Social is part of a brand strategy

I often discuss brand strategy with people and since I also focus on social media, I usually end up explaining my point of view regarding how social media can be used as part of an overall brand strategy. I’m happy to say that we (Microsoft) are now going public with this point of view. Keith Lorizio, from Microsoft Advertising recently posted a blog entry about social advertising. A couple of great quotes from his blog that touch on this idea that social is part of a brand strategy are: 

We advise our clients to use MSN Homepage takeovers, our custom branded entertainment sites, and our award-winning IAB Rising Stars ad units. These creative solutions make your brand story the foundation of your campaign and allow you to add social components in an interactive and impactful way to add authenticity and believability to your brand message.

We recently announced People Powered StoriesTM, a new suite of social advertising solutions that incorporate real peoples’ stories to help increase believability and amplify word of mouth. The first People Powered StoriesTM ad solution incorporates people’s real product ratings and reviews. Check out Jenn Creegan’s blog to learn more.

So when people ask me about a “social strategy” I can share my opinion, but I’ll most likely try to step back and discuss the brand strategy and how online owned, earned and paid media should work together. Social is one component to integrate into that strategy.


Using IFTTT to Curate Content

imageI write this blog post to share my experiences to curate content for my Tumblr account with the “If This, Then That” service. I use the service to repost items from Twitter, Google Reader and the Microsoft Advertising blog. However, I apply some logic to what gets posted to my Tumblr account and I add some HTML to each repost to explain why the entry is there. The four processes I have setup to curate content are:


1. On Twitter, post tweets to my Tumblr page that contain the following words: technopology OR technopologist OR #technopologists

You can use this via my IFTTT Recipe:

The commentary I have automatically added is: This entry about Technopology was automatically added by via a tweet from <Twitter user> on <date/time stamp>

2. And another one to post tweets to my Tumblr page that contain the following words: "Brand Management" "best practice"

You can use this via my IFTTT Recipe: 

The commentary I have automatically added is: This entry about Brand Management was automatically added by via a tweet from <Twitter User> on <date/time stamp>

3. Post to Tumblr when I favorite/star an item via Google Reader. You can use this via my IFTTT Recipe: 

The commentary I have automatically added is: I found the article “<title and URL>” interesting (or cool or otherwise worth sharing) via something I was reading on Google Reader, which then was posted here automatically via

4. Finally, I watch blog entries with "Brand" in it from where I work (Microsoft Advertising) 

You can use this via my IFTTT Recipe: 

The commentary I have automatically added is: This comes from <author> via the Microsoft Advertising Blog because the article has the word “Brand” in it.


If you end up using some of my ideas or my IFTTT recipes, then please let me know via Twitter at @BrianGroth.

My Favorites from TechFest 2012

Checking out the latest and greatest technologies is one of the coolest things I get to do at Microsoft. Not that it’s really part of my job, but since I love new tech, I make a point to try and keep up. One of the great ways to keep up is by attending the annual, and mostly internal, Microsoft TechFest event each year.

The highlights for me this year that I can publically share are:

You can see all of the latest news coming out of TechFest via Bing News

Technopologists take note: Think about how you could apply some of these to your marketing efforts in the future.

Where to Play and How to Win

Strategy+Business just posted an interesting article that pertains to one of my favorite topics of marketing strategy. It points out that strategy is “the result of choices executives make, on where to play and how to win, to maximize long-term value.”. It breaks down the article into a few sections that most marketers will recognize, which I’ve outlined here with quotes from the article.  

Where to play:

The best way to define a target market is highly situational. It can be defined in any number of ways, such as by where the target customers are (for example, in certain parts of the world or in particular parts of town), how they buy (perhaps through specific channels), who they are (their particular demographics and other innate characteristics), when they buy (for example, on particular occasions), what they buy (for instance, are they price buyers or service hounds?), or for whom they buy (themselves, friends, family, their company, or their customers).

How to win:

The target market, value proposition, and capabilities must hang together in a coherent way. And good strategies call for the right amount of “capabilities stretch”: not too much or too little change from the capabilities a business already has.

See the full article here: