Microsoft’s mission has always been to enable people and companies all over the world to realize their full potential. On a local level, the company relies on sales offices and technological development and support centres in addition to a multi-channel distribution network.
In Italy, since January 2016, Microsoft has been using all of the Field Marketing Services proposed by Pardgroup in order to raise the brand’s profile in stores. This is done through initiatives such as ensuring that products are available on the shelves, putting planograms into practice, overseeing the positioning of all POP materials and training sales staff.
In particular, Microsoft counts on two dedicated Pardgroup Teams that work in synergy. The team members all share a passion for technology and cooperate with area managers and sales staff. The first team concentrates on the sell-in side and acts as an all-round, single point of contact for Microsoft when it comes to supporting stores with stock management and sales trends, identifying opportunities for promotional activities on a local scale and solving problems. The other team is dedicated to the sell-out side and it focuses more on visual merchandising, training, maintaining demonstration facilities and everything that is needed to promote sales, with a particular emphasis on cross-selling.
There are five main lines of business in the current Microsoft range:
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Surface with Microsoft Licensing. For the line of 2-in-1, all-in-one convertible laptops and the associated accessories, the Pardgroup Team is responsible for such matters as maintaining the in-store support facilities for the range of Microsoft Surface demo devices.
- Xbox. The One, One S and One X consoles, games and accessories.
- PC accessories
Pardgroup spans all five of these lines of business, comprehensively covering the Microsoft range in the consumer electronics market.
Microsoft directly trains the dedicated Pardgroup Field Force and updates it on the market trends and strategies in order to ensure that it maintains a high level of expertise. There are 11 people on the team and they are led by the Project Manager Coordinator Alessandro Fontana, with the support of Rosanna Nota. They work all over Italy (including on the islands) and they make planned visits to a select group of stores, including: Media Market, Euronics, Unieuro, Trony and Expert.
Alongside these activities, the team carries out other tactical projects such as: installing demo devices for the launch of the new Surface Book 2, specific POP material positioning schemes for promotional campaigns (for instance Back to School, Christmas and Black Friday), and other promotion initiatives.
In addition, Pardgroup helps Microsoft with the creation and handling of POP, shop-in-shop and display materials, while making one of the 10 hubs in Italy available for storage.
With the aim of helping Microsoft to develop an increasingly comprehensive and innovative customer experience for end users, Pardgroup provides a number of customized services, such as: tailored project management for the different Microsoft lines of business, producing and fitting out exhibition areas, in-store activities (such as refilling, monitoring and brand visibility schemes), promoting products in stores and logistics.