Microsoft: 50% on digital by 2010

Now it’s personal – Brand Republic News logo-microsoftMicrosoft is taking a leaf out of Amazon’s marketing book, with a focus on customer experience and participation. Alicia Buller talks to global marcoms director, Bill Capodanno.

Mich Matthews, senior vice-president, marketing, at Microsoft claimed earlier this year that 50 per cent of the company’s Β£500m adspend would go on digital by 2010. But, although it was a grand assertion, it was also a true assertion, according to Capodanno. "Microsoft is already allocating 30 per cent of its marketing budget to digital and, when Mich said 50 per cent, it was not some arbitrary delineation. It’s based on the patterns of media consumers use. They are making dramatic shifts into the digital space," he says.

The firm is trialling ten large-scale global social-media products, testing the viability of new media such as blogs, ‘wikis’ and messaging as customer-engagement tools.

"We think about perception-based activity and behavioural-based activity – the world is at a stage when the two things are intertwined. You can’t compartmentalise attitudes and behaviour – they are inextricably linked. Our focus is on understanding the behaviour of our consumers. Once we have shifted an attitude, then we look for deeper engagement, usually through behaviour."

"…we’re seeing the importance of customers evangelising your products. You have to create situations where those relationships breed loyalty that leads to them evangelising your product."

"There isn’t this separation between business users and consumers anymore. People are individuals…"

While Microsoft is currently focused on digital, its long-term aim is that its marketing should be channel-neutral.

"The customers are now in control, whereas, in the past, they were passive. Any marketer that fails to realise this will become …" he chooses the next word carefully, "irrelevant."


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