Microsoft - Building a hub for storytelling in MEA
How Microsoft Middle East and Africa’s regional content hub helps coordinate big campaign success
Microsoft operates in a significant number of markets across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) — each with its own complexities and each on a completely unique digital transformation journey.
The intricacy of the communication requirements across different countries, in different languages, and with local nuances can prove challenging, particularly since Microsoft is telling a single cohesive story across the region and needs to maintain consistently high communications standards.
Microsoft brought on WE to tap into its dedicated team of content specialists in South Africa, who handle everything from research and writing to visual content creation. The team’s broad range of expertise make WE ideally positioned to help Microsoft land key narratives and major campaigns across the MEA region.
For each campaign or communications objective, WE uses a hub and spoke model, where the team first creates a core set of written material, design assets and video content, then tailors it to make collateral that meets each market’s specific needs. In many cases, WE also coordinates the translation of content into languages like Arabic, and works with different partner agencies to roll out key messaging on the ground.
Microsoft’s WORK.Reworked research campaign, which aimed to help business leaders navigate hybrid work during the pandemic, offers a great example of the hub and spoke model in action. The campaign ran in five different countries (UAE, South Africa, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar), so the regional execution strategy needed to be flexible enough to accommodate a range of different on-the-ground activations. WE applied a “campaign-in-a-box” approach, producing localized assets for each market. These included everything from press releases to infographics and social content suited to a range of different platforms.
This strategy allowed different markets to use the content in a way that was most suitable for their audiences, enabling highly targeted content placement, roundtable events, piggybacking off major national events and tapping into local subject-matter influencers.
Using the hub and spoke model, WORK.Reworked resulted in around 267 media placements in business and technology titles, a reach of 36.4M and over one million impressions.
Microsoft MEA’s region-wide campaigns are consistently recognized for delivering targeted results and achieving high impact. WORK.Reworked was the overall business-to-business marketing category winner at the 2021 African SABRE Awards. It was preceded by Microsoft’s Age of AI campaign, which also employed the hub and spoke model, and took home the SABRE Award for superior achievement in research and planning the year before.
Read more about our work with Vodacom South Africa and its e-School platform