Microsoft / Student
Reinventing a marketing model. Made Microsoft relevant to students by transforming their marketing portal, into an insight & story sharing platform—helping upcoming graduates enter the professional world.

 

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

 
 

The Challenge
Microsoft wanted to win the interest of students, but at the time, Microsoft was reported to be one of the least-liked brands by that audience. We faced the additional challenge that the previous version of their student website was created only 6 months prior (by another agency) and it was not doing well.

McCann asked for a redesign to make it resonate with students better.

Insight
I work closely with strategy, and this brief had a particular inspiring humanity to it. I then pointed out that a marketing-only solution, would not convert a savvy student generation who isn’t affected by traditional advertising.

As I remembered how little university prepares us to take the first daunting steps into the professional world, I saw this as an opportunity for the brand to fulfil.

The Solution
I proposed that we create a platform filled with relevant content (tutorials, templates, stories) helping upcoming graduates navigate that challenging transition into their professional lives. And that we prove Microsoft products’ relevance in practice, instead of only promising it.

Great ideas happen all the time, but it takes a great team to make them real. And this team was one of the most passionate.

 

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.

 


Meaningful Content
Showing Not Telling

We transformed Microsoft.com/Student into a huge platform filled with: tutorials, templates and stories helping students to navigate starting a professional future, manage a student life, and make their daily study tasks easier. All content was created with Microsoft products, proving Microsoft’s relevance.

Examples
Here to the right are content examples in 3 main areas. Yet the platform was far more robust.

Future:
• How to prepare for interviews.
• Tips on networking.
• Getting a work recommendation from a professor.
• Writing a great cover letter.
• How to highlight your experience.

Studies:
• Manage a student budget.
• Doing citations fast.
• Using a digital notebook.
• Improving organization.
• Dealing with data loss.

Life:
• How to write your legislator.
• Making a monthly budget planner.
• Stories about studying abroad.

 

Recruiting The Audience
Once I set the direction, almost everyone came together and contributed to this platform. I even recruited the entire McCann intern team since they were the target audience just beginning their careers. Then university students were recruited to further manage and own the platform.

Communities
I often champion a natural interaction between communities. Especially where a company or brand can genuinely fulfil a need.

*McCann used this project as an agency best example where they did a presentation to the agency about it.

 
 

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