everson021511

Microsoft Seeks to Strengthen Agency Ties

  |  January 12, 2011   |  Comments

Global sales chief Carolyn Everson discusses sales reorg, new ad units, and improved dealings with Publicis.

At once a marketing platform, a key seller of media, and a top online advertiser in its own right, Microsoft has a unique - and uniquely vexed - relationship to digital agencies. It makes near constant tweaks to its sales structure and ad offerings to boost its appeal to fickle ad buyers and creatives.

The fine-tuning continues this month with several developments that will impact agencies:

Microsoft Meets Publicis at CES

It's now been over a year since Microsoft sold Razorfish to Publicis. As a condition of the sale, Publicis pledged to spend as much as $2 billion on Microsoft media over five years. Some reports have suggested it's behind on that goal.

everson01-webAt the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, eight members of the Publicis-Microsoft steering committee met to discuss the relationship. Among them was global sales chief Carolyn Everson (pictured), who tells ClickZ the dynamic has improved on several levels, including communication, collaboration, and spending.

"We are now going very deep agency-by-agency, client-by-client," said Everson. "It's part of a structural change" in how the spending agreement is handled.

"We're trying to get the deal to where Publicis at a high level knows that there is a benefit to the Microsoft relationship," she said.

New Ad Types

Microsoft developed four new ad formats in response to the Interactive Advertising Bureau's "Rising Stars" contest, the goal of which is to reinvent the palette for online brand advertising.

Calypso marquee: The ad unit is designed to ease the creative production burden on agencies. It lets agencies share assets and an ad design road map with Microsoft, which then spits out executions customized for a range of ad sizes, publishers, and platforms - including the iPad, TV, Xbox, and mobile.

calypso-marquee

Interactive filmstrip: This option attempts to visualize the whole purchase funnel in one long, vertical-scrolling ad unit. Users are served whatever cross-section of the ad is deemed most relevant to their place in the purchase funnel, for instance a branding ad for early-consideration shoppers or a promotional offer for late-consideration ones. They can then scroll up or down for more product information.

microsoft-filmstrip

Page reveal: This is a user-initiated rich media format that can morph into a full-page ad.

Augmented reality: This unit allows mobile users to wave a phone over a Web page or printed material to see an altered image. But it's not part of Microsoft's contest submission to the IAB.

msn-arg

New Org Chart

A shakeout in Microsoft's ad sales organization could somewhat simplify the lives of agency media buyers. Everson, who joined last June as corporate VP of global ad sales, has combined the global agency and account teams -- which previously functioned separately. Both now report to her through Richard Dunmall. The agency team was formerly led by Marc Bresseel, who transitions to head marketing for Microsoft's ad products. The accounts team was led by Gregg Albright, who will now shepherd unspecified "strategic projects."

Dunmall previously led Microsoft's regional Asia and Americas team; he is replaced by Jason Scott in that role. Others were named to lead global strategy and consumer insights, as outlined in Microsoft's blog post on the changes.

The changes continue an aggressive push by Everson's predecessor, Robin Domeniconi, to reduce the number of contact points for agencies and clients.

Creative Ambassadors

An upcoming creative ambassador program will create a staff position within Microsoft's creative technology group, which is led by Stephen Kim. This person's job will be to visit creative agencies and work with account teams on custom ad solutions. Based on agency demand, more people may be appointed to work with creative agencies in a similar manner.

"They take Microsoft technology and have creative people and brand strategies bring that strategy to life," Everson said of the creative technology unit. If it's custom and it involves Microsoft properties, she said, Kim's group handles it. The division is responsible for many of Microsoft's highest-profile campaigns, including those for Discovery's "Deadliest Catch" and Chevrolet's Volt integration on Kinect.

 

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zachary Rodgers

Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects. 

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Downers GroveWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager...
    • Internet Marketing Specialist
      Internet Marketing Specialist (InteractRV) - DallasInternet Marketing Specialist InteractRV - Anywhere Telecommute, USA SEM | SEO | Content Creator...
    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...