Projecting 2003 Revenue Increase of 40%

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The fact that Joanne Bradford owns a butterfly costume should come as no surprise. As vice president and chief media revenue officer at Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, she's in step with

Joanne Bradford, vice president and chief media revenue officer, MSN

MSN's commercials in which a guy dressed as a butterfly tries to get people to switch online services.

Morphing the brand
Similarly, on the business front Ms. Bradford is busy morphing the MSN brand -- and perhaps the online ad business along with it -- from a second-tier player to one on par with its Microsoft parent.

Ms. Bradford, who worked in sales at McGraw-Hill Cos.' BusinessWeek for much of her career, says she was surprised at the "tough shape" the industry was in when she joined MSN about 18 months ago. With a mantra of "Easy to sell. Easy to buy," Ms. Bradford launched a SWAT team to deliver custom solutions and custom Web sites for MSN's advertisers and marketing partners.

Her successes include an Olympics package and custom sites for marketers such as Toyota Motor Sales USA's Lexus. Jon Raj, director of advertising at Visa USA, began working with MSN following a pitch from Ms. Bradford. "She is somebody who really understands her space," he says.

Revenues up
Overall, Ms. Bradford says MSN is projected to show a fiscal 2003 revenue increase of 40%, giving it worldwide revenue of more than $700 million. She believes the next piece of the puzzle will fall into place in the next 60 to 90 days when the Internet Advertising Bureau releases unified measurement standards for reach and frequency. Her hope is online will represent 6% to 8% of the marketing mix, up from 2% to 3%.

Ms. Bradford, 39, who was born in New York but grew up in California, studied journalism at San Diego State University. At the school newspaper, she took a trip across the hall to the business office to figure out a way to earn some money. She got a job in ad sales and never went back to editorial. "In the end, I like to make money," she says.

Training for triathalon
Although she describes herself as "not sentimental," Ms. Bradford lives in San Francisco's East Bay in her childhood home. The mother of two girls, she acknowledges she does not easily fit into the role of suburban mom. In addition to her travels, she currently is training for a triathlon.

Those skills may well come in handy as the butterfly lady tries for her next goal, to leapfrog the MSN brand over competitor Yahoo.

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