Microsoft is one of the many companies that believe in digital selling and the merging of the online and physical world in every aspect of our lives, including in B2B marketing.
One of the company’s ambassadors on this topic is Eva-Mia Westergren, Marketing Director at Microsoft in Sweden. Our coach, Monica Senefonte from Tricycle-Europe, recently caught up with her after a training session. She asked her how digital selling – and Social Selling more specifically – is helping Microsoft teams achieve their goals and overcome challenges, and what are the most important changes in marketing today.
In today’s evolving business world, digital transformation is running full speed ahead. To be competitive, sales and marketing must respond to changes in the new digital marketplace. One area of particular interest is tapping into the power of social media. Microsoft is one of the many companies that is continually adopting new technology and applying new strategies to merge the digital and physical worlds, narrowing the information gap between their teams and customers. An example is Microsoft’s strong belief in digital selling and how it should be an integral force in today’s B2B marketing.
Eva-Mia is currently responsible for all external marketing in Microsoft. In addition to an impressive career in the IT industry, she also served as editor-in-chief at IDG, an IT magazine. From her LinkedIn profile, Eva confesses that she has a passion for digital marketing and how technology constantly creates new opportunities for people and organizations.
Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Microsoft.
Hi there, I am Eva-Mia Westergren.
I am heading up marketing for Microsoft in Sweden which means that I am all-up responsible for planning, execution and follow-up of marketing activities locally, both on strategic and tactical levels. My team consists of six marketing professionals working in all stages of the customers’ journeys. Our main goal is to change the perception of Microsoft in Sweden and drive measurable business impact through innovative marketing.
You’ve been working in marketing over the last 15 years, since then, what’s considerably changed? What would you highlight as the biggest change from traditional marketing to what we know as modern marketing?
While the internet was a thing already 15 years ago, the way we look at digital marketing is vastly different. Back then digital was considered another channel in the marketing mix. Now it is a part of the DNA. Digital is integrated into people’s lives as well as in how businesses operate. The discipline of marketing has transformed fundamentally because of it. Obviously, the breakthrough of social media has been a game-changer accelerating the shift to modern marketing.
How is social selling helping your teams to collaborate and achieve their goals in this digital transformation and new ways of doing sales and marketing?
Social selling, to me, is just a fancy word for using the power of social networks to build long-lasting, meaningful professional connections with people that may, or may not, lead to a business further on. At Microsoft, we encourage our sellers and marketers to engage with others through social media. Obviously, it must be on a voluntary basis to participate. Relationships both online and IRL [In Real Life] are based on authenticity
We see vast effects that come from using social media in helping our sellers to build their professional brands as thought leaders in their industries; reach out to and engage with new contacts they had not reached before, and invite customers to events and other opportunities to interact with.
We are rapidly changing and evolving as well as getting to know more how technology can help us. However, people buy from people. Do you think that the human to human relationship/connection will still be an important success factor in business?
I do believe that human interactions will always be important. However, I also believe that technology can give us super-powers we’ve never had before. Machines are better than us at doing repetitive and analytical tasks, i.e. provide insights from vast amounts of data, doing predictive analysis and providing cognitive services, such as real-time translations.
Artificial intelligence still lags on driving emotional connections, but it is only a matter of time until the machines have these capabilities as well. I don’t necessarily see this as a threat but as an unexplored opportunity to grow as humans.
Today we often get distracted by the complexity of emerging tech and the challenges that it presents – both from a customer and internal business perspective. Truly cutting-edge companies are realizing the need to not only revolutionize a customer’s business but to reinvigorate how they talk to them along the way.
Marketers are on the front lines of digital transformation. They realize despite having a B2C or B2B focus, communication should always strive to be H2H or human-to-human. By adopting a social selling focus, marketers, like Eva, are focused – now more than ever- on boosting the customer experience by building better relationships, one conversation at a time on social media.
We are seeing that business is immersed in a volatile climate, competition is fierce. To be truly adaptive, the world of B2B must maintain a successful, seamless strategy that covers both the physical and digital world. To secure their future success, progressive companies such as Microsoft, Citrix or Accenture – are looking to gain a ‘win’ in the social world. These companies are enabling their employees with new tactics and tools to help keep pace with the new, buyer’s journey.
Savvy consumers demand more; they need a higher-touch, personalized online experience. At Tricycle-Europe, we help companies achieve more by combining new technology and tactics in the social world. We do so by narrowing the focus towards a strategic, social approach, where authentic communication and relationship building is key.
We want to continue to help companies like yours to win in the social space. In order for you to achieve the same as other professionals winning in the social space, join us in our next webinar Meet the Masters of Social Selling. In the webinar, you will discover how top sales & marketing professionals are using digital selling tools and why it is something you should embrace and how. Additionally, we will share with you any update we experience on LinkedIn.
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