A Change of Focus….

I’ve been doing search for 9 years. Except for 10 months in 2001 when I was a display advertising traffic manager for BTLooksmart, search engine marketing has been what I do.

From “Submit-a-Site” and BidSmart to managing blue chips at 24/7 and being part of the team that launched Microsoft adCenter in the UK, the keyword has been “search” and I’ve loved every minute of it.

But more recently I’ve been focused on the social media aspect of what our Microsoft Advertising Community team does. We were originally set up in 2006 to help and support advertisers as they signed up to adCenter. We were also on the frontline at events for answering questions about the platform and dealing with all the suggestions on how we might improve.

As the months have gone on, the way we’ve done business – via blogs and forums – has become more and more important. Social Media Marketing is now almost a given where 3 years ago it was seen as a luxury or nice-to-have.

Last October, when our team moved under Mark Young in Global Trade Marketing, he asked why were only doing this kind of work for adCenter? Why not work towards helping our other audiences in research, mobile and display have a direct feedback mechanism to the product & marketing teams that build the tools they use every day?

So in June we launched the Microsoft Advertising Community site! It’s a vibrant hub of social activity in the forums but also on the different blogs and this is where my “role tweak” comes in!

My area of focus is now the Microsoft Advertising Blog – this is where we’ve already on-boarded Young-bean Song and the Institute guys, we’re also talking about in-game advertising, mobile advertising and display.

This will grow, as will our social media foray. We now have @MSAdvertising @adCenterBlog and @adCenterRep and our Facebook Page cranking out tips, tricks and announcements and I’ll be looking to build our following globally to help continue our support of an industry we’re so passionate about.

So it’s not huge news, it’s not a new job, it’s just a change of direction for me from search and PPC to other forms of digital that need the same love, the same explanation/education, the same feedback and evangelism channels that we’ve been giving to adCenter for the past 3 years.

We’re also going great guns on events too – Cannes Lions and Advertising Week were very exciting and successful for our team with tens of thousands of interactions with our Tweets, posts, photos and videos, so it’s not like I’m chained to my desk either!

And it’s also not like I’m not keeping my hand in with search either. With all advertising becoming digital in the next 5 to 10 years, having an understanding of all marketing in the mix is crucial for anyone’s success in this space so Bing it on!!!

Any feedback, and ideas then shoot them through. I’m always listening!

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