5 Marketing fundamentals for ISV and App Builder partners


Sharon Lee

US ISV and Application Builder partner lead

@whatsup_sharon, LinkedIn, Yammer

Changing buyer behaviors means marketing is a necessary and critical function for your business. Having a strong digital presence will help you capture the mindshare of modern cloud customers, who are most likely doing a significant amount of online research to make their technology decisions before they approach and talk to a company about the final sale.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve enjoyed chatting with marketing experts on the ISV and App Builder Community calls. They’ve had lots of great information and guidance about the marketing fundamentals that every developer partner should incorporate into its business strategy and execution.

There are a few more community calls scheduled and planned for May and June, including an overview of what’s in store for ISV partners at the 2016 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July. Check the community call schedule and join the Yammer group to get updates about upcoming calls and WPC.

Here are five steps you can take to transform how you use marketing in your business.

1.  Understand how the cloud customer purchases

According to IDC research, cloud customers go through a distinct six-phase journey in their purchase process. Understanding how your customers purchase, and aligning your marketing efforts to these six stages, can help you generate more leads, close more deals, and build long-term customer relationships.

2.  Establish and maintain your online brand

A strong online brand is the cornerstone of successful social selling. Spending time to develop a brand statement that you can integrate into social channels, influence your sales process, and extend through your sales team is a good investment of time. The resources below provide a framework and guidance.

3.  Identify your value proposition

Your value proposition represents what current customers love about you and what prospects expect to get from engaging with you. It’s important to identify your unique value proposition and communicate it clearly.

4.  Curate and manage your digital presence

Learn how to create and curate compelling content for your digital and social channels that engages your customers and draws in prospects. Join the upcoming ISV and App Builder Community call with subject-matter expert, Diane Golshan, for a discussion about audience, content planning and curating, and using your social channels effectively.

5.  Attend WPC 2016 and build your network

Our annual conference for Microsoft partners is known for its unparalleled networking opportunities. If you’re planning to attend, I encourage you to spend time on the steps I’ve listed above. In particular, establishing your digital footprint and creating a compelling value proposition will be useful in discussions with your fellow WPC 2016 attendees. On Thursday, May 19, I’ve invited Julie Golding from the Microsoft Developer Experience team to the community call to share the plans for ISV content, networking, and experiences at WPC 2016.


What steps from my list above does your ISV business need to start working on? I’d love to hear from you as you take the next steps. Email me at sharonl@microsoft.com, and connect with me on Twitter (@whatsup_sharon), LinkedIn, and Yammer.


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