Case Study: Microsoft's Strategy for Small Businesses (B): Marketing MS Office Live

Getting Behind Small Businesses

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) play a vital role in the economy, driving innovation and creating job opportunities. However, targeting this diverse market segment comes with its own set of challenges. In this blog post, we will explore Microsoft’s strategy for reaching small businesses and examine the marketing approach taken for MS Office Live.

Background Note

Microsoft has long recognized the importance of SMBs and their unique needs. With the aim of providing tailored solutions, MS Office Live was introduced as a comprehensive suite of cloud-based productivity tools. This platform enables SMBs to enhance collaboration, streamline operations, and improve productivity, all while reducing costs.

The Big Battle for Small Businesses

Competition in the SMB market is fierce, with numerous IT companies vying for a piece of the pie. Understanding the challenges faced by SMBs and offering targeted solutions is crucial for success. Microsoft’s strategy involves a deep understanding of customer pain points, which allows them to develop products and services that address these specific needs.

Office Live - Going Beta

In the early stages, MS Office Live was launched as a beta version to gather feedback from SMBs and refine the platform further. By involving potential users in the development process, Microsoft ensured that the final product would be well-suited to their requirements. This approach not only improved the functionality of Office Live but also created a sense of ownership among SMBs.

Office Live Goes Live

After the beta phase, MS Office Live was officially launched, capturing the attention of SMBs worldwide. The platform offered a range of features, including document collaboration, email hosting, website creation, and online marketing tools. Microsoft’s marketing campaign highlighted the benefits of Office Live, emphasizing its user-friendly interface, cost-effectiveness, and scalability.

The Competitive Landscape

In the competitive SMB market, Microsoft faced rival companies offering similar solutions. One notable competitor was Rovion, known for its innovative InPerson technology. While this technology had the potential to enhance Microsoft’s online marketing campaign, it also posed challenges. Evaluating the pros and cons of integrating Rovion’s InPerson technology was a critical decision for Microsoft to make.

An Innovative Ad Campaign

To attract SMBs from different industry verticals and geographic regions, Microsoft embarked on an innovative ad campaign for Office Live. The marketing team utilized targeted online advertising, social media engagement, and partnerships with industry influencers. By leveraging the power of digital marketing, Microsoft aimed to reach a broad audience and showcase the unique value proposition of MS Office Live.


In conclusion, Microsoft’s strategy for targeting SMBs with MS Office Live involved understanding their specific needs, involving them in the development process, and launching a comprehensive and userfriendly platform. By adopting innovative marketing techniques and evaluating strategic partnerships, Microsoft successfully positioned itself as a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for SMBs. Also got to know about the Maruti Suzuki’s Advertising Strategies: Driving Success in the Indian Passenger Car Industry