Microsoft / Student
Creating Relevance While Reinventing A Business Model

Made Microsoft relevant to students by transforming a marketing portal into an insight and story-sharing platform helping upcoming graduates enter the professional world.

Role: Creative Lead / Content Lead.
Agency: McCann SF.
Channels: Digital. Content. Insight-Sharing Community.

 
 

The Challenge
Microsoft wanted to win the interest of students to buy Microsoft Office products. But at the time, Microsoft was not well received by that group at all. And we faced the additional challenge of our Microsoft client being particularly concerned due to having launched a preceding version of a student website only 6 months prior (by another agency), which was not doing well.

Microsoft expected a design improvement. To make it ‘cool with students’ type of solution. But I had something else in mind.

The Solution
I proposed that a superficial design-only solution wouldn't have an effect on a savvy student generation who doesn't respond to traditional advertising models. I then convinced McCann and Microsoft, that we in stead create a platform filled with useful resources helping students with that difficult transition from finishing university–to entering the professional world. And therefore prove Microsoft's relevance rather than only talk about it.

I transformed Microsoft.com/Student from being a traditional product marketing portal telling students they should buy Microsoft products, into a platform using Microsoft Office products to give students: free tutorials, templates and shared field stories helping them transition into the professional world, managing student life, and tips for their imminent professional future. 

*See the website images for content examples.

 

RESULTS
322% Increase in product offer engagement.
49% Increase in unique visitors.
18% Increase in homepage landing engagement rate.
40% Increase in average page views per visit.

ZD NET REVIEW
“Microsoft student rises like a phoenix from the beta ashes” - Zach Wittacker

 

Communities
I'm interested in activating communities of audiences sharing circumstances. And often champion a natural interaction between those communities and a promise that a brand can genuinely fulfill.

McCann's Interns As Target Audience
I recruited McCann's interns to help us develop the type of content they needed as they began their lives in the professional world. We then recruited students at universities to further develop and own the platform.

*McCann used this project as an agency best example, and I was invited to join their team as a full time Creative Director.