Microsoft Power BI: 3 Tips to Craft a Compelling Marketing Story in the IT Supply Chain

Every marketer knows marketing is storytelling.

But telling the story is one thing. Telling a story that sells is another.

Enter Merit Mile. Microsoft approached us to create sales tools and marketing materials for Cobweb, a U.K.-based Microsoft channel partner and cloud services hoster, to help sales reps communicate the value of Microsoft’s business intelligence tool, Power BI, to end customers.

Specifically, they wanted a complete Power BI sales kit including slide deck and telesales discussion guide along with a customizable landing page, web banner, email template and product data sheet.

Marketing for the IT supply chain is a specialized process—it’s key to understand who’s doing the talking and who they’re talking to. Moreover, it’s not as simple as a persona analysis as some communications need to speak “to partner” while others need to address “through partner” messages. In short, selling IT, and particularly selling Cloud, is a multi-dimensional marketing pursuit. So, as a team, Merit Mile was eager to augment and tailor the Cobweb Power BI story based on our legacy IT supply chain experience.

For starters, what is Power BI? Microsoft Power BI is an interactive data visualization tool designed to help customers make smart, data-driven business decisions. But, of course, took it a step further and asked and answered the hard questions include the value of Microsoft Power BI and more importantly “Why Power BI”? Ultimately, the real bottom line is about being able to make better and more profitable business decisions.

In fact, Power BI helps businesses with a variety of things: cutting costs, increasing productivity, focusing market strategy, even improving the customer experience. So then we asked, “What’s the business value story here? And how do we tell it?”

That’s when we found our “why” and our story: Power BI enables users to see their business from all angles. That’s the real business value.

Our next step included taking this conceptual idea and turning it into a tagline that Cobweb felt drove right to the heart of their customer conversations. Then we built marketing materials to facilitate that conversation on every relevant level of the supply chain. The result for Cobweb? The ability to have more effective sales conversations complemented with customer-focused marketing materials.

In other words, a story that sells.

Stuck on your supply chain messaging? Try these three tips:

  • Identify the problem—and whose problem it is. With the IT supply chain, there are several problems at work: the OEM wants to help partners increase sales of a particular offering, partners want to assist reps with selling the offering, and reps want to solve a customer’s pressing issue with the offering. By identifying whose problem you’re solving with each deliverable, you build a more effective and compelling marketing package focused on facilitating the right conversation with the right target.
  • Find the real bottom line. To identify your real story, examine the obvious benefit and ask “why does that matter?” or “what’s the real bottom line?” This can unlock the door to a more powerful message that engages customers instantly, especially when that value is framed as a solution to their immediate need.
  • Make it tangible. Lack of tangibility in technology can make it challenging for customers to grasp. On the simplest level, Power BI takes raw data and visualizes it. So, we brought Power BI to life visually by demonstrating how much more approachable and actionable it makes customers’ data. Don’t forget—visual comparisons aren’t your only option. Tangibility can take many shapes including allegories, demos, case studies and more. Explore and experiment.

Have questions about developing your integrated marketing strategy? Contact Merit Mile to explore how we can help grow your cloud service or hosting business.