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Bot Girl’s insights from Microsoft Inspire 2020

Microsoft Inspire 2020

Bot Girl attends #MSInspire20 and shares some key takeaways she’s super excited about.

In these times where we’ve seen digital transformation being catalyzed across all businesses due to COVID-19, I’ve been excited to see how one of the technology powerhouses, Microsoft, pivoted their biggest partner event of the year!

A common theme I was inspired by

A common theme among the sessions offered perspective into partner engagement and what business looks like in our “new normal”. The COVID crisis was top of mind as speakers shared stories of how Microsoft partners and businesses around the world rallied to meet the needs of their employees and customers – going above and beyond in these difficult times. I was inspired by the message of having a strong “purpose” for our businesses and to embrace inclusiveness.

Key takeaways from the keynote

In the welcome message and opening key segments featuring Judson Althoff, Nick Parker, Gavriella Schuster, they spoke of the new world of business we now find ourselves in – or as Nick Parker said, “World of remote everything.”

  • COVID has jolted the world and it has impacted every single person. They shared the incredible response from first responders and how the quiet “first response” of partners has been touching and impactful as well. 
  • In our world of remote EVERYTHING, bringing purpose to digital transformation is crucial. Purpose is what perseveres, so everyone is seeking this out. 
  • There are 75 million daily users on Microsoft Teams productivity platform (this is up 70% from the previous month!).
  • Two things in this new business world that are more important now than ever: Security and relationships built on trust. 
  • And a closing thought I loved: “Respond, recover, and reimagine your business”

Insights from my favorites sessions

Next, I want to share key takeaways from some of the sessions I attended.

First was the session, “Always-on, always on target: Why digital marketing has more power to close” with speaker Sarah Muckler-Visser. Sarah shared how behavioral change is driving digital marketing needs and importance. She also said that establishing trust and reliability in an uncertain future is critical in digital marketing. And, for those of us who operate in a digital and remote environment, branding and digital marketing are what create and increase trust.

Here are a few insights:

  • The B2B buying journey is completed online before a buyer contacts a seller. B2B buyers make an average of 12 searches before they visit a brand’s website and 71% start with a generic search. 70% of these buyers include social media in preliminary research.
  • Delivering clear marketing touchpoints along the buyer’s journey is crucial as they are learning about what they want to buy before they land on the brand.
  • We can earn the buyer’s trust in the materials we build and promote, and the marketing cycle can act as breadcrumbs helping buyers to find what they need when they need it.

Next, was the session, “Seizing the untapped potential of thought leadership” with speakers Joe Kingsbury from Edelman and Tusar Barik from LinkedIn. This is another topic I’m passionate about, so I loved learning about the Edelman Thought Leadership Flywheel which is essentially their formula for winning big in thought leadership. It consists of these elements: Capitalize on White Space, Be Relevant, Set a Vision, Earn Trust, Be Concise, and Measure Progress.

Here are a few insights:

  • Good thought leadership explores potential challenges or new opportunities not yet considered, points out things overlooked in thinking or strategizing, and offers actionable competitive intelligence.
  • 75% of decision-makers say that being short & easy to absorb makes thought leadership very compelling.
  • 87% of decision-makers say that thought leadership that addresses a topic they are currently working on or thinking about makes it most compelling.

Thanks for a great week, Microsoft Inspire!

Props to Microsoft for executing a fully digital Inspire for the first time ever and keeping it impactful as always. I had a great week and learned so much about partner engagement and doing business in a “remote everything” world. Now, I’m even more inspired to help more people get their #ProblemSolvedwithsignNow!

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