Digital may be integral to the way we choose and experience a product or access and consume information, but are marketers really taking notice? At the IAA Global Marketing Summit, Tyler Bryson, General Manager – Marketing and Operations, Microsoft SMSG India, enlightened on how marketers need to focus on certain key digital trends, to reach out better to consumers
It’s hard to ignore the fact that Digital has become a part of our lives. So it’s only logical for brands to not only follow their current consumers but interact with potential ones on digital platforms. However, many marketers are still struggling to understand this space, more importantly how they can use it innovatively to their benefit. At the IAA Global Marketing Summit, in partnership with exchange4media, Tyler Bryson, General Manager – Marketing and Operations, Microsoft SMSG India, provided a few interesting insights via his presentation, ‘Re-imagining marketing in a digital world’. Here are some of the key points he put forth.
Changing technologies influence marketing strategies
Bryson shared how the world of emerging technologies has changed the way digital marketing works. Although the consumers’ relationship with technology has changed over the years and become more personal, it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of the digital consumer, living as they are in an “attention (deficit) economy”. What also makes this task more challenging is the fact that there are multiple components and platforms to be kept in mind while targeting these consumers. So the foremost challenge for marketers, hence, is breaking through the clutter.
Important trends and convergence of IT and Marketing functions
Bryson believes in the power of a brand. He says mobility, social computing, cloud computing and big data are the four main technology trends to focus on and will change marketing forever.
Bryson adds that while strategizing, marketers have these technologies with their ability to reach and connect with consumers. “I believe today more than ever marketing organizations that outsource that knowledge and know-how to someone else will be at a disadvantage,” he adds. “Today the technologies and tools that are necessary to build and manage social networks to integrate and collect and manage big data, the ability to build cloud platforms, to build applications at scale, to distribute media round the world… all are within the reach for marketers and that strategy should never be outsourced.”
He also re-iterated on the convergence of IT and marketing and noted how the move in this direction has already been made with the creation of a new role in many organisations – the Chief Marketing Technology Strategist.
HOW MICROSOFT IS REIMAGINING MARKETING
Reimagining how brands come together: Skype, Bing and now Nokia – these are just some of the powerful brands in the over $20 billion portfolio of Microsoft. Bryson says the big challenge is to create a breakthrough within the sea of brands. He says that the key is for brands to maintain consistency and unify experiences across all platforms and devices.
Reimagining role as a challenger: Marketers needs to always think of themselves as challengers as this mindset enables the brand to not just do more, but to do things differently, and in turn create a differentiator.
Market experiences, not products: This is another key differentiator and a unique value proposition as the focus at Microsoft is on improving experiences.
Reimagining how we show our story: Bryson believes that showing people what the company and brand does, empowers consumers to not just know about the brand, but also visualise what the brand can do for them.
“Big data is not just for data scientists, but for everybody”
Q] What trends in digital marketing have gotten your attention of late?
Obviously one of the biggest trends is the ability we have to use big data to analyse our consumers’ behaviours, and connect their sentiments with their buying behaviours. By using new technologies to analyse and get access to data and information, we are able to better predict what consumers need and what they want, to show up where they want to buy and put our advertising in the right places where we think it will have the most impact. Sometimes you can make it so complex that big datais a big project — you have to get hundreds of people involved and spend a lot of money. The truth is your organization may have a lot of data which you need to get in place where you can start to analyse and experiment with it. Then it is Microsoft’s belief that you can use simple tools like Microsoft Excel and our cloud services to analyse that data in huge volumes like you have never done before. So my message about Big Data is that it’s not just for a few expert data scientists, but everybody. Everybody should dig in.
Q] How can marketers get a little more serious about social media marketing?
I think social media starts with a conversation and what the story is. So brands need to first decide what conversations they want to be a part of. They can then amplify those, by being a part of major social networks, ensuring that consumers are being vocal and also making sure that those conversations are happening over and over again.
Q] India is supposed to be one of the biggest mobile markets in the world. How do you think brands can leverage mobile as a platform?
With bigger screens on phones, advertising can be more relevant and capture more, greater attention. But I think with mobile it is really about connecting the experience to other devices that people use, so that when they are on their mobile phone and then they want to engage the brand, they can do that through other devices and technologies as well. So mobility is not just about who clicked on the ad, but about the connective-ness of the experience on any device where people are working.
Q] When it comes to digital marketing strategies, what can India learn from its global peers?
I think the world is learning from India, because we are trying to understand how to leverage digital marketing to reach the kind of scale that is necessary to be successful here. There are many things that we have learned in developed markets, and while we still have a lot to learnin an emerging market, we are experimenting everyday.
Q] Microsoft also caters to younger audiences. What are the challenges in making a communication plan for them?
Younger audiences are an incredible opportunity, but we also have to respect their privacy. What we are trying to do is balance the need to reach out to these new consumers, along with the need to ensure that they see appropriate content for them, which is marketed with appropriate privacy and security. We are balancing that act right now, but we know we have to reach out to them.