Microsoft Committed to Advertising Success

At its annual Financial Analyst Meeting in Redmond yesterday, Microsoft laid out its plans to succeed on multiple fronts. Notably, CEO Steve Ballmer said the company needs to do five things to succeed:

  1. Hire and keep the right people
  2. Drive innovation in the company
  3. Embrace disruption
  4. Build and maintain multiple competencies
  5. Take a long-term approach

Going forward, Microsoft will continue to focus on advertising and devices:

We’re investing today in two new capabilities. We are going to be an advertising company, and we are going to be a devices company. Being an advertising company means learning about online and operational efficiency. Advertising is a new business model. Now we don’t just talk about ISVs, we talk about publishers. What’s a publisher? It’s an ISV in the modern world who also wants to accept advertising. That’s kind of the definition. Different business model, different concern. We need to embrace that. We need to be world-class at that.

He later added:

We are hell-bent and determined to allocate the talent, the resources, the money, the innovation, to absolutely become a powerhouse in the ad business.
The good news is, we’re the number three seller of Internet advertising today. We sell primarily on our own sites, but we also sell Facebook, we now signed a deal to sell Digg, and a variety of other people. But we’re number three; number three is better than number four, but not as good as number two or number one. And yet I think we’ll bring this kind of tenacity that will enable us to, let’s just say, make great strides.

Kevin Johnson, president of Microsoft’s platforms and services division, went into further detail in his presentation. Speaking about the adCenter platform, Johnson said:

The ad platform is really about four key things: It’s about the buy-sell process, connecting buyers with sellers, sellers that have inventory with buyers who are looking to buy ads. It’s about the ad serving, having the data and having the algorithm to do the appropriate ad serving to meet those particular needs. It’s about tools for publishers and advertisers to help improve workflow and help improve their planning and their entire workflow. And it’s about doing this across multiple IP-based devices.

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