Lesson: Acing Strategy Questions. In this lesson, you will learn how to ace strategy questions. The strategy question asks you about a company level or brand level strategic analysis. Here are three examples of this question. One, what is the biggest opportunity for Amazon? Two, imagine that you're the CEO of Netflix, what is your strategy for the next 10 years? Three, if you were to market the Microsoft brand on campus, how would you do that? Remember the competitor analysis we filled out involving Blue and Samson microphones. The answer strategy questions is the how to win section for the place you're interviewing at. Before the interview, you should create a competitive map. That way during the interview, you can recreate it with the interviewer watching. Let's take the third question, marketing the Microsoft brand, because it asks you about on campus marketing. This is a very specific situation you likely do not prepare for a pre-interview. Step one, cross-examine the interviewer on ambiguity. What does on campus mean? The Amazon campus in Seattle, my university campus, all university campuses, is it limited to the United States or is it worldwide? Then keep on going with your questions, who is the buyer? Who is the user? Is it university IT for their next bulk hardware purchase, in which case, the user is different from the buyer? Or is it incoming freshmen who might want a new computer? Likewise, what does market the Microsoft brand mean? Is our goal to raise a specific measure, like the Net Promoter Score? Is our goal to increase applications to Microsoft's internship programs? Do we want to focus on marketing one product like Office 365 over another, like Xbox? Assume the interviewer tells me I'm in charge of marketing for my campus, the University of Pennsylvania (Go Quakers!) I'm supposed to work on general consumer products, not enterprise ones or R&D ones, that might be used in experiments in the computer science department. I'm given complete freedom to come up with the success metrics. Step two, perform the company's specific analysis. From your pre-interview research, you know that Microsoft's product mix and competitors include Surface, which competes with Apple, MacBook and iPad, LinkedIn, which is unique, you could argue it competes with job boards, and maybe Facebook. Office, which competes with Google's G Suite. Windows, which competes with Apple's macOS. Xbox, which competes with Sony PlayStation, and Nintendo, and xCloud, which competes with Google Stadia. In addition, we can market Microsoft on-campus by raising awareness of internships and careers at Microsoft. Step three, perform a user persona analysis. This is where I can generalize about my personal and business observations, including students tend to be tech literate, and we'll have owned their personal computer before starting school there. Two, most students will have owned an Apple MacBook or a Non-Surface PC. Three, some students potentially of, let's say engineering, may be required to already have AutoCAD downloaded. Four, students may be inspired to intern or work for a big tech company such as Microsoft. Step four, perform a product-specific analysis. LinkedIn becomes more valuable when we maximize the number of completed profiles. Let's track the number of Penn student profiles against enrollment numbers. Look for trends where we fall short to develop, outreach to specific academic departments and student groups. We should also partner with Penn Career Services to add a LinkedIn profile as a requirement or strong recommendation for on-campus recruiting. Office's major hurdle to college adoption is G Suite, which has a free tier and out of the box collaboration features for team projects. Can we offer Office 365 licenses to students for free? At this point, the interviewer should tell me that Office 365 is already offered to students and educators with dot edu addresses for free. Another issue is COVID-19, causing remote and hybrid remote courses. Most of this market share has been captured by companies like Zoom or Blackboard, but I'd like to speak with faculty about if their needs are not being met. This could be Skype second life, or a dedicated educational product. Then we should advertise that most businesses rely on Microsoft products, such as the OfficeSuite, and that students should take advantage of their free licenses to develop proficiency. The success metric will be weekly active users. Let's group Xbox and xCloud together as gaming products. This has a lot of potential as American universities invest in Esports teams that may grow to and eventually reach parity with physical collegiate sports. I think sponsoring the team on a long-term non-exclusive contract might be great while the market is still nascent. The success metric might also be weekly active users from Penn on those platforms, along with viewership and engagement in tournaments. Regarding Microsoft on-campus recruiting, our success metric could be the percentage of enrolled students pursuing desired degrees interviewing with us. I'll work with our on-campus recruiters and Penn's Career Services to see what's been done before and how to increase that metric. I think emailed videos from me or another spokesperson talking about the cool technology we work on and encouraging them to interview might move the needle. Step five, explain how to win and why the customer should choose us. Also name your product to something, like the headline in a press release. For example, given that Microsoft already offers free licenses to educators and students, it could be a great collaboration between, let's say Microsoft and Penn, to produce different ways of working together. For example, imagine a press release that states Microsoft's Office 365 enables Penn students to bring more educational products into inner city Philadelphia high schools. As a result, more high school students are able to collaborate even while home, and this not only increases their scores on standardized tests, but it also guarantees that a higher percentage of the inner city high school students will eventually go to college. Now, isn't that a great success story? For our see one, do one, teach one, you know what to do. Record yourself answering a strategy question, after you've finished answering, rewatch you're recording with this rubric, so you can self evaluate where you excelled. How do you get good at answering strategy questions? Fill out more of our competitive analysis, especially for companies where you're about to interview. Here's that template again, in case you didn't copy it in the first place.