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Consumer future is online

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According to Microsoft, the future of consumer behavior is all about online, and that has brought with it an opportunity for advertisers to understand.

The future of consumer behavior lies online ‚ and that’s brought with it an opportunity for advertisers to understand their audiences better than ever, says one of Microsoft’s top online consumer experts.

Speaking at the ‚Click to Connect‚ event in Bryanston yesterday, Alexandre Michelin, Microsoft’s Regional MSN Executive Producer, explored some of the hottest online trends, and provided some rare insights into running one of the world’s largest consumer portals.

Michelin told an audience of more than 150 advertising and marketing professionals about the ways that MSN forges strong partnerships with industry to keep the portal relevant and innovative.

Hosted by Microsoft Advertising and DigitalMark, ‚Click to Connect’ showcased online trends and the possibilities of new brand experiences in the digital space. Microsoft South Africa’s consumer and online lead, Nazeer Suliman, believes that greater connectivity has opened the digital space up to richer interactions with consumers and that brands can no longer ignore these possibilities.

‚Devices are all connected – people are relying more and more on their three screens to easily and quickly deliver information to tailor to them,‚ said Suliman.

Marcus Stephens, general manager, MSN & Windows Live SA / Kagiso Media, agrees that the potential for brands to interact is exponential. ‚With digital interaction, the needs and interests of consumers are fulfilled instantaneously and MSN is proof of that. Companies need to tailor their offerings for the digital arena,‚ he said.

Gloo Digital Design and Network BBDO shared some insight into what is being generated by agencies in the digital space in South Africa, and how creative agencies are evolving for a digitised future.

In June 2010, Kagiso Media partnered with Microsoft to manage and inject local relevance into the MSN portal in South Africa, and took charge of marketing, sales and content for the MSN site. They became the sole sales partner for all Microsoft’s Windows Live properties – including Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger — in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Microsoft continues to provide the systems which run the portal and its advertising.

On 29 September 2010, the South African MSN portal was renamed to Howzit MSN! to reinforce the local focus of the site and to identify with local culture. Since the revamp, March 2011 saw 2.6 million domestic unique browsers to the site.

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