top Microsoft partner

What does a Top Microsoft partner company look like?

  • The top Microsoft partner companies in terms of marketing; where they are, how big they are and how old
  • Get our insights on the best Microsoft partners and improve your marketing

To find the top Microsoft partner companies in terms of marketing, Fifty Five and Five take an annual look at the digital marketing efforts of partners from around the world and rank them across three criteria: their website, their blog and their social media engagement.

What you’ll find is lots of valuable information and data about who is performing particularly good inbound marketing across the partner network. What you might find slightly less of, however, is specific data about the businesses that are doing particularly well – and how they compare to yours. Those looking to get differentiate themselves would do well to find out exactly who, where and how big their competition is. So that’s what we’re going to uncover in this post.

Where are they?

top Microsoft partner

If you take a look at the geographical distribution of our Top 50 partners, you’ll quickly discover a few things. The first, and perhaps most obvious of these is that most companies in the Top 50 are based in the United States. In fact, as much as 32 of the companies in the Top 50 are American (64%). Of these, nine are based in California, three in Texas and one in Washington state.

top Microsoft partner

The next largest concentration of Top 50 Microsoft Partners in the study came from the UK, with nine companies (18%) of the total included. The remaining nine companies are split in totals of one or two between Australia, South Africa, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.

How old are they?

You might be tempted to think that the best performing Microsoft Partners are the oldest, most established companies – but that’s not always strictly the case. Sure, the top performers are hardly brand-new tech start-ups, as the highest-performing blogs and social channels are built on consistency over time. But there’s a fairly broad scope of companies here – showing that there’s plenty of potential for even the smaller and less defined organisations to achieve digital marketing excellence.

top Microsoft partner

The median age of companies in the Top 50 is 17, though there’s a huge range of different ages within this. The oldest on the list, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) was founded back in 1939, and the most recent, Bettercloud, arrived on the scene just seven years ago in 2011.

Bettercloud itself managed to beat plenty of competitors and landed itself a healthy spot as number 8 in the Top 50 – thanks in large part to its impressive social media score. So,  there’s no reason why younger companies can’t achieve digital marketing success.

How big are companies in the Top 50?

Just as with the average age of Top 50 Microsoft partner companies, there’s a varied range of sizes of companies all achieving success. The smallest companies, of which there are nine, consist of between 11 and 50 employees, while some others are much larger. In fact, two notable businesses even have over 10,000 employees.

top Microsoft partner

Those who read reports like ours on Microsoft’s most competent partners, may well conclude that the top contenders are simply operating in a different league to theirs. Barring the possibility of committing more employees to a marketing department, a larger organisation is not representative of marketing success. It’s companies that have the right marketers in their team—willing to commit the proper amount of time and dedication to digital marketing—that are seeing success.

If companies numbering as small as 11-50 employees can have better digital marketing strategies than their 38,500 competitors, it’s surely proof that it’s perfectly possible to make limited resources go a long way.

Who are the Top 250?

Though we write our annual report to celebrate the inbound marketing strategies of the Top 50 best performing Microsoft Partners, we actually produce a list of the Top 250.

The majority (73%) of our Top 250 Microsoft Partner Companies consisted of between 11 and 200 employees, versus the 50% in the Top 50.

top Microsoft partner

It’s difficult to draw any direct conclusions from this comparison – and it may simply be a result of the differing sample sizes. What is clear, however, is that smaller companies are well represented among the best performing Microsoft Partner Companies – by both metrics.

Get the details on the best Microsoft Partners and improve your marketing

The Fifty-Five and Five Inbound Marketing Excellence report gives insight and understanding into what it is that makes these top performing companies’ digital marketing campaigns so successful.

In the four years since the report was published, it’s quickly become a staple of the industry, delivering vital knowledge that helps companies improve their own inbound marketing strategies.

Did you make it to the Top 50?

Get your free report right here


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Smartsites A microsite with a unique look and feel

bluesource is a multi-award-winning, globally trusted IT consultancy on a mission to remove IT complexity and help organisations across every industry leverage the best technologies and drive innovation.

Standing out in a crowded market

bluesource were looking for help to create a microsite to promote its workplace intranet solution, SmartSites. For bluesource, SmartSites represented something completely different to any of its other offerings. They wanted something unique in terms of look and feel. Therefore, the SmartSites microsite had to have its own identity and brand, but also it needed to stand out in what is a competitive market.

bluesource sought us out for the project because we had worked together before. They knew our competencies and were confident they were in safe hands.

How the process worked

At the outset of the project, we began by sitting down with the bluesource team and assessing how best to market the new product. From these initial duscussions we developed the SmartSites site map, which outlined what pages would be needed and how they would connect to provide a seamless user experience. This was followed by the design concept to determine the look and feel of the site.

When this was complete and signed off by bluesource, our Web Design and Build team built the site, creating it in WordPress so that bluesource would have full control of the site after it had gone live. With WordPress, bluesource have the ability to update the site when they need to. On top of this, we provide ongoing support and technical maintenance on request. Finally, we wrote the copy for the site, applying messaging that had been developed from bluesource’s pre-existing literature.

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B2B SEO services: the benefits for your business

Our team of friendly and highly experienced B2B SEO experts work closely with you to improve the quality of your site, boost your ranking and drive more traffic to your site. By working with us, you tap into our expertise of boosting the search rankings for countless Microsoft Partners. We are able to optimise your website, as well as tapping into our extensive contacts with editors and respected industry publications to improve your backlink scores.

Whether you're brand new to SEO and need support from experts, or have experience of optimising your website and just need help tweaking your pages, we work in collaboration with you to fit around your requirements.

We have proven experience with industry leaders like Dimension Data and Rencore. Read our case studies to learn how we work with clients like you.

Ready to rank? Contact us today

If you aim to appear on page one across the major search engines for your target keywords, work with Fifty Five and Five to make it happen. Get in touch with us by using the form below, or if you prefer, by sending an email to We look forward to hearing from you!

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Great B2B website development entices visitors to learn more about your business, find out about your services and encourages them to make contact.

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Why the Brain Matters: An Introduction to Neuromarketing Techniques

Why the brain matters: an introduction to neuromarketing techniques

  • We discuss neuromarketing technologies and which to apply to your digital marketing
  • How to use the insights you have into your audience to ascertain how best to market to them

As marketers, our goal is to understand the needs and desires of our target audience so that we can reach out with the right messaging. A basic understanding of human psychology has always been important. But now, new research in the field of neuroscience—the science of how the brain works—could help us understand exactly what goes on when people make buying decisions. What do these insights mean for how we do marketing?

What is neuromarketing?

In his TED Talk, “Is there a buy button in the brain?”, Patrick Renvoise defines neuromarketing as the “science of human decision.”

Neuromarketing brings together the worlds of marketing and neuroscience. Where neuroscience aims to understand how our brains work, neuromarketing is specifically interested in what is going on in our brains when we make buying decisions or when we react to different types of marketing content.

It might be one thing to accurately nail down your audience personas, but it’s another to figure out how they will respond to your content. Traditional marketers might have used focus groups and surveys to figure out how to best position a message to its target audience. But neuromarketing take a different tack, analysing at the physiological changes that happen in our bodies (primarily the brain but not exclusively) to understand what is really going on.

This is because people generally don’t know what they want, even if they think they do, because a lot of what goes into making a decision takes place in the subconscious. A whole gamut of subconscious drivers govern how we react to content – and most of the time we aren’t aware of them. Some neuroscientists believe that as much as 95% of the decisions people make when purchasing are subconscious and beyond their rational, deliberate actions.

So, the goal of neuromarketing is to understand what people’s subconscious drivers are, how these manifest and how marketing can benefit from these insights. But how does it work?

How it works: neuromarketing technologies

There are various ways to map and monitor changes in the brain that indicate activity, including:

  • Facial coding – which detects the slightest movements in muscles when people react to stimuli.
  • Eye tracking – this follows where people look when they engage in a piece of content. This provides heatmaps where people’s attention is fixed.
  • fMRI – functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) measures oxygen consumed by the brains in various regions of the brain. This shows engagement in subjects and how the brain is reacting to stimuli.
  • EEG – an electroencephalogram (EEG) test measures the small electric currents that are sent between brain cells. The advantage of this over an MRI is that it is more portable, meaning that people can be tested in shops or cinemas for instance.

What does neuromarketing tell us about buying decisions?

So, what can we learn and how can this be applied to marketing?

The reptilian brain

Neuromarketing says that it’s best to think of the brain as having three parts. The rational brain, the emotional brain and the instinctual brain (often called ‘the reptilian brain’). Each of these parts play a different role in how we react to stimuli and the actions we end up taking. What is fascinating here is that traditional understandings of decision-making completely misjudged the importance of our reptilian brain.

The reptilian brain is one of the oldest part of the brain, having developed on the evolutionary chain millions and millions of years before homo sapiens walked the earth. Its features are as follows:

  • It functions incredibly quickly but is limited
  • It focuses on the present and has no conception of past or future
  • It’s always on, reacting to the world around it
  • It’s unconscious, controlling important bodily functions like breathing and digestion, but also our fight or flight reflexes
  • We have little control over it

The reptilian brain governs many of our responses to the content we see. It is home to the subconscious drivers that cause us to react to certain messages, images or sounds in ways that are beyond our control.

Other findings

  • Avoiding pain is a stronger motivator than seeking pleasure
  • Faces draw the eye better than other visuals
  • Content which customers can personally identify are received more positively
  • Prices with round number (e.g. £100) are processed more easily, but numbers like £99.99 are thought of as being a better deal

Certain colours are tied up with particular emotional reactions

Neuromarketing techniques to apply to your digital marketing

Neuromarketing research is still quite expensive to carry out – so it is very much a field in its infant stages and will surely develop as the technology required to test the brain advances and becomes more widely accessible. But there’s no doubt lots of potential. For now, here are a couple of neuromarketing techniques that you can try in your marketing.

Loss aversion

Research shows that the psychological pain of losing something is twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining something. Loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to be won over by the idea of not having to suffer this pain or loss.

A good example of this is FOMO, so infamously seen in the case of Black Friday. Shoppers flock to get the latest deals not because they need the items on sale but because they are made to think that they would be missing out – and they can’t bear to miss out on the deal. The same neuromarketing technique is used by Amazon when they list when an item is running low in stock.

But, how can this be applied to marketing? You could try out using language that emphasises the pain points of a customer rather than the benefits. All too often, especially in the world of B2B technology marketing, tech products or services are marketed to customers by relaying a long list of benefits. Why not try something different? Why not use messaging that focuses on your customers pain points and highlight how your product can help avoid the pain.

Decision Paralysis

People often find it hard to make buying decisions. The theory of decision paralysis explains why – when we are confronted by too many choices, our brains fall prey to overthinking and freeze into inaction or a state of choice-making paralysis.

In one famous experiment, test subjects were asked to pick a favourite jam. One group were made to choose between 24 different jams and they found it difficult to pick. The other group which was presented with less choice (6 jams) found it easy to pick their favourite.

The lesson to be learnt from this is that too much choice can spoil what you have to offer. This is especially the case for technology companies. Many managed or professional IT service companies have a wide range of offerings. Many choose to present these as a long and often complicated list for the customer, which is not only confusing but will bring about this state of decision paralysis. Finding a way to de-clutter the list of services you provide or grouping your offering into easier to digest chunks will get you better results. 

Get inside your customers’ heads

There’s a lot to learn from neuromarketing. Any further insight into your customers can help you ascertain how best to market to them. And, although, it seems unlikely that you can afford to set up your own fMRI or EEG tests, you can keep on track of the latest findings in the neuromarketing field and utilise these in your marketing efforts.

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B2B technology copywriter

Content and copywriting

Work with an amazing B2B technology copywriter to tell the world what you do with intelligent, deeply-researched content. Our in-house team of writers are all B2B technology experts - we understand enterprise technology better than any other marketing firm, and can help you present it in a way that convinces readers to get in touch with you.

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Content is one of the few chances you get to share your view of the world with your customer base. Don’t waste that opportunity with rambling posts or boring company updates.

Working with a Fifty Five and Five B2B technology copywriter, you’ll receive bespoke content that adds value for your customers. We build a compelling story arc for all our clients to make sure their blogs, whitepapers and social content is unique. Our goal is to make you stand out from the competition as thought leaders in the B2B technology space.

Copywriting is about sales: ultimately, all the content we create is aimed at encouraging your ideal buyers to get in touch with your sales team.

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Great content should influence and inspire. Talk to a Fifty Five and Five B2B technology copywriter today about creating content that will help you start conversations with customers.


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