Microsoft unveils its “Stack Marketing”: Decryption and Lessons
Microsoft Corp recently revealed its marketing stack, which will be showcased at Martech in San Francisco next week. What is a “marketing stack”? It is the set of tools, the “stack” of solutions implemented to cover the company’s marketing needs.
I could tell you about how happy we are with Sociabble to have been able to slide a French company into this stack where each place is fiercely contested. But I will rather tell you about the many lessons that can be learned from reading this stack, both as regards Microsoft and the implementation of a marketing strategy, or the implementation of win-win technological partnerships.
Microsoft selects the tools, which, in its context, are identified as the best to achieve its goals. Even if these solutions are carried by competitors in other segments. We thus find the Salesforce Marketing Cloud while Salesforce is a competitor of Microsoft Dynamics. As in judo, using the strength of the opponent to win is now an integral – and assumed – part of Microsoft’s strategy.
More than suppliers, partners
Microsoft is building a lasting relationship with the suppliers integrated into its marketing stack. Most have chosen to port their solution to Microsoft Azure, both to serve Microsoft better, to be better integrated, but also because it opens up the ecosystem of Microsoft customers. Even marketing heavyweights have made this choice to invest in Azure: Adobe, Sprinklr, Salesforce for example. For a publisher like Sociabble, the implementation of our platform on Azure, then its opening to Office365, facilitated our development in the American market.
The choice of the best-of-breeds
The complexity of the marketing issues makes it impossible to implement a single solution. The Microsoft stack shows a desire to cover the needs by combining interlocutors of all types and of all sizes. But not just any old way. The dark blue wave represents the innovative solutions, wave front. Often worn by “light” actors who are faster than large actors. They allow him to make a difference from the competition, to have a head start. The more we go towards light blue, the more we go towards the company’s “backbone” platforms, because they manage or store critical data, repositories, etc. Microsoft thus combines stable foundations (data, content repository) with agile solutions to address rapidly changing needs. Naturally, the interoperability of these solutions is essential: single-sign-on, data exchange are required to be able to integrate into the stack.
The magic of SAAS
The magic of this almost 100% Software As A service approach is that a large part of Microsoft’s choices can be implemented by much smaller companies (all things considered of course). Billing is based on usage. Microsoft has deployed Sociabble in more than 40 countries, but some of our SME customers deploy to 100 people. It is the same for practically all the actors of the Stack.
The end of marketing and sales silos
The stack also covers sales. The wall between marketing and sales is a thing of the past. Account based marketing, social selling, a bridge between marketing automation and CRM: everything contributes to this essential reconciliation, with data at the heart of the alliance, the consolidation of points of contact, whether it concerns marketing campaigns or ‘a conversation with a salesperson. From the generation of qualified leads to the sales closing then to loyalty: the whole cycle is covered with a set of transversal services.
Openness and self-confidence
Few companies would agree to reveal all of their choices in this way. Selecting each tool is a lot of work, and knowing that the combination of these tools works is very valuable. Today more than ever, by playing the card of openness in this way, the Microsoft company is showing that it is not afraid. That she has confidence in her choices and that she leads the way.
More details on the stack Microsoft here.
Graduated from Ecole Centrale Paris, founder in 1994 of the digital agency FRA, sold 7 years later to Digitas, Jean-Louis Bénard participated in the implementation of the first e-commerce platforms in France, including Ooshop.
Since 2003, he has been Chairman of Brainsonic, digital agency, and CEO of Sociabble, an Employee Advocacy and Social Selling solution present in Paris, Lyon, London and New York. He is also co-founder of Novathings (connected objects). Author or co-author of several books including Extreme Programming (Eyrolles), he acts as an Advisory Board Member at Ecole Centrale Paris Executive Education.