Best Marketing Case Studies & Campaigns

Drive Lead Generation Via Improved Engagement and Conversion Rates | Microsoft Case Study

Lead generation describes the marketing process of stimulating and driving interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing sales pipeline.

Lead generation often uses digital channels, and has been undergoing substantial changes in recent years from the rise of new online and social techniques. In particular, the abundance of information readily available online has led to the rise of the “self-directed buyer” and the emergence of new techniques to develop and qualify potential leads before passing them to sales.

The buying process has changed, and marketers need to find new ways to reach buyers and get heard through the noise. Instead of finding customers with mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must now focus on being found and learn to build continuous relationships with buyers.

Microsoft teamed up with iProspect to drive more small-business leads via improved engagement and conversion rates.

“This campaign exceeded our every expectation. The scale and rigor of the testing, highly sophisticated and integrated use of data for segmentation, and scope of our creative personalization against those newly segmented audiences was incredible – unlike anything we’d attempted before. We created a direct digital sales channel that enabled us to reach and convert the micro business audience more efficiently than we’d thought possible.” Lyamen Savy, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft.

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, manufactures, licenses, supports, and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services.


Microsoft has had great success capturing enterprise market share via value-add reseller, partner, advisor, and other sales channels.

Yet, those channel are not as effective for the “micro” business segment (small businesses with 1 – 10 employees) as the smaller deal size is less profitable for the partner. They needed to efficiently grow and scale Office 365 subscriptions in this large and fast-growing segment without the support of the enterprise sales network.  


iProspect used three scalable and repeatable growth levers for this campaign: diversification, segmentation, and personalization. 

By expanding the channels and tactics, the campaign grew in market size, product quantity, creative assets and programmatic display partners. They were able to refine the targeting after gaining insight from a variety of data sources, including actual buyer behavior, message priority and efficacy, and granular customer information.

Additional segmentation via ongoing testing and data feeds from Google Conversion Pixels, Blue Kai, etc. was also completed, along with tailoring the message to increase relevance and conversion for Microsoft’s target audience.

Specific Display/SEM Tactics employed included:

  • Programmatic Display
  • Lookalike Modeling
  • Retargeting (based on other Microsoft owned B2B content)
  • RLSA and Display Retargeting
  • Ongoing SEM & Display Creative (ad copy/banner ad creative/landing page) Testing and SKU Mix Testing
  • Budget Forecasting 
  • SEM Governance (implemented with partners and Microsoft Store to reduce CPCs)


Using a comprehensive, holistic approach that included 5 programmatic partners, 44 new unique creative assets, 43 tests over a 10-month period, and a strategy balancing tried and true tactics with ongoing testing and real-time optimization, the team exceeded their goals. In addition, the SKU-mix and DR-message testing was instrumental in reducing churn and increasing customer lifetime value (LTV). They were able to achieve:

  • 187% of FY16 goal of new subscriptions
  • 27% below target CPA


Founded in 1996, iProspect is the world's leading, award-winning digital performance marketing agency that drives digital performance for many of the world’s largest brands. Across the globe, iProspect make digital marketing human by bringing everything together - creating the connections brands need to stay ahead, and giving businesses a tangible advantage in today's world.At iProspect, they're not just specialists in different types of digital marketing - they also know how to bring it together. By putting the customer at the center, they create simple, effective strategies that connect with people across every channel - and grow business in ways they can measure.iProspect is the first truly global digital performance marketing agency, with 4,600+ employees in 94 offices across 56 countries.
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