Remarks by Joanne Bradford, Corporate Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing; Chief Media Revenue Officer, Microsoft Corporation
Panasonic Ideas for Life Speaker Series
Advertising Week 2006
New York, New York
September 27, 2006
ROBERT GREENBERG (CMO, Panasonic): So Joanne Bradford is Corporate Vice President and Chief Media Revenue Officer, and she asked me to tell you that she’s not here to sell you anything today. We’ll see. (Laughter.) Chief Media Revenue Officer at Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions.
As Corporate Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Microsoft Corp, and the company’s Chief Media Revenue Officer, Joanne oversees advertising sales across all Microsoft properties, including Microsoft Network, Live.com, OfficeLive.com, Microsoft.com, Xbox, Microsoft Internet Protocol Television Edition, IPTV Edition, and software platform and mobile content. Her appointment to this newly created position underscores the growing importance of online advertising for Microsoft, and Joanne’s instrumental role in driving seamless delivery of state of the art ad solutions for clients on a global basis.
So with that, if you would join me in welcoming Joanne Bradford. (Applause.)
JOANNE BRADFORD: Thank you, Bob. And, Bob, I’ll have you know that we had a very big debate in our house about Panasonic versus Sony, and we have Panasonic big screen televisions in our house. And my husband actually worked for Sony at one point in his career, so it was a very big change.
I wanted to just first off thank you all for coming today, and say that when I got the topic of social responsibility, I said, what the heck am I doing? Like, thanks, Mary Kim, the Harvard professor that wants to solve world peace the day before me in the series, what am I going to do about this, and how am I going to talk to you about it, and how big is this challenge?
And what I thought was I’ve got to break it down to me personally. I’m not going to tell you what you should do, I’m going to tell you what I think the industry should do that I work in, and I’m going to tell you a little bit about how I break it down and think about it day-to-day.
I’m a mother, I’m an officer in a very large company, I run a very large global team. I used to volunteer in my kids’ classroom, but I didn’t like the way those volunteer organizations run, so how do I think about my social responsibility, how do I give back? It’s not just giving through the Microsoft Corporation.
I also happen to work for one of the world’s largest philanthropists, a guy that believes in giving way more than you take, every single day, and is so intensely dedicated to that and the big challenge, the elephant, and really making sure that things and people don’t go extinct. And so the elephant represents how do we think about this and how do we save sort of one thing, one person, one cause at a time, because there’s so many different things.
I mean, just take a moment and think about what social responsibility means to you in your mind. You know, we could spend all day thinking what does that mean. So I’m going to talk to you a little bit about what it means to me. What it means to me is that there’s a canvas every one of you can paint on that we as the advertising industry are an industry of influence. I’m a salesperson at heart, so it’s hard for me not to sell you something today, and my father once told me, “You do not want to be a salesperson for the rest of your life.” He was a CFO, and he’s retired now. And I found a statistic when I worked for McGraw-Hill that every salesperson keeps 30 people employed. So I felt very proud about that, I went home, I gave my dad this report, and I said, “You’ve got your job because of me.” And he said, “I work at an engineering company, and that’s not true, because we don’t have salespeople.” And I went, “OK, fine.”
But there are industries where without salespeople you can’t get things done. I happen to work in an industry that needs salespeople and that doesn’t have a very favorable image. So the advertising industry is one that is ranked, it goes I think used car salespeople, lawyers, and then advertising. So I have the worst profession in one of the worst industries in the world.
And so what do we do about it, how do we make it better, how do we think about the challenge and the canvas that we have to paint on? What can we do to get this all done?
Well, I think we band together in events like this. I think we recruit great people. I think that we build great solutions. I think that we do great ads.
When I was a kid, I used to sit in my room and save my money and go buy magazines. And I would cut the ads out of magazines, and I would paste them up on my wall, and those were my dreams, those were my aspirations. It was places and locations, but it was really how I lived my life.
You know, I hate to tell the print industry that the Internet has replaced that to children, so now they sit with a computer, and they’re not cutting pictures out of magazines, they’re doing it in a different way. So I may not be selling MSN today, but I will sell the industry.
But I cut those pictures out, and they gave me sort of a view of the world of where I wanted to go and what I wanted to aspire to be. And I still remember making collages in school and doing all those kinds of things.
So taking that and translating that into how you think about what you put in those magazines, and as marketers how we advertise and how we represent our products, and I think that the Internet has really challenged people to represent their products in a different way, because the consumer has a voice. You know, I used to tear the page out of the magazine and put it up there, and I couldn’t really manipulate it too much. I couldn’t screw it up, I could cut it up, but what it was intended to be was still holistic. I think today brand marketers have a challenge that they’ve got to trust the consumer with their product to do well by society.
I saw Ted Leonsis speak a couple weeks ago, the co-chairman of AOL, and he said they used to hold people hostage to buy 30 days of dial-up, give you your credit card. He said now they let people put their credit card out, because you don’t need to put a credit card, and if you want the service then they charge your credit card, it’s not the other way around. The consumer is now saying that we want the choice back. It’s good for society, it gives people more control, but we’re giving back more than we’re taking.
So when you think about your products and your brand, you actually have to give the consumer control and trust the consumer to do the right thing for society, and that’s a little bit of social responsibility. We have to do things like get rid of popup ads and help take down pornography and other kinds of things, and we have to have responsibility to do that, get rid of spam, all of those kinds of things.
So it’s a very big canvas to paint on, and how you’re influenced and what you do as an individual is really important.
One of the things that I’ve been lucky enough to do is the Ad Council, Peggy Conlon came and asked me if I’d be on the board of the Ad Council. The Ad Council I think is one of the most influential organizations sort of in America today. Who knows Smokey the Bear? Right, Smokey the Bear. We don’t realize how much great work the advertising business has done for the world.
So I just want to make sure that you guys understand how much the industry has given back to promote campaigns like that. Just alone on Microsoft, on MSN properties in the last two years we’ve given $17 million of advertising to the Ad Council. What’s the number, how much advertising do you get every single year donated: $1.8 billion of free advertising to push these causes and to do great things.
At Microsoft one of the things that we did last year was we did a program called Small Steps. And Small Steps was teaching people about obesity, and what they needed to do, take a few steps, walk up the steps instead of taking the escalator, walk up instead of taking the elevator, get up from your desk a few times during the day. Obesity affects 64 percent of the people in the United States today. We had 225 million impressions delivered to the Small Steps program, and 155,000 people sign up for newsletters. So while it may have been a small step, we actually impacted people’s lives favorably.
I think that’s social responsibility. So it’s really aligning our causes, aligning our social responsibilities, and making sure that we give something back.
So taking your assets, we spent a lot of money developing the program, we used our resources, and then we funded it with advertising. I’d ask everyone in this room to go back to your organizations and do that as well, to make sure that you’re figuring out how to use your assets to drive it.
One of the next projects that we’re going to work on is the Amber Alert, so getting people to register, over 360 children have been saved this year by the Amber Alert on people’s cell phones, and so we’re going to drive a campaign to get people to sign up for the Amber Alert’s on their cell phones.
So really powerful, powerful stuff, that’s social responsibility. I’m not Bill Gates, I don’t have $80 billion, but I do have a staff, I do have some resources, I do have some free media I can donate, so I’m going to do it because that’s how I can help. I can’t pick up trash on the highway on the weekends, I need to spend the time with my kids, but you know what, maybe social responsibility for one of you is volunteering in the kid’s classroom. I want to do it in the industry that I work in, so that’s what we’re doing.
And great work to the Ad Council, so let’s give a round of applause. (Applause.)
As I said, I have two children, and I’ve been gone for two weeks, and so – and I do have a husband, it’s just they didn’t have a picture of him. (Laughter.) He was at a trade show, so we actually haven’t been together for two and a half weeks, which is the longest time in 15 years.
But the great thing about this is that I really believe that it’s super important that we do great things that make us feel good about our lives. I was reading all of the great work that’s been done, and one of the great campaigns that I saw was our partner, McCann, did the campaign a few yeas ago for the Ad Council that I love, that I wish they’d bring back, is, “I Want to Play.” And it was getting girls to be able to play, to be able to raise their hand and say, “I want to play on a sports team.”
And this particularly resonates with me because my husband is a national U.S. Tae Kwon Do champion in the 40-plus category, in the Poomse form and in the sparring category, so he had me say this more times than I do, but one of the great things that I think he does in his social responsibility is he gets my daughters to not be afraid of participating in that. So they both go to classes, mostly with all boys, but they get to play.
So when I was reading about the McCann campaign that they did with the Ad Council, I think it was seven or eight years ago, the “I Want to Play” really struck a chord with me about how it means something to me in society.
So take those kinds of campaigns, take those kinds of work, apply them to yourself.
So is that social responsibility? Sure it is, because it’s what’s important to me, and I think that people find what they’re passionate about. Bill Gates is passionate about using technology to solve people’s problems, and his money to solve world disease. I just want to make a couple of kids’ lives more empowered, and I want them to have ambition.
You know, in the media transformation what’s going on, I remember when I was a kid, besides cutting up magazines, we all used to sit on one couch and watch one TV. And I was the youngest, so I had to get up and turn the channel. (Laughter.) We didn’t have a remote control; today we’ve got Panasonic big screens all over our house, we’ve got PVRs, we’ve got laptops, we’ve got many different choices. And what it does is it changes how we interact with our families, and you have to be really careful that society takes the good part of that and not the bad part of that.
So I just want to always remind people that technology can be as bad as it is good. I feel like we have to drive the goodness of it.
So one of the things that I have to do is drive the industry for good. So this is a picture of me from our Strategic Account Summit where we bring together 750 thought leaders in the industry. I invite our competitors. We drove the universal ad package standard, we got rid of the popup. Who sees popups anymore? See, look at that. Who gets spam in their inbox? See, we still have a problem to fix there. (Laughter.)
You know, and that’s almost a society problem that I actually think that technology can solve it, but I actually think we ought to go after the spammers in a big way and expose them more publicly, because we have to stop the behavior. We can stop the mail from coming in, but we actually have to stop the behavior of that being acceptable and rewarding those businesses.
So someone is buying Viagra, just so you know, and someone is looking at porn, just so you know. So until people stop doing those two things, the spam is coming through.
As I say, the three Ds of the Internet are dating, dieting and debt, and everybody wants to get rid of them, but they’re very big businesses, and most people in the world are a little bit lonely, need a little bit more money, and want to find a better way to be physically fit and want to go on a diet. So the three Ds of the Internet aren’t a bad thing, but we have to figure out how to use them right.
So one of the things that we did at Microsoft was frequency capping, creative acceptance policy. We really worked on making sure that we put the right ad in the right place at the right time. You won’t find ads that blink, you won’t find ads that look like a Windows experience that tell you you need to do something to your computer. So it’s really that’s what we consider to be social responsibility of the Internet.
So a lot of things have changed then and now. We really have to make sure that we stay ahead of it.
One of the things that we did was build a space program. I want you to watch this case study of a great experience, and I’ll tell you about Kenny.
JOANNE BRADFORD: I think we’ve got to give Kenny a round of applause, huh? (Applause.)
So the amazing thing about that was that Volvo came to us and said that they wanted to work with the blogs and social networking, and wanted people to be able to tell their story and help them highlight it. And they took a very big risk, and the risk looked at how that guy’s life was impacted. He had a terrible thing happen to him, but now because a brand trusted the consumer, that they turned over some of their brand and some of their access to this consumer, this young man’s life is much better. He’s gotten 900,000 visitors to his Web site, he wants to write, he’s thinking about getting an agent. I know he’s got some spunk in him because he wanted to be paid for the video. (Laughter.) So, you know, but it’s a really interesting story about giving back, and how technology can change someone’s life, but it’s only good if you give them the right venue and the right way to do it.
And the thing that is most compelling about that story for me is that Volvo trusted him, and we built this thing for him, and now he has his own social responsibility. Did you hear him at the end? He’s like, “Now I have to figure out how I have to give back.” He’s not Bill Gates, he doesn’t have billions of dollars, he has sort of a very confined life that he is living in a very different way, but that’s his social responsibility. It’s different than my social responsibility, I’ve got social responsibility for an industry and for my family, and for a bunch of different things, but he has social responsibility to be an advocate for people like him and to respond to his people. If you go through and read what he writes, he’s a really good writer. And this isn’t about the technology of the blog or anything like that, it’s about what someone did with a really difficult situation where there was a sense of crisis and made it better. Even though it was his own personal crisis, he’s now going to pay it forward and pay back other people.
So social responsibility is fixing a situation for yourself and then for other people. So I just really believe that as the advertising industry, that we need to challenge the world to trust the consumer, to give people like him a voice, to let people tell their story in a bigger way, and to really, really trust that they’re going to do the right thing for society. And if they don’t, you know, people wouldn’t come back. He has a following of people that write to him regularly. I was going through it last night, and there was one woman that became his friend of Messenger, and actually went to visit him and spent a few days with him. They’re just friends, I mean, you can see he lives at home with his family in a pretty modest house, and talked about the experience of now having someone that will come see him. So he built a social network and now the things that they’re doing together. So just really a reminder of if you’re Bill Gates or Kenny Salvini, you really can make a difference, and we are marketers, so we really need to make sure that we continue to build programs like Volvo “What’s Your Story”.
So I’m proud of Kenny, and I want to help Kenny make money, because Kenny is motivated by that. I am too, that’s why it says “Revenue” in my title. So I’m going to help him with that, but I’m happy that he’s willing to continue doing really good writing, and that we’re able to support him in that.
So one of the things that I want to challenge you with is trust the consumer and trusty your imagination, and trust what you can do as an individual, whatever it happens to be defining your own personal responsibility.
One of the things that I’ve been lucky enough to do in my life in this job is meet influential people, you know, people that do really great things. You sit in a meeting with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, you know, Steve Ballmer sometimes has a hole in his sock or whatever, like he wants to like change the world, he doesn’t want to — he’s not a materialistic person. That’s one of the things I love about working with Microsoft is they’re not materialistic people.
And one of the people that I met recently was LeBron James. And LeBron is taller than me, but one of the things that I was struck by with LeBron was that he cares so much. And his social responsibility is around two things: One is helping Akron and putting it on the map, and we’ll talk a little bit about that in a minute; and other one is helping kids and single mothers. So that’s his personal responsibility.
He does that in a couple different ways. He did the King James Bikeathon in Akron, and when I met the LeBron team, one of the things that I talked about was you do this great work but it only impacts a thousand people. Let’s work together and let’s let it impact millions of people, because that’s one thing that I have. And so my social responsibility is to help him make his message bigger and broader.
So we sponsored the Windows Live Local King James Bikeathon, and I wanted to show you a little bit of video from that, and then I’m going to bring up Maverick Carter, the CEO of his marketing organization, to talk a little bit about the social responsibility and the brand of LeBron James.
JOANNE BRADFORD: So I’d like to introduce Maverick Carter, the CEO of LRMR Marketing. Come on up. (Applause.)
MAVERICK CARTER: Thank you, thank you.
JOANNE BRADFORD: So I went to a basketball game in Oakland with Maverick, and we had dinner beforehand, and we talked about the brand of LeBron James, and what they’re trying to do, and I wanted to just have Maverick talk a little bit about the brand.
So, Maverick, first off, how did you end up at LRMR?
MAVERICK CARTER: Well, I worked at Nike for three years, and internally at Nike I worked on the LeBron business, and I ran all the LeBron business internally for Nike. And then two years ago, LeBron decided he was getting rid of his agent, he thought his agent had done a fine job for him to the point where he was, but he wanted to go about his business in a different way, he wanted to take what he had started to build with Nike and the other brands who were aligned with him, and make it into his own brand, so he kind of lives as his own brand with partners. And he wanted me to come along with him and run it, so we decided to form a company, LRMR, which is a marketing company, and LeBron obviously is our first client. So that’s how I ended up there.
JOANNE BRADFORD: And one of the things that I always appreciate about you when we have these conversations is that LeBron wants to give more than he takes.
MAVERICK CARTER: Definitely. He definitely understands that in his position — Joanne and I, just to walk back for a second, we’re having the conversation of what we’re going to speak about today, and she showed me the Kenny video, and that was my first time seeing it. And we started to talk about how, for instance, Bill Gates or LeBron have so much, but they want to give back, and then Kenny is kind of on the other end of the spectrum.
So LeBron understands that he’s a star, people know him, he makes a lot of money, so he has an opportunity to do things that a person like myself couldn’t do, because just with his name and being somewhere he can give back. So he understands that position and wants to give back to kids and families, starting in Akron, and then, with your help and the good folks at Microsoft, doing it globally.
JOANNE BRADFORD: And then one of the things that strikes me about it is sort of the perspective and the responsibility. So can you talk a little bit about the traits and the responsibility that LeBron feels? I mean, I have to say that, Maverick, I’m going to expose your age because I’m old enough to be his mother.
MAVERICK CARTER: I did my pushups this morning.
JOANNE BRADFORD: Maverick is 24, is going to be 25 in October, and LeBron is 22, and they have unbelievable access. I mean, it was written about last week, you and I have talked about it, you went and had lunch and milkshakes with Warren Buffett; I mean, I didn’t. (Laughter.)
MAVERICK CARTER: He gives a lot, too, he gives a lot.
JOANNE BRADFORD: And that’s part of it. I mean, Warren Buffett is giving to you guys, because he knows that you’ll give, so that’s one of the things where we focused a lot of attention and put resources onto the Windows Live partnership on the bikeathon and hope to do more in the future, but it’s really about the sense of responsibility that struck me with it.
You know, I’ve worked with a lot of people that are like give me a check and what’s in it for me, and put green and pink M&Ms in my room, and there’s just not that sense of it.
So can you tell me where that comes from, and how he wants to pay it off and how you want to pay it off?
MAVERICK CARTER: I think more than anything it comes from the feeling of, so LeBron and myself are kind of the same person, that’s why we get along very well. It comes from the feeling of, okay, LeBron has a lot of money, he has nice cars, a home, I have a home, cars, whatever, but that’s all fine and dandy but it only makes you feel so good for so long, and then that feeling goes away, because it gets old. But the feeling of being around people that you like and seeing people smile and talking to people, and just the feeling of being around people, like LeBron loves to be around people, doesn’t ever want to be alone. So if that means he’s helping people, you know, he helps people from making them laugh to giving them a check to showing up at a kids’ camp and saying hello to the kids, just inspiring them, I think those feelings of being around people and just loving people and loving to be with people and see them smile, that’s where it comes from. So from there he has that responsibility to be around people and help them smile.
And he’s been given so much in his life, though he comes from not that much. I think a lot of people understand that story if they know about LeBron, people understand that more and more as you know him. He comes from, you know, he only had his mother, never knew his father, his father was killed before he was born, and he lived not even in a home, in an apartment building his whole life that was as small as this room. So he comes from not so much, but he understands that he couldn’t control it but someone gave him so much, and then he thinks like why me; well, I should give it to someone else, I should pass it along.
JOANNE BRADFORD: One of the things, I went to Akron, and LRMR put on a summit about how to work with LeBron, and so the partners from Nike and Coke were there, and we talked about his participation in the Olympics and other kinds of things, and you shared a deck, and I’m going to just read some of the things on here, because it really was a great example of social responsibility.
He embraces the responsibility of his position, number one, lead by example, build the team, own not avoid, give back, be a force for good, dedication and perspective, which I think that if you went and looked at most other major athletes and you said what are the attributes or the brand framework that you’d use to describe what you want to do, that wouldn’t necessarily be on there.
So how did you guys come to that, and how do you think about the future representation of that?
MAVERICK CARTER: Well, the way we came to those things about his brand is that LeBron is considered a celebrity, and he’s an athlete, but he’s an individual who is a brand similar to Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jay-Z. So when you’re an individual with a brand, I think your brand and what your brand is and your attributes are just who you are as a person, because they have to be the same.
So LeBron as a person, if you watch him and follow him play basketball, he’s a leader on his team, though he’s one of the youngest guys on the team, but he leads by example. He shows up for off season workouts, he practices hard.
Then he owns the responsibility and doesn’t avoid it. So, for instance, on his team he has one of my favorite quotes that he said, and I always ask him, “Did you think about that before you said it,” he says —
JOANNE BRADFORD: I bet you didn’t say it like that; where did you come up with that?
MAVERICK CARTER: Where’d you come up with that? He says, you know, “I don’t have to make the last shot, but I do have to make the last play.” So he owns the responsibility of making the last play, but he doesn’t need to make the last shot, anyone can do that, so he’s a team player. So I think that’s just who he is as a person, that’s where that comes from.
JOANNE BRADFORD: I mean, a couple other things that you put in there, what makes him unique is he doesn’t destroy his opponent to win, he finds joy in competing and fulfilling and winning, and he makes those around him better players and people, which I think is sort of the ultimate example of social responsibility.
So when I look back at sort of the discussion we had here today is sort of four individuals that we talked about, you know, Bill Gates kind of the beacon of social responsibility. You know, I can’t do that. My checkbook isn’t that big, my resources aren’t that great. And then the social responsibility of someone like Kenny, and then the social responsibility of sort of me as an individual and what I can do, and then what you’re doing with LeBron. And I think that from a brand and advertising perspective, and the messaging that we put out there, it’s really, really important.
How much pressure do you get from the rest of the world to just kind of not do that, and what has the response to this been? Do marketers like it when you talk to them about working with LeBron, do they see it, or do they just say, “No, we just want him in the picture and we want the endorsement and we want the association, thanks”?
MAVERICK CARTER: It started off at first is we just want the picture, this is a great product, buy it, but then once you start to dig deep and really start to explain to them what’s going on, then they kind of say, wow, we’ve never — it’s like wow, whoa, we’ve never had anyone, whether an athlete or celebrity, who wants to be involved or partner with our brand think of themselves this way or look at their business this way. So, wow, we really need to — so then they say, well, I need to go back, so I’ll sit with someone like you, I need to get back with my team and figure out how do we get involved and make this a partnership that can work. Because they’re like I was expecting something totally different.
JOANNE BRADFORD: I was expecting how big is the check and when is the shoot.
MAVERICK CARTER: Yeah, right, cut the check.
JOANNE BRADFORD: Because in the conversations that I’ve had with LeBron, I mean, giving Thanksgiving turkeys and helping the kids, I mean, one of the most amazing things for me was when we went to the summit in Akron, he was like I wanted to put Akron on the map, I had a social responsibility to putting Akron on the map. When I was a kid and I opened the map, Akron was a small, little thing. He said, I want it to be there. So we flew to him, and sat in a room like this in Akron, and we had the partners together, and he was so excited about helping Akron first and foremost.
And so his social responsibility is hometown and community first, and then sort of to kids and working mothers second, and working with his sponsors to get that message in.
And I think that you are making a really big change in how your partners think about it. So it’s really great work. It’s not easy, is it?
MAVERICK CARTER: It’s not easy at all. To join LeBron’s thing was he says when I was a kid I’d open up and look at a map, and there’d be the country and the state of Ohio, and there wouldn’t be a star or a dot for Akron, it wouldn’t even be on there. He says now when you open up and look at that same picture in that map, you see there’s a dot and it says Akron. And he has that thing about putting Akron on the map, and the same thing about the summit, you know, to have folks like Joanne and Lynne Mayer from Nike, and the folks from Coke fly in to Akron, he was just excited about that fact that you could get high ranking executives from these major brands to come to Akron for the reason that they were there that –
JOANNE BRADFORD: He had Akron Week instead of Ad Week.
MAVERICK CARTER: Yeah, exactly, he had Akron Week. And he was just excited that people would come to Akron and be excited and have a nice time. And we had Mitch come all the way from LA. I mean, he was just excited that people are actually taking a look and coming to Akron and doing things.
But the pressure for him, I don’t think he feels it. If you ask him about pressure, and he often gets that question a lot, because of basketball, you know, down the stretch of a game, he always says, you know, I don’t really feel the pressure because it’s just like what I’m supposed to be doing, so he doesn’t really believe in pressure. So it’s just like what we do every day, so we don’t even think about it as being pressured into doing anything.
JOANNE BRADFORD: No, I have to say it’s a pleasure to have you here and a pleasure to have a partnership, because of the social responsibility. So it was one of the things that I knew I could talk about in this speech the second they gave it to me, I was like this is LeBron. So I think that you’re doing a great thing by building the brand this way, and trying to give back with it and helping.
So thank you very much, Maverick.
MAVERICK CARTER: Thank you, Joanne. Thank you, guys, for having me. (Applause.)
JOANNE BRADFORD: So as I stand here and look out in the audience, there’s a lot of people that work on my team here, and they all have a sense of social responsibility in how they give back. I saw Pete Horn here, your wife does a lot for charity and giving and driving nonprofit organizations, and Lisa Utzschneider does the work of really helping push forward the industry and hiring young people into the advertising business.
So what I would just ask you to think about is sort of remember the toolset that you have and that you’re given, and whether you’re Kenny or whether you’re Bill Gates or LeBron James or me or whoever it is, that you can actually do something really great for this industry, whether it’s one individual helping one individual get a job in the advertising industry, or helping drive a very large initiative like the Ad Council, or really using the technology and what’s going on in the world to change the world, or building a global brand and a global interface like LeBron James.
So it’s been a great pleasure, I’ll take some questions if anybody has them. The one question that I will answer right away is I did play one-on-one against LeBron once, and he did let me win. And I haven’t done the engineering one-on-one with Bill Gates, because I just wouldn’t even – you know, your skill set doesn’t apply there.
So any questions in the audience? Any questions? No?
QUESTION: Hi. I appreciated you standing up for salespeople and the advertising business, but it actually struck me that Eric Schmidt in June had the opposite approach. When he spoke to publishing media executives in June, he was proud that the Google self-service ad model would get rid of salespeople.
JOANNE BRADFORD: Yeah – (laughter) – you know what, I’ve actually had that conversation with Eric Schmidt about how he views the ad sales business and what they need to do from an ROI and an asset perspective, and we actually believe the complete opposite. When we survey our customers, the number one thing that they want is a relationship and they want it to be a quality relationship. So the No. 1 driver in the advertising business is relationship, that you know the people that you’re buying from and that you’re selling to. The No. 2 thing is the quality of service, do you answer the bell when it rings, the request. The No. 3 thing is, is your product in the right place. And the No. 4 thing is price.
So our research shows that it’s exactly opposite to the Google approach. They’re driving on price and product, then quality of service and relationship. And so we have a very different philosophical approach to it. I actually believe that the industry wants to have many different choices. One of the things I love about the advertising industry is the competition, so it’s ABC against CBS and NBC, it’s AOL versus Yahoo! and MSN and Google. And so I don’t think that the advertising business will cede to an automated buying and selling environment, because people care too much about their brand. You can’t turn your brand over to a machine, you can’t turn your brand and your advertising placements over to an automated tool. People’s brands are too important to them, they’re too important to the consumer, and there’s too much differentiation that has to happen. So I still think that there’s a very important part of the advertising business that is built on that and the marketing business.
Any other questions? That was a good one, huh? (Laughter.) How did I do? (Laughter.) (Applause.)
So if you could all go do something, we have a saying at Microsoft, “What’s your go-do?” So go figure out what your own personal social responsibility is, and remember to give more than you take, and the advertising business will be a great place. And go recruit someone into the business. There’s lots of jobs, maybe not at Google – (laughter) – but at Microsoft and Yahoo! and other places. And thank you very much, Maverick, and have a great day. (Applause.)