Microsoft must transform its marketing in the next three years or fail, said Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela during a presentation at the ANA's Masters of Marketing conference.
He laid out a six-point plan that included a focus on: freemium innovation; building marketing into products; modern storytelling; ad platforms not ad campaigns; world's best data platform; and a bigger role for the Microsoft brand.
Mr. Capossela is in his second stint as CMO at Microsoft. The 22-year company veteran was appointed earlier this year by CEO Satya Nadella. He also held the position from April 2011 to July 2013.
Microsoft is thinking carefully about how to offer services that are "basically free," in an effort to get users more engaged with the brand and vocal on its behalf. He offered Skype as an example of freemium innovation, explaining that while it's free for consumers, the enterprise version, Lync, features paid features important to corporate IT teams.
"Freemium changes the way we market because you focus on engagement not the sale," he said.