Microsoft’s Allison Watson in Nashville

Microsoft's Allison Watson Last week I had the great pleasure of seeing Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, US Marketing & Operations Group, Allison Watson, speak for NAMA in Nashville.

Watson’s presentation was about new marketing, specifically about being customer centric, using social media, making decisions from intelligent analytics, and what generates revenue.

I enjoyed seeing how Microsoft is creating simulations at trade shows to show would-be customers what a day in the life is like using Windows products. It’s a clever way to give customers and media a taste.

Food trucks and Smartphones

I was also impressed by their aggressive grassroots campaigns like Cafe Mango. The Cafe Mango food trucks hit major cities promoting Windows phones and giving away lunches. They did this out front of mobile carrier stores for the holidays, because the carriers wouldn’t return their calls (pun intended).

Hip Hop and a Search Engine

On the social side, Watson impressed the crowd with their brilliant Decode Jay -Z campaign for Bing. It was a clever way to reach a true influencer and his audience, who are likely not Microsoft customers – yet. 5 million people liked the campaign on Facebook, not too shabby at all.

I have always been a fan of co-branded promotional efforts. Why not combine a campaign with a complimentary, non-competitive brand? Everybody wins!

As for analytics. Her takeaway statement was: Ask what decisions you are trying to make first. Sound advice for anyone getting ready to dip into data.

What do you think of Microsoft these days?

It’s obvious that Windows phones, Windows and Bing are big priorities for the company. Are you impressed with Microsoft’s marketing efforts lately? Have you noticed any?