Yeah, I’ve been offline for a little while but wanted to continue to share info with you on what we look for here. I think I mentioned before that we developed some profiles of candidates that tend to fit well at Microsoft. These profiles focus on what someone is doing right now. I’ve already spoken (blogged) about management consulting and inbound product management. So thought it would be a good time to talk about the outbound side.
There are a number of different types of outbound roles here at Microsoft and people who do these kinds of jobs are typically titled product management or marketing manager (there are variations on these titles as well). Marketing roles can sit in a few different types of organizations.
In Product Groups
Many people in marketing roles are aligned with a specific product. Sometimes these people have responsibility for both inbound and outbound work (this happens more often in smaller product groups or in niche marketing roles). For you MBAs out there, you know about the 4Ps, right? People in the product groups generally have responsibility for the go-to-market framework for their products. They look at the type of marketing that needs to take place for their product.
In the subsidiaries
Then there are people that are responsible for marketing within their geographies AND within customer or audience segments. A few weeks back, you saw my interview with Chris Weber. This is the kind of marketing his team does. They work in the US subsidiary (the US Business Marketing Office is the sub marketing organization for the US) on go-to-market strategy in server platforms. This is kind of where the rubber meets the road from a marketing standpoint. These people have the close connection with the audiences and determine how we are going to execute.
In the Central Marketing Group
The CMG is the place where the marketing “specialists” sit. Typically, when I try and describe how marketing works at Microsoft, I draw a triangle. On one corner are the product groups, on another the BMO and on the third the CMG. Because all of these organizations work together to get marketing done here. The CMG is a diverse organization responsible for PR, Advertising, Events, Market Research and Branding. These were roles that, at one time, sat among the product groups. By having them in one organization, we can create consistencies in our messaging and economies of scale in the work that we do (I’m sure there are a bunch of other reasons to have this work centralized).
An easy way to describe how these organizations work together is to think about how we market a product (I’m going to over-simplify here). During the product development phase a product group may enlist the help of our market research team (CMG) to segment potential customers. As the product progresses, the product group works with the BMO to develop a marketing strategy that hits the right audience(s). Part of that strategy might be advertising (CMG), PR (CMG), or developing some new product branding, etc. Market research (CMG) may also be asked to do some advertising response testing or brand awareness research during the marketing process. Product management (product groups) may go out to evangelize the product(s) working with PR, events, etc. There are a lot of other pieces to this marketing equation, but you get the point that all 3 types of organizations work closely together to get it done.
So, for an outbound marketing professional considering Microsoft, you may want to think about which type of organization you might fit into (this will help you narrow down the list of roles and provide some context to the job descriptions out there). If your background is focused on marketing a technology product and you sit closely to product management (the work you do fits within the framework of product development), then you would probably want to consider a product group here. If the work you have done is closely aligned with an audience segment (like business decision makers, IT Pros, developers or consumer), you may want to check out our BMO organizations. There is a lot of cross over between product group work and BMO work (for example, some product groups may also have marketers focused on strategy for specific customer segments), in that people who have worked on one type of group can and have moved to another. If you are a specialist…you are a PR manager, a market researcher, you have managed advertising strategy, etc., then the best potential fit would be the Central Marketing Group.
With regard to other profiles, I’ve talked about tech versus non-tech. We do hire a lot of marketers who have significant experience in the tech space simply because that’s our business here. We also look at folks that have come out of other industries like consumer packaged goods. What we are looking for in these folks are string marketing fundamentals and, often, customer segment experience in the consumer space. We also realize that a number of great MBAs work in the consumer space right out of school so there’s some great talent there.
I hope this helps you understand what the outbound space here looks like. Again, I’ve had to generalize here so don’t be surprised if you find segment marketing roles in product groups or product manager roles in the BMO…we’ve had to be flexible in order to address what is going on in the market. But at least what I’ve explained here should provide some clarity and help you think about how we get marketing done here.