, initially, Microsoft chose to pursue the classicapproach of spreading awareness about the new software features. This was anatural tendency of an engineering-oriented company like Microsoft. It provedchallenging to convince them that a different approach was required; turning itto the consumers’ point-of-view was an innovation hard to implement.Social MediaThe Internet has been a key-platform for the software industry with most of thebrands focusing their product launching on this medium. However, with thedecreasing performance of display ads, most of the digital marketing efforts havebeen migrating to the social media arena.Despite being the industry leader,Microsoftdid not achieve good results from its social media experiences so far.Very well produced web videos were uploaded on YouTube for the US launchofnew Office in late 2009 but they weren’t getting more than tens of views. Thissituation overwhelmed the marketing team in charge of this launch withfrustration anduncertainty. Prioritizing social media was still a strategicguideline, but at the time that the launching wave should have started in Brazil,in November 2009, the marketing and product teams had no successfulbenchmarks to lie on and didn’t know what to do to launch the new Office 2010in the local market.Marketing goalsEven thought the starting date of the launching campaign was November 2009,the product would be available only on March 2010. However, achieving at least100,000 downloads of the free beta version available on the Office’s website inthis 4 month period was key for successful in product acceptance.QuestionsConsidering the recent fails in social media initiatives in US, should the Brazilianteam have pursued a campaign based on social media strategies?Should theyavoid using web videos?What they could do different than their Americancounterparts?InsightAfter carefully studying the marketing problem, the team concluded that thedownsides of the US launch weren’t related to the tactics chosen, but to thebranding approach.
The brand image built by Microsoft up to that time was business and corporate.In more recent years, several efforts had been undertaken to position the brandcloser to the consumer, but to take effect for the Office 2010 launching, a moreradical movement was needed.As result, two core-messages that opposed the current perception of the brandwere elected for the campaign: - Open source: opposing the idea that Microsoft is closed to the “hype-geek- hacking” community - Creativity enabler: opposing the engineering-oriented feature approachSocial Media Strategy 1. Create original content: 3 creative programmers were recruited to be locked in a house for a month and create fun technology using raw electronics, gadgets and Office software. Under the theme “Bring ideas to life”, they mixed art and technology, sometimes inviting musicians, graffiti artists and VJs. 2. Delivery in a powerful engaging format: the experiences were documented in 4 videos (one for each Office software: Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook) that were central pieces of the platform and responsible for the first ripple of the campaign 3. Connect different social media websites: guarantee that the conversation was continuous through different networks 4. Start and take part in conversations: discussions around the creations, the programmers, challenges propositions, “How-To” sessions, provide free pieces of code, etc. 5. Identify and engage with top influencers: PR communications and eventsfollowed each new video launched 6. Leverage word-of-mouth: using very target display ad through ad networks to bring new audiences to the buzz 7. Make sure that all activities were integrated to the campaign goal: post the campaign website link (where beta version could be downloaded) in every profile bio used as well as part of the conversationsThe results200,000 downloads mark was reached in January 2010, two months before thetarget date.ExhibitsSka music + Excel video: http://youtu.be/wrxCDK_avvYGraffiti + Powerpoint video: http://youtu.be/6gLkf2k94HQ