For the past decade, consumer markets have been transformed by online marketplaces. Consumer goods companies have increasingly learned their buyer wants to discover and buy online. Brick and mortar stores aren’t dead, but the role they play in the buyer journey has changed dramatically. This same transformation of the buyer journey is now extending to the enterprise software world. Analyst research and customer behavior trends show customers increasingly moving to online marketplaces to discover, try, and buy solutions to meet their business needs. As such, software and service providers are flocking to online marketplaces to offer their products and services in order to meet the buyers where they want to buy.
Adjusting to buyer behavior can bring challenges. But in this case, there are many advantages for publishers in adapting to a marketplace model of engagement. Online marketplaces offer an easy route for publishers to reach millions of customers, expand easily into new geographies, and simplify billing and administration for their customers. Microsoft’s commercial marketplace brings in over 3.5M users per month – eclipsing what many marketing budgets could bring in per year. This allows publisher sales and marketing teams to focus less on awareness and demand generation, but rather focus on closing deals and increasing user engagement.
For publishers with solutions in Microsoft’s commercial marketplace (Microsoft AppSource or Azure Marketplace), Microsoft offers a game-changing advantage: Marketplace Rewards. Marketplace Rewards is available for all publishers with a listing – regardless of status in other programs. Essentially, this makes being in the commercial marketplace the equitable gateway for Go-To-Market engagement with Microsoft.
With Marketplace Rewards, Microsoft’s partner ecosystem can easily access the large, powerful Go-To-Market engine of Microsoft. Through the program, partners can increasingly qualify for added sales, marketing, and technical benefits to help drive their business through the commercial marketplace. Benefits are tailored to a partner’s unique stage of growth – giving them just what they need as they need it. As publishers transact more through the marketplace, they unlock new benefits designed to help them grow their business further. Each stage of benefits is designed to propel partners to the next tier of business growth. In essence, the program offers a self-fulfilling pathway to doing big business together with Microsoft.
Now, Microsoft has made engaging in Marketplace Rewards even easier. Last week we announced the new Marketplace Rewards experience on Partner Center. Through the new experience, publishers can now track and activate benefits they are eligible for as part of Marketplace Rewards all within Partner Center. Better yet, as soon as a partner qualifies for a new threshold, those new benefits will light up automatically within Partner Center for a partner to see and easily engage with when they’re ready.
For commercial marketplace partners, this new benefits management experience means partners can engage with and tie their joint Go-To-Market engagement in the same tool where they manage their marketplace offers. This is another step towards Partner Center becoming the central hub for partner engagement with Microsoft. With added simplicity in GTM engagement, we anticipate faster time to impact for marketplace publishers and an easier and more effective engagement experience with Microsoft.
The Marketplace Rewards experience will continue to grow and develop for partners and customers. The program is designed to be dynamic and flexible to adjust to partner needs and optimize for partner and customer success. To stay up to date on new features, new benefits, and marketplace capabilities, you can see the marketplace roadmap in our documentation or follow the commercial marketplace channel in our Partner Community Forum.
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