With a New Year approaching, we typically take time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the coming one. For me, I’ve been taking stock of my first six months in this role and the world of digital advertising. In the conversations I’ve had with advertisers, publishers and agency partners since May, I’ve heard firsthand the challenges each faces in leveraging technology to unite their brand with consumers.
Regional Challenges: Everywhere I’ve traveled – Europe, Asia, around the US – people tell me their market is unique, their audience is fragmented, and that they have regional differences to accommodate. And while that’s true, today’s global economy brings as many similarities as it does differences. Every brand has a story to tell. Each looks to Microsoft Advertising to help them better identify their audience, connect with them through engaging content, rich media and video, and measure results. Only Microsoft Advertising offers advertisers this complete solution across screens and through the reach of our high-volume sites – MSN, Windows Live, Hotmail, Xbox Live, Skype and Bing.
The Next New Thing: In meetings, someone inevitably asks me, what’s the next new thing? My answer is this: there are many interesting innovations on the horizon, but mobile is the most pressing. Consumer time spent on mobile devices is rising faster than on all other media. Of the world’s population 77% of consumers now have a mobile phone. To reach consumers where they are, ad funded apps will be the next new thing, and building engaging, interesting experiences that put consumers at the center and help them complete tasks will be critical. Check out this comprehensive campaign that spans mobile and other screens to see how we’ve helped advertisers inform, engage and entertain their customers.
Customer Relationships: Advertisers and marketers tell me they want to build relationships with their customer, to engage them and be relevant to them. To do this, they first need to connect. Microsoft’s broad palette of assets connects consumers and marketers across a world of devices – nearly a billion impressions a month! They then need to engage. Microsoft Advertising’s creative team custom builds then stitches ad solutions with landing spots to guarantee the right experience reaches and impacts the right customer, wherever they are. Take a look at some of our latest work, and you’ll see what I mean.
It is an exciting and sometimes challenging time to be part of this industry. I look forward to hearing more about the challenges you face so that we, in turn, can help you move your story forward.
Frank Holland, VP, Advertising and Online Business