Marketing best practices

Publishing your offer in marketplace is just the first step. Furthermore, you need to determine how to optimize your listing to drive for maximum impact. The good news is that by publishing a listing in marketplace, you begin to unlock significant joint Go-To-Market (GTM) activities with Microsoft. In order to get the most out of this new GTM initiative and truly grow your business, you want to include your new listing as part of your existing marketing and sales activities.

The quality of your marketplace offer and your commitment to customer-centric demand help to drive your business growth. Your engagement in these activities helps Microsoft to amplify your GTM work, in order to feature key solutions across storefronts in the marketplace.

After you’ve created a great listing, the following marketing initiatives will help you grow your business:

  • Build a strong value proposition.
    Identify your potential customer and the key differentiators of your solution.

  • Create a unique landing page on your site to make your app listing stand out.
    Drive traffic from your site to your offer and make a great first impression. Based on your offer listing, customers decide whether they want to learn more and try your solutions.

  • Enable a test drive or other trial experience.
    Users want to experience your app firsthand. Publishers have historically seen much higher lead conversion rates from listings that offer a test drive or trial.

  • Optimize your listing to help boost search engine rankings.
    Incorporate search keywords in your app name, summary, and listing.

  • Build your demand-generation plan.
    Use your marketplace offer listing as the landing page for marketing calls to action. If you've enabled lead sharing, each time customers try, test drive, or deploy your offer from the landing page, you obtain their name and contact information.

  • Promote your app on AppSource and/or in the Azure Marketplace.
    Link to your app listing, and use URL tagging each time you link to your app.

  • Create marketing and promotion campaigns.
    Plan and build campaigns to drive awareness and engagement, with a clear call to action that directs traffic to your marketplace listing.

  • Get customer feedback.
    Invite your customers to submit a rating and review of your listing site. After they've started a trial, they receive an email message inviting them to share their experience with other customers.

Build an effective marketing campaign

A marketing campaign is a series of promotional activities or marketing tactics that are aimed at driving your audience to perform a desired action or reach an outcome. As you're designing your campaign, consider the following best practices:

Know your audience

First, determine the actual buyer versus the purchase influencer. They might be different people within an organization, and your tactics and calls to action for each role might differ. Ask these evaluation questions to help you better understand your audience:

  • How much control does the buyer have over the purchasing decision?
  • How much influence does the influencer have?
  • What does the influencer influence?
  • Does this person influence budget or which solution is picked?

Knowing the answers to these questions helps you make decisions about where to invest your sales and marketing resources.

Define where your audience learns

These days, typical customers are most of the way through their journey by the time they visit the marketplace. Buyers get this far in the decision-making process by learning about solutions and assessing options in advance. You want to design a campaign that aims to be where your buyers and influencers learn about solutions well before they consider purchasing one.

The audience for each industry is different. Does your audience learn online, through email, at trade shows, through social media, or through conversations with trusted advisors? Depending on where and how your audience learns, you should design activities and distribute your marketing dollars accordingly. The combination of these tactics becomes your campaign strategy.

Create clear campaign goals

You should define success for your campaign in the marketplace and create clear key performance indicators (KPIs). You can run multiple campaigns with different end goals. Of course, the ultimate goal is usually increased revenue or customer acquisition; however, your marketing campaigns might be tied to goals in some other stages of the buying cycle. Here are a few examples:

  • You have newly launched your product in the marketplace. In this case, you might find that your marketing resources are best spent on audience education and lead generation. Success might be defined by the number of leads generated from your marketplace listing. In this case, your marketing tactics (and landing page) would focus on drawing customers to your marketplace listing.

  • You have a trial set up in the marketplace. Your product requires some level of engagement and experience before a purchase takes place. Consider a campaign goal of the number of trials downloaded. In this case, the call to action for your campaign tactics would focus sharply on encouraging a trial in the marketplace.

  • Your product or category is well known, and you have purchase capabilities set up in the marketplace. Consider skipping the trial call to action and direct your audience to your Get It Now link in the marketplace.

  • Your offer is established and mature. Consider focusing your campaign efforts on upselling your customer base and driving action toward increasing purchases in the marketplace. Your messaging would focus on encouraging customers to purchase through the marketplace. Your KPI could be the revenue that's generated through the marketplace.

Whatever the maturity of your offer and the goals of your organization, the following are keys to maximizing the effectiveness of your campaign:

  • Remain focused on your goals.
  • Map out a set of integrated marketing tactics that are aligned to your goals.

As part of being a new publisher in the marketplace, you receive a number of free marketplace GTM benefits from Microsoft. Think critically about how to use these benefits in your campaign strategy. Let our marketing team know your marketplace campaign goals and your desired audience action. Microsoft can help customize these deliverables to work into your plan.

For additional content about campaign building and marketing practices, be sure to engage in the Smart Partner Marketing program, a benefit of joining the Microsoft Partner Network.

Available on AppSource or Azure Marketplace badge

When your offer is listed in AppSource or the Azure Marketplace, you have earned the benefit of displaying the Available on AppSource or Available on Azure Marketplace badge on your website.

The AppSource badge is available in three sizes. You can download the badge along with guidance on how to use it at Promote the availability of your app on Microsoft AppSource.

The Azure Marketplace badge is provided as part of your free go-to-market benefits.

Next steps

To learn more about marketplace GTM services, go to Go-to-market services.

Log in to the Cloud Partner Portal to create and configure your offer.