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Microsoft – Building trust among cybersecurity leaders

The challenge

Cybersecurity is an important issue for Microsoft and high-profile customers who rely on its technology to deliver critical services. Our challenge was to position Microsoft as a genuine partner that uses its vast amounts of data to help clients minimise exposure to cyber threats. It’s crucial that technology buyers in large enterprise and major government departments view Microsoft as leader in this field because they make security decisions based on trust. We needed to get Microsoft into the heart of this conversation without making it the hero of our story.

The insight

The credibility of our content was highly dependent on getting the right people together. It’s testament to the strength of Microsoft’s brand that we were able to attract chief information security officers (CISOs) from ANZ Bank, Telstra, the Department of Human Services and Queensland Health as well as the Australian Information Security Association. Microsoft also understood the value of not inserting its brand into the conversation.

The strategy

Microsoft’s global vice president of cybersecurity, Ann Johnson, was visiting Sydney to speak at an event, so we took the opportunity to host an executive roundtable. From this conversation we produced a 16-page industry report plus a series of supporting assets including a teaser video, opinion pieces for LinkedIn built around key themes and social media tiles. These were designed to support lead generation and continue finding a new audience for the industry report months after its publication. All of them invited people back to a landing page where they were encouraged to share personal details in order to access the main report.

The result

The published report generated 14 qualified business leads among a very niche and highly targeted audience. The click-through rate on LinkedIn was more than three times the industry average, showing high audience engagement with the content. The report won Best Corporate Content at the IT Journalism Awards 2018 and we landed a contributed story in The Australian plus niche security publications to coincide with its official launch. The client’s global head of cybersecurity, who was only in Australia for a few days, said the roundtable session was the highlight of her trip and we also got fantastic feedback from attendees.