A good piece on Grad Conn, GM and CMO of Microsoft U.S., and his CPG-developed engagement strategies.
Consider the evolution of marketing as mirroring software development models. Software has moved from a slow waterfall model for builds to rapid agile deployment. The holy grail is continuously deployed software. In marketing and leadership, the narrative must also be continuously revised and deployed — at the cadence described below, but with genuinely useful new customer information and features that reinforce the customer’s ability to trust and purchase from a brand.
Microsoft is at the Narrative Aware stage, it knows it must tell stories at scale — that is, the stories must engage with individual values and expectations. Microsoft certainly has all the IT it needs to be Narrative Active, as evidenced by their efforts to use social at scale. Narrative Maturity will produce a continuously deployed customer experience that lives and changes with the consumer.
Today, Conn’s Microsoft team has found great success with a form of ad that it can crank out in about 15 minutes and produces by the hundred—and which, despite that speed and volume, is personalized in a way that TV advertising never is. Essentially a glorified @reply, and applicable to everything from Xbox to Office 365, it’s a Twitter response to an individual that melds text and art into a little lighthearted experience that shows Microsoft cares.