Ever heard of the prisoner’s dilemma? It revolves around two prisoners who are suspected of a crime. They need to make an important decision which they can’t discuss beforehand: confess their guilt or accuse the other person. There are three possible outcomes:

  • Both prisoners plead guilty and receive a one-year prison sentence;
  • Both prisoners plead not guilty and accuse the other person, which means they will both go to prison for two years;
  • One prisoner pleads not guilty and walks free while the other pleads guilty and goes to prison for three years.

The outcome of this psychological dilemma? Both parties let self-interest prevail and go to prison for two years. Interesting, but what does this have to do with marketing?

Do marketing ‘because your competitor does it?’

The maker of this video claims that company A only invests in marketing because its competitor, company B, does the same. But now that they both advertise their product, their sales rise in the same proportion, so nothing changes. Conclusion: if all companies would abolish marketing, nobody’s sales would drop!

Sounds great, but unfortunately, this statement doesn’t make any sense. Let’s get one thing straight: you don’t do marketing ‘because your competitor does it.’ Or, in terms of the prisoner’s dilemma, because you think the other person will act out of self-interest and will put you at a disadvantage by doing so. In reality, your competitor’s marketing efforts have very little to do with you.

Marketing for the right reasons

As a Microsoft Partner, you provide a product that’s sold by a huge number of competitors – whether it’s a modern workplace solution such as Microsoft 365 or a cloud solution like Azure. The key question: Why should customers opt for you? One thing’s for sure: your product is no differentiator. Maybe that’s why you want to be a solution partner for your customers. But how do you make your target group aware of all the services you offer?

Simple: through marketing, the go-to means for sharing your story. The maker of the video assumes that the target group knows you exist – which, of course, isn’t true. Just imagine what will happen when a potential customer wants to find a Microsoft 365 supplier. If you haven’t yet built a relationship with him through marketing, he will turn to the World Wide Web and stumble upon thousands of competitors. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll stand out in such a vast digital forest!

Briefly put, in a world without marketing, both Microsoft Partners and customers are at the mercy of (search engine) circumstances. So convey your message through marketing and reach countless people – well before they need your product or service.


Do you want to read more about our adventures abroad? Read the blog about an onboarding experience

Or do you want to learn how to sell a competitive Microsoft product? Read the blog: How to sell a competitive Microsoft product