Since the appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO, Microsoft marketing strategy has changed to become less ‘hostile’ abandoning kinds of advertising that ‘attacked’ competitors in a direct manner. For example, a marketing campaign known as ‘Scroogled!’ launched in 2012 informed about Google’s decision to display paid advertisements to search results related to shopping. ‘Scroogled’ was launched to ensure the shift of some Google users to use Microsoft’s Bing search engine, but Nadella stopped this and some other similar campaigns as an attempt to improve the image of the company.
In other words, since his appointment on the top job, Satya Nadella has been focusing on humanising the brand and taking a customer-centric approach with direct implications on the marketing strategy of Microsoft.
Microsoft sales and marketing expenses amounted to USD 17,469 billion, USD 15,461 billion and USD 14,635 billion for the fiscal years of 2018, 2017 and 2016 respectively . In 2018 the tech giant’s sales and marketing expenses increased USD2.0 billion or 13% compared to the previous year.
Microsoft marketing strategy is based on the following principles:
1. Investing in the communication of marketing message through various marketing communication channels in an integrated manner. The technology giant uses a range of marketing communication channels such as advertising, sales promotion, events and experiences, public relations, direct marketing and personal selling in an integrated way to communicate its marketing message to its target customer segment.
2. Focus on product element of the marketing mix. Microsoft 7Ps of marketing focuses on the product element of the marketing mix to a greater extent compared to other elements. Accordingly, the multinational technology company has accepted high level of user convenience of its products and services as unique selling proposition associated with the brand.
3. Targeting customers that value effectiveness and efficiency. Microsoft segmentation targeting and positioning focuses on specific group among the population that value efficiency speed of operations and advanced features and capabilities of technological products and services.
Microsoft Corporation Report contains a full analysis of Microsoft marketing strategy. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on Microsoft. Moreover, the report contains analyses of Microsoft leadership, organizational structure and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of Microsoft business strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.
 Hildenbrand, J. (2014) Windows Central, Available at: http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-s-scroogled-campaign-may-finally-be-coming-to-an-end
 Annual Report (2018) Microsoft Corporation