Microsoft’s worldwide presence in social media requires a good deal of work, a dedicated team and hundreds to manage globally. So far in this podcast series with Andrew Pickup / CMO for Microsoft in AsiaPac, we’ve uncovered the 3 digital network he counts on for marketing online as well as how they handle the hundreds of millions of posts made in social media around their products and brand.
Even with the sophisticated tools at their disposal such as Radian6 and their internally developed tool called ‘LookingGlass’, Microsoft has to employ human-based screening, using agencies such as Brandtology to help aggregate and identify trends, accurately determine sentiment / tone of the messages and sometimes to help identify the influencers in the market.
How they manages the social marketing for the Asia Pacific region so it meshes with the rest of the world is by leveraging a broad framework provided by Redmond, but Andrew and his team tailor it to the needs of the extraordinary diversity of the region. Aside from the geographic challenges, the culture and technology differences have to be addressed. For example, while Australia has similarities to the US & Europe, Korea’s culture is much more introspective and lastly, connectivity in the developing market of Southeast Asia is much more mobile oriented already – each factor impacting how they approach the market with digital and social marketing elements.
Steve Ballmer stated by in 2007 that “by 2010 Microsoft will be investing at least 50% of their budget with online marketing efforts” and Andrew and his team are ahead of that figure. For them, how they leverage digital is a first consideration as they plan any campaign and one of the reasons is the growth of social media in the region – some of the fastest growing countries in adopting Facebook and social media includes Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand; all part of Andrews responsibility.
Andrew shares that in his perspective, the power of a brand to define themselves is diminishing over time and the power of the consumer is increasing; it’s almost as if the consumers have unionized and they are demanding a different marketing experience. This is a marked change over the last several decades. He characterizes the eras’ and changes like this –
- Transactional Marketing – the model of the 60-70’s marketer
- Relational Marketing – 80-90’s were an evolution that led to
- Collaborative Marketing – the model for the 00’s and beyond
He notices that consumers will use a wide variety of platforms and not be afraid to mash-up and re-purpose content and Andrew suggests that brands should not be too thin skinned about it when it happens.
An example of the consumers wanting to own the experience is the video of Hitler demanding his Windows7 upgrade on YouTube and Andrew and their team see all of the mentions as a way to connect to their audience.
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