In our previous episodes of this interview with Andrew Pickup, Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft in Asia Pacific we’ve learned about the 3 digital networks that are an integral part of the marketing campaigns that Andrew and his team work with. We also caught a glimpse of the tools and tactics they use to manage the 100’s of thousands of posts in social media that are made about them every day and in the last podcast, Andrew talked about the challenges the culture, communications infrastructure and geography pose for him in managing the far-flung reaches of his region.
In this episode Andrew shares that the best ROI for Microsoft in social marketing come from the owned and operated media network they manage. With over 650 million visitors a month to their owned and operated media assets (Bing, Windows Live, etc.), it easily represents the best place for Microsoft of promote and market their own products and services – but how do they get people there?
The flow of consumer awareness and engagement goes from the paid media Microsoft can buy, which helps create interest and engagement in consumers who produce their own content about Microsoft (both good and not so good) in the earned media network and ultimately, the engagement will draw consumers to Microsoft’s owned and operated media network where again, they can best represent the brand and products they sell to consumers and businesses.
Relative to their own marketing, Andrew predicts that eventually every company will need to be a media company in it’s own right, with similar owned and operated media media assets and it’s own content creation capability.
Predicting the future still further, Andrew sees that social media will go through a stage where consolidation will occur; he points at the effort he has to go through to manage his own social presence and that effort has him suggesting that there will be a broad single sign-on capability and an aggregation of where and how the user identity is managed online. The second issue he sees that leadership in the industry will need to address is in the area of consumer privacy and how user information is handled. Microsoft has been through that firestorm before and has come out the other end as an industry leader – brighter and better in managing those issues than they were before.
Caution, transparency and empowerment are the touchstones of how we’ll answer the privacy issue, quite possibly the final answer will be determined by some legal precedent. Before that event occurs however, Andrew suggests industry leaders can demonstrate forethought and put in place appropriate principals beforehand.
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