Cannes 2012: The 'ABCD' of marketing

By , Seminars, Cannes | In Advertising | June 21, 2012
On Day 4 of the 59th International Festival of Creativity, Chris Capossela, chief marketing officer, Microsoft, talked about five key principles followed by the technology company in its marketing and communication strategy.

After three days of sharing knowledge, the fourth day of the 59th International Festival of Creativity once again witnessed the enthusiasm of knowledge seekers as they formed long queues since morning for various seminars. In a session, Chris Capossela, chief marketing officer, Microsoft shared five of the seven principles followed by the technology company to design its marketing and communication strategy.

He said, "As a company, Microsoft provides different solutions to different partners, ranging from consumers to developers and marketers, and therefore we follow seven basic principles to create our very own marketing solutions. This can also be followed by other brands in their marketing strategy."

He discussed the first principle, 'Live and breathe the customer's journey'. "For a brand, it is very important to understand how the consumer goes through every phase right from making the decision to buy a product, researching for the product and the retail experience, the shopping experience and finally, advocacy. While the process will be different for every brand, it will open a window of opportunity to understand where our products fall short and how we can rectify the problems."

He then touched upon the second point, 'Romance our product truth'. He said, "One has to build an unclear notion of storytelling. As a marketer, when you try to speak to consumers, rather than talking about all features at once and hammering the consumer with too much of information, brands need to be selective in what they actually want to talk about. Brands ideally should pick only two-three features that would make the consumer fall in love with the product."

'Know and respect the competition' was the third point that he explained. Quoting an old maxim, he said, "Like they say, keep your enemies closer to your heart. For any brand, it is equally important to understand the competition better as then you can de-position the competition without mentioning about it. This can be done by talking about the uniqueness of the product that a marketer wants to promote."

He then gave the example of how Microsoft upstaged a launch press conference of one if its competition brands through an application which received many impressions on social media, without even talking about the company.

'Throw few more pebbles and make bigger waves' was the next point that Capossela talked about. According to him, it is not always required that brands should go out in the open and make a lot of noise about themselves in order to grab eyeballs. In fact, marketers and agencies should understand and select the right medium that would have maximum impact. In this case, one can mix television with digital or press with digital, rather than following the traditional path. The idea here is to select media based on consumer behavioural insights.

Lastly, he discussed the fifth point, 'Skate where the puck is going to be'. "Marketers should have the foresight to understand the change that markets go through as consumer behaviour changes. Brand owners therefore should craft a journey for their brands based on future trends and not try to catch the bus at the last moment," he concluded.

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