The report, which is focused on the efforts of Microsoft Partners the world over, is available for free to download from our website today.
We’ve spent the last few months carrying out an in-depth analysis of the marketing efforts of Microsoft partners, and today’s Inbound Marketing Excellence report is the culmination of that work. We’ve included in-depth research and commentary on the efforts of the Top 50, as well as case studies, interviews with industry experts and op-eds from thought leaders including David Meerman Scott, Nintex and LiveTiles.
Inbound Marketing Excellence: Why a Top 50?
Inbound marketing is a term coined by Hubspot founder Dharmesh Shah. It can be defined in comparison with traditional marketing, whereby marketers would attempt to reach as large an audience as possible with billboards and magazine ads in the hope some of the readers might be interested. By contrast, inbound marketing is about helping people come to you by implementing a range of techniques from SEO-driven websites to blogs to social media presence.
B2B marketing is far from easy, and this is especially the case when it comes to marketing technology products. Vendors in the Microsoft Partner Network sell powerful, complicated and innovative tools and services. Successfully communicating the benefits of these tools, especially to a non-technical audience, can be a major challenge. However, through our work we regularly meet product vendors who are doing just that. The Inbound Marketing Excellence report, therefore, is intended to celebrate the efforts of these companies, and promote learning and best practise across the community of Microsoft Partners.
How did we decide?
There are literally thousands of product vendors in the Microsoft Partner Network. Some of these are major companies employing hundreds of employees, others are literally a ‘one-man band’. We looked at over 25,000 companies, whittling them down based on a variety of criteria. Check the report for the full criteria.
Once we’d got our shortlist, we decided to begin rating all the vendors therein across three metrics: website, Twitter and blog. Why these three measures, rather than say, email or paid search? Simply because these are the three most common inbound techniques used in 2016. Again full details are in the report.
With all the blogs, Tweets and websites rated, we now had a top 50. We then spent (a long) time looking through all the blogs, websites and Twitter feeds of everyone in the Top 50, discussing our thoughts on their approach and methods and turning this into useful, independent comment.
So, who came first?!
We’re very pleased to announce that Sharegate took the top spot in our Inbound Marketing Excellence report, for the 2nd year running. This is no mean feat at all, especially given the broader pool this year. Congratulations! Kudos particularly goes to their marketing team, led by Jean-Luc Brisebois.