I am writing this from MGX in Atlanta. For those who aren’t familiar with MGX, it is Microsoft’s annual internal event that brings together sales people from around the world to celebrate the year we’ve just completed and talk about our plans and priorities for the coming fiscal year. Attendees include salespeople from all divisions and areas of the company – not just advertising sales – so it provides an incredible left-to-right opportunity to see all of the great things we have on the horizon here at Microsoft.
Secondly, for those who are not familiar with Atlanta in July…yes, I am not going to lie…it is hot!
This week is the latest in a continuing string of interesting and exciting weeks for our business that started with the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in mid-June and just keeps going and going and going.
Last week was a great example.
It started when I was named by Business Insider as one of the Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising. I am thrilled and honored to be in the company of so many highly-respected and innovative leaders in the mobile advertising industry. More important than personal recognition, however, is how this speaks to the importance of mobile in our overall mix of digital ad offerings. Mainstreaming mobile is a huge priority for us, and one that we are taking very seriously here at MSA.
Last week ended on a similar high note with this piece of news about our Polymorphic Ad offering. In this article, you’ll see how Chrysler has come out as our very first client to pilot a Polymorphic Ad campaign with Microsoft Advertising. What’s so exciting about this is to see Neville Manohar’s quote about how our Polymorphic solution will result in a “huge efficiency gain and tremendous time saving solution.” Neville is a digital media manager at Chrysler. I could not agree more with his sentiments!
And then just yesterday morning, we announced that we are divesting our stake in MSNBC.com; see Bob Visse’s blog on this news here. What’s exciting about this development is that it releases Microsoft from its exclusivity with NBC, which will allow us to not only continue featuring content from NBC on MSN as we do today, but will also provide us with new flexibility to deliver fresh and innovative news products from multiple sources and perspectives across Bing and MSN. And this can only mean good news for advertisers.
With these updates and more, I am spending all of my time looking forward these days, and I really like what I am seeing. Later this week here in Atlanta, I will share some of these perspectives with my colleagues. Without tipping my hand too much, here’s what has me really excited:
The customer feedback we got in Cannes on our Windows 8 ads-in-apps experiences was off the charts, as was our vision for how we are going to deploy our Global Creative Solutions team in the future. Stephen Kim, my colleague who runs this team, is one of the brightest minds in the business, and I’m excited to see the evolution of his team and how they are going to work with creative agencies to “up the ante” in innovation with creative agency co-development partners on Windows 8 ads-in-apps concepts as well as across all our screens – from the PC and tablet, to Xbox, Skype and mobile including Windows Phone.
At a higher level, I won’t say change is easy – but it is an important time at Microsoft Advertising. If you take a moment to purvey all of the new and exciting canvases we offer, including Windows 8, Skype, Xbox, Windows Phone and a continually evolving MSN, it’s not difficult to imagine the possibilities – and it’s exciting to know that these innovations are just around the corner.
Our business has gone through a ton of change in the past few months and the fruits of all our hard work are now at our fingertips. We have products in the pipeline, innovation ready to be unveiled, and an unwavering commitment to be the leader in delivering consumer-centric experiences to digital brand advertisers and agencies.
And even with all the activity of the past few months, we are just at the beginning of our innovation pipeline – I can’t wait to share the journey with you.
Jennifer Creegan - General Manager Display Advertising Experiences at Microsoft Advertising