Microsoft marketing guru Mich Mathews kicked off the PCMA conference yesterday morning with a much more engaging presentation than Monday's Gilmore and Pine session, I thought. Though she didn't really say much I hadn't heard before (word of mouth rules these days, human connections still trump digital meetings, etc.), she did say them in a charming accent. And of course, if we all had Microsoft's budgets, we'd all love to be able to do promotions like they do.
Mathews talked about how some companies build anticipation for experiencing their brand through the Web, citing Westin's experiential Google Maps mashup site as an example (I'm feeling too lazy to find the links to all these right now, but they should Google right up). She said Ritz-Carlton was good at deepening the interaction by sending out a letter to upcoming guests about their preferences, so the hotel can customize the experience when they arrive. Like Ritz-Carlton, she said Microsoft uses extensive database analytics to provide distinctive customer experiences.
She also talked about how making a video that goes viral is the best form of marketing there is. Like this video about Bill Gates' last day at Microsoft:
Of course, unless you have Bill Gates as the head of your organization, and Bono, and an excellent script writer, yours might not make quite the same impact. But it's worth a try!
It got a little commercial at the end, with glimpses of Microsoft products like Roundtable and Surface, which both could be amazing tools for planners (I'm a little in love with Surface, I have to admit).
They should have left well enough alone, though. After Mathews presentation, there was a followup Q&A with Peter Yesawich that just dragged on and on and didn't, IMHO, add anything to the party.