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Creative Sharepoint - The Digital Marketing Next Step (Guest Blog)

Creative Sharepoint - The Digital Marketing Next Step (Guest Blog)

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Creative Sharepoint have been working with SharePoint since 2006, and in that time delivered hundreds of solutions ranging from out-the-box intranets through to bespoke applications.

However, in the past year we have witnessed a significant change in business.  More than ever, our customers are turning to SharePoint as a platform for their public facing websites.  The reasons for this are clear.  Businesses are wanting to:

  • Maximise existing investments in the SharePoint platform
    • By consolidating internal, external and public facing platforms to save on licensing
    • By making use of in-house technical expertise that exists around SharePoint development (usually from an intranet perspective)
    • By reducing the needs for training in multiple platforms for content authors, IT pros, administrators, developers and more
  • Take advantage of the new functionality in SharePoint 2013
    • More flexible and cost-effective branding through features like design manager
    • SEO improvements for marketers (friendly URLs, the ability to easily edit metadata) and Mobile Improvements
    • Improvements of the SharePoint Online Public Facing Website (as part of Office 365)

What our customers told us 

It’s not just the number of public facing engagements that are increasing, but the nature of those engagements too.  Our involvement in the ‘Website Lifecycle’ (see below) has also changed: 

 

Traditionally partners like ourselves have been approached for the first 3 stages of the ‘Website Lifecycle’.  However, there is an increasing recognition that:
• The way a website is promoted and analysed has a knock-on impact on how the site should be built, and vice versa
• Effective analysis of a website should reveal areas for regular (sometimes substantial) improvement, which requires planning, design and build

Our customers are now looking for a single partner that is capable of assisting them throughout the ‘Website Lifecycle’.  For a partner, this means two things:
• Longer and more successful engagement, and
• A need for diversified digital capabilities (SEO, PPC, Social Media, Analytics, A/B Testing)

The value of the Digital Marketing Competency for us

Having broadened our capabilities around SharePoint for public-facing websites and digital marketing we have been able to demonstrate them through Microsoft’s Digital Marketing Competency

For our potential customers, the Digital Marketing Competency is often the first way to differentiate between us and competitors.  It demonstrates not just our skill set around digital marketing, but also our industry experience and customer successes.

What Microsoft Say

“Well done to Creative SharePoint for being one of the first partners in the UK to achieve Gold competency status in Digital Marketing since the changes to this competency in November 2012. To achieve Gold competency status, Creative SharePoint has had to satisfy rigorous requirements – and the achievement of Gold showcases their best-in-class capability in creating highly functional and flexible solutions that leverage Bing Ads and the Yahoo! Bing Network. For customers looking to build an online presence with SharePoint and take advantage of digital advertising to drive demand, you can feel confident that Creative SharePoint can deliver a solution that meets your needs.” Janet Gibbons, Microsoft UK Director of Partner Strategy and Programmes.


About the Author

I am Chris Clark, Marketing Manager for Creative Sharepoint.

My main aim is to champion our SharePoint offering which delivers our customers sustained adoption and measurable value, setting us apart from the competition. For more information, please contact me on chris.clark@creative-sharepoint.com.

About Creative Sharepoint

Creative Sharepoint are a leading Systems Integrator, Microsoft Gold Partner and Cloud Champion. Their unique combination of analytical, technical and creative expertise, allows them to create SharePoint solutions that meet stakeholder goals and sustain end-user adoption. Visit www.creative-sharepoint.com for more information.

 

Comments
  • I was realy upset and angry when I saw "Analyse" at the last position; but when I saw the table and read the explanations I could give you right; btw shouldn't you change "analyse" to "improve" ..?

  • Maybe even analyse and improve - it is meant to cyclic perhaps the table doesn't support the wheel!

  • I think you could read into the table and wheel that the process is about on going refinement. I agree with you thought, analysing something doesn't necessarily mean you will then improve it, although it is implied by the wheel graphic that its a cyclical process i.e. Analyse to then re-plan and build etc.

  • digital marketing and sharepoint! what a load of nonsense! I nearly fell off my seat with laughter reading this article and finding out that Microsoft had a digital marketing competency status ... its a bit like a nuclear power plant going green; it just doesn't really make sense does it. Maybe digital agencies should carry on being 'digital' and sharepoint companies should carry on 'painting' vanilla UI's and pretending its creative!

  • Hey David.  I think it would be unrealistic to expect a SharePoint consultancy to have all the capabilities of a digital agency, likewise, it would be unrealistic to expect a digital agency to understand the SharePoint in huge depth.

    In the case of our clients, the benefits of a single supplier relationship (particularly when SharePoint is a platform for multiple solutions across the business) outweigh that compromise.  The understanding of not only the technology but their business processes is invaluable to them.

    Whilst I agree there are SharePoint companies out there simply 'painting' SharePoint, many have specialist UX (user experience) teams which are far broader in scope than simply aesthetics.

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