REDMOND, Wash., March 25, 2004 — Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer and Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates will share the company’s road map for the MSN
network of Internet services and insights into the future of online advertising this week at the fifth annual MSN Strategic Account Summit.
The gathering of more than 500 top advertising and other online industry leaders including Terry Semel, chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Inc., Donny Deutsch, chairman and CEO of Deutsch Inc., direct-advertising guru Lester Wunderman and members of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) will discuss the latest strategies for reaching consumer audiences and the impact of technology on the advertising industry. The highlight of the three-day gathering on Microsoft’s Redmond campus will be the release of findings from a first-of-its kind accountability study of the effectiveness and accountability of online advertising and how to create the optimal media mix.
“This year’s summit will demonstrate just how far the online industry has come in the past year to improve marketers’ bottom line though increased efficiencies and exciting new opportunities,” said Joanne Bradford, chief media revenue officer for MSN. “This summit and the groundbreaking research that will be unveiled this week are clear indications of how committed MSN is to our customers and partners — working together to continually improve the state of the online advertising industry.”
Ballmer, Gates Reiterate Microsoft Dedication to Online Advertising
To reinforce Microsoft’s commitment to online advertising, both Ballmer and Gates will take part in the summit. Ballmer will discuss MSN’s vision and strategy and participate in a Q & A session, while Gates will talk about upcoming advances in online technology that could benefit the ad industry.
Study Substantiates Value of Online Advertising
The findings of a study that offers the clearest proof yet of the value of online advertising also will be announced by Ballmer. Rex Briggs of Marketing Evolution and Stephen Kim, director of sales research at MSN, will review the methodology and unveil the results of the Advertising Accountability study, which Briggs’ firm conducted over the past year to determine the effectiveness of online advertising to provide marketers with insight into how to plan the optimal media mix. The Advertising Research Foundation lent its support to the study, which was largely organized and commissioned by MSN in collaboration with top marketers, the IAB and others.
Sessions Share Strategies for Reaching Range of Markets
Based on feedback from marketers, MSN developed a two-day agenda armed to help those in attendance identify opportunities to most efficiently reach their audiences. The sessions will help provide answers to marketers’ top questions, including the effectiveness of advertising, the optimal media mix, direct marketing, branding and more, with a continual focus on their bottom line. During his presentation, Deutsch will discuss the importance of building a brand and online’s value and growing role in the marketing mix.
“Online advertising has emerged as a powerful marketing tool for building strong brands that connect with consumers,” Deutsch said. “We’ve found that fully integrated campaigns with online components provide a greater impact and produce solid business results for marketers.”
Other presentations and activities at the summit include these:
Rex Briggs , founding principal of Marketing Evolution
Lester Wunderman , founder and chairman emeritus of Wunderman advertising firm and author of “Being Direct: Making Advertising Pay”
Malcolm Gladwell , author of “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference”
Yusuf Mehdi , corporate vice president of MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform
Terry Semel , chairman and CEO of Yahoo!
Greg Stuart , president and CEO of the IAB
David Cole , senior vice president of the MSN and Personal Services Group
Blake Irving , corporate vice president of MSN Communication Services and Member Platform Group
Attendees also can choose from seven breakout sessions, each presented by experts in different consumer markets including teens, women, Hispanic, international and search.
MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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