A Daily Marketing Experience

March 23, 2009

Microsoft’s AdWeek

I just got back from a great invitation to the Microsoft headquarters in Redmont, Washington by the people of Microsoft Advertising LATAM and iNetwork. I was there with brand managers and media coordinators of worldwide brands that operate in Latinamerica.


Everyone waiting to go into the House and Office of the Future

Everyone waiting to go into the House and Office of the Future



The main idea was to show everyone the different options and tools that Microsoft Advertising has. Nonetheless, we also got to see “the house and office of the future”.

At the end of the week it was clear that there is a huge gap in terms of knowledge about Online Advertising and the opportunities it brings to brands across the market from the vast majority of people. Hence, a great deal of the time was spent on defining terms, comparing KPIs to those of traditional media and showing Success Stories.

Questions varied: from very basic Online Marketing 101 stuff (here is a link of Interactive Advertising terms), to some complex and strategic analysis and perspectives. The people of Microsoft and iNetwork did try to level the knowledge field to then introduce all their Online artillery.

Some very interesting facts and options were shown. 

– Xbox Live has more users online at any given time during the day than the top TV show in the USA. This becomes a great opportunity to integrate products with the video game experience. Another variation of product placement.

– Advertisements in Online Videos get 53% more attention than those of TV. Another great opportunity to re-engineer traditional messages to fit online formats.

– The first ever ad banner to run on the Internet was placed by Hotwire (here) and received an approximate 42% Click Through Rate (CTR). An average banner ad in the present day, receives 0.5% CTR.

– Online advertising in Latinamerica accounts for a tiny percentage of the overall advertising budget. Companies like Microsoft spend around 19% of their advertising budget on Digital initiatives. 

In terms of Online advertising tools, Microsoft is doing a great job. Even though Search is dominated by Google, in all other areas Microsoft is giving brands some very interesting alternatives, specially in Latin America where its MSN portal and Messenger service rank very high. 

For me, of the new options showcased, the best one was the opportunity to create a “Brand Robot” in the Messenger service. This gives brands an opportunity to establish a day to day conversation with customers. The basic idea is that people chat with the brand about different issues: it can be non-related brand aspects like entertainment, it can be FAQ, it can be customer service, etc. All in all this alternative imprints the brand’s name in the “chatters” mind. Very effective way to increase TOM and overall recognition.

On a second note, and as I noted above, Advergaming is another excellent chance to incorporate a brand to the target’s everyday life. Microsoft showed two very good examples from the Obama campaign and from Coke on how to make this a successful investment.

Resuming the vast majority of presentations and discussions, it is clear that Internet, Online Advertising and Digital media are shaping the future. Although this is extremely clear in countries like England (where it is said that Online advertising investments are catching up with those of TV) and the United States, it seems that in Latin America this notion is only arriving. This could be a result from the lack of bandwidth or the low penetration of Internet (this figure is dynamically changing and improving). All in all, and the success stories back it up, there is great potencial in this area for brands to acquire new costumers, to increase awareness, to portray product benefits, to execute launches, to gain market share, and to increase sales and profits.

Incorporating the Internet and the available Digital media options as an integral part of the brand strategy can be understood as a first mover advantage; specially in Latin American markets where there is only a “handfull” of brands leveraging on this new way of communicating.


Microsoft's entrance

Microsoft's entrance


1 Comment »

  1. Thank you Ricardo, very interesting facts!

    I agree with you that Latinamerica will be the “next big thing” on marketing online.

    We will also see more behavioral advertisment in the near future (check the FCT principles).

    Hope to see you again soon!

    Comment by Alejandro Delgado — April 1, 2009 @ 5:13 pm | Reply

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