Microsoft

Building a world’s worth of content for the Microsoft Partner Program

Johnnie Studio serves as a content strategy and creation vendor for Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner division, which serves more than 600,000 technology partners across the world. From landing pages and emails to advanced attribution strategy, blog domain builds, and usability testing, the Johnnie team works with more than 100 Microsoft clients across nearly every aspect of the company’s global partner experience.


Meeting the challenge

When we first began our work in mid-2019, the obvious challenges were scale and complexity. The One Commercial Partner program has dozens of unique content needs every single month, ranging from one-off push notifications to highly complex automated content personalization frameworks—most of which are tied to firm engineering deadlines and require precise, coordinated launches. So that’s where our Microsoft strategic leads got started: how could we best serve so many client needs, across so many products and programs, on such short timeframes?


Custom solutions

Reaching that kind of output — especially across a wide range of unique content disciplines — doesn’t happen with off-the-shelf solutions. That’s where our unique approach to content production came into play.

    1. For starters, we followed our mantra of avoiding an account layer in our staffing model. Instead of shuttering strategic minds behind a top-level account messenger, we embedded high-level strategists and creatives directly into Microsoft’s flow of business without moving them off of executional work. That way, clients always had direct access to the individuals who could quickly update copy, talk through design standards, or troubleshoot a newfound strategic initiative. This drastically reduced review timeframes and expedited the overall creative process.

 

    1. Next, we doubled-down on our core operational methodology: we sourced a deep network of contract content producers who specialize in the technology industry and business audiences. That way, as work intensity ebbed and flowed, we could seamlessly flex with it by overflowing into a broad pool of talent who were on standby for exactly those moments. This ensured that when the client was overwhelmed with internal needs, vendor management didn’t have to be one of them.

 

    1. Part of controlling for scale is advanced process tracking. Our project management team designed a custom workflow, combining agile and traditional methodology, that was custom to Microsoft’s needs. Our project management team tracked every single deliverable, complete with an automated client-facing schedule that pulled real-time project status data. Working in Microsoft’s existing ticket-tracking tool, we reported on deliverable status and volume based on mutually agreed upon custom success metrics.

 

  1. Lastly, we owned the complexity of the One Commercial Program’s unique audiences and niche programs. Today’s audiences — be it individual consumers or businesses — can sense a lack of topical mastery. So we worked to build messaging frameworks and content strategies that took months of research and a deep understanding of the common (cloud hosting services) and the arcane (edge technology we won’t make you read here). The audience demanded content on their level. We gave it to them.


Measuring results

The result of all that hard work? Over the last 15 months, we’ve produced nearly 900 unique content deliverables. That’s an average of 2.6 finalized deliverables every single business day, across a wide variety of disciplines. We became an engine of efficiency: in one three-month span, our flexible model helped us produce 172 percent more deliverables than we were scoped for. Backed by our wide network of industry and format specialists, we have been able to constantly flex to meet a wide variety of content needs:

  • A/B testing strategies and master testing frameworks
  • Multi-email nurture strategy, copy, and design
  • SEO strategy (keyword research, competitive analysis, content recommendations)
  • Messaging and positioning frameworks
  • Original site CMS component design
  • Editorial calendars and publishing cadence
  • Original video production and animation
  • Design usability studies
  • Media performance plans
  • Internal sales guides and documentation
  • Monthly newsletter strategy, copy, and design
  • Webpage rebuilds and updates
  • Embedded web conversion forms and trigger comms
  • Community forum posts
  • Blog copy and original domain design
  • Social media content (paid and organic)
  • Paid media content, including original animation
  • Infographics and white papers

 

Our work with the One Commercial Partner program was more than just a large-scale content operation — it has been a content engine worthy of the largest technological supply chain in the world. And our clients would agree.

“The team at Johnnie Studio is extremely dedicated to their work and have illustrated a keen ability to help our team drive business results through their strategic creative execution,” said Emily Hendrickson, Senior Partner Content Strategist. “They have been able to quickly and successfully navigate the scale and complexity of our work whilst still somehow raising the bar on the quality of creative delivered. Hands-down they are one of the best creative agencies I have had the opportunity to work with.”