Microsoft’s U.S. Small Business (SMB) Marketing team wanted to engage with small to medium-sized business owners to prove that their products and services could benefit startups and fledgling entrepreneurs—not just large enterprises.
So we devised the Small Business Mentor Project. The campaign was built to reaffirm that Microsoft is empathetic to the needs of small-business owners and has products that solve problems for them.
The Small Business Mentor campaign was not just an opportunity to blast out a marketing message, but a chance to get into the trenches with the customer and better understand their needs.
These new insights into a customers’ needs would help inform future product development and content strategies.
We paired two small businesses, Hudson Pilates and Midas Mount, with business influencers and technology experts who could help the entrepreneurs create and execute comprehensive strategies while implementing Microsoft technology to grow their businesses.
Mentors included Rieva Lesonsky (Entrepreneur Magazine), Barry Moltz (Public Speaker/Author), David Gersten and Bond Consulting Services, and Tara Farbent and Infinity Info.
PACIFIC managed a series of face-to-face and virtual consultations between the mentors and mentees, documenting the dialogues and lessons learned throughout, and translated the sessions into series of articles and infographics to help all small business succeed with the tools and resources offered by Microsoft.
To promote the campaign, we created an eight-week blog post series that focused on personal stories from the participating business owners, interviews with the mentors, and helpful tips for other entrepreneurs.
We then promoted the campaign organically on Microsoft’s social channels, and launched and managed paid media opportunities to produce a fully integrated amplification strategy.
PACIFIC coordinated the meeting scheduled and travel arrangements for mentors and mentees, developed agendas for meetings, facilitated and documented each mentoring session.
Blog content focused on practical information and detailed business practices for small companies, as well as articles on how to utilize Microsoft technology to solve common business challenges.
Additionally, we created two infographics to accompany the blog posts: “How to Kill Your Business in 5 Simple Steps” and “5 Tools to Run Your Small Business like a Big One.” These infographics later informed both organic and paid social media advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Taboola. We used the hashtag #SMBMentor to promote the campaign and the mentors served as online influencers, which helped generate buzz organically.