Marketing has evolved far beyond the traditional channels of TV, radio, and print and is more complex than the next social channel or digital trend. Marketing has now entered the age of the empowered and informed buyer where the customer is at the center of every marketing decision. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all campaigns that bombard customers with self-promotion. Instead, consumers are seeing previous purchases or searched-for items appearing as they browse the Internet, retail stores remember what the customers purchased during the last visit and suggest related or repeat purchases, and data-mining firms display statistically relevant information to the consumer. Potential buyers expect you to know exactly what they want. How can traditional marketing techniques work in the face of this new era of customer-centered marketing? The era of the Modern Marketer is upon us.

Any successful contemporary marketer must center the customer at the heart of everything he or she does. Great marketing starts from that singular place, because it truly cannot begin from any other focal point and remain competitive. Spanning the nexus of ads to campaigns to websites to service representatives, every touchpoint must center on the person who will buy that product or service. Your potential buyer can change their loyalty within seconds, especially if faced with a bad service experience or a negative review gone viral. Yesterday’s brand-centric approach of amplifying your product at every possible moment has been replaced by customer-driven everything, where customers dictate the style, quantity, and media that marketers must use to win their business and gain their loyalty.

 Of course, as the customer in this buyer-centered revolution evolves, the marketer must also evolve if they want to keep (let alone grow) a customer base. Marketers are searching for the products and platforms that will help transform their business into one that revolves around the customer while simultaneously empowering people to be responsive to customer needs. However, most marketing departments don’t have the complete portfolio of necessary tools to deliver the types of breakthrough experiences today’s sophisticated customers both expect and demand.

So who is this mysterious Modern Marketer? What does he or she do to reach tomorrow’s customer? How do they land the right message at the right time? And how can Microsoft — traditionally a company of productivity and platform — help today’s Modern Marketer?

Our vision for the modern marketer spans four focal points:


Transform big data into actionable data, and bring the customer into focus

Today’s Modern Marketers need a comprehensive, 360-degree view of their customers to understand their unique needs and the best ways to respond to those needs in real time. Data holds the key to unlocking these customer insights, but marketers need to find significance in that data and turn that insight into the predictive engines that will enable them to exceed their customers’ expectations and drive marketing into the future.

However, the massive amount of ‘big data’ available today from a multitude of channels makes predictive analysis daunting. The result is often a mess of metrics and unusable data that doesn’t offer much value in its unprocessed state and at best, provides a backward looking view.

By taking a cloud-first approach, Microsoft helps unite customer information from multiple channels to create a single view into the customer’s journey. Our familiar, trusted self-service tools and dashboards, including Power BI, can cost-effectively analyze individual behaviors and marketing insights in real time to discover what uniquely motivates customers.

Our predictive analytics, data modeling services, and Azure Machine Learning can help leverage large-scale data sets in a way that adds value and positive impact to end-users like never before, anticipating customer needs and proactively responding to them. And by integrating with the marketing systems marketers already use, our devices and services can seamlessly transform big data into actionable data without requiring extensive training or ramp-up time.

In the past, predictive analytics and machine learning technologies were often prohibitively expensive and complex to manage. Today, these innovations are much simpler and more affordable for businesses and end-users, with an endless supply of potential data sources to collect and analyze. As a result, almost anyone on a marketing team can obtain accurate forecasts with a simple click, fostering a data-driven, innovative, growth-oriented culture: the future of marketing.

Gartner, Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2013, Joanne M. Correia, Yanna Dharmasthira, Chris Pang, 16 April 2014


Create amazing experiences with real impact, optimized for productivity and efficiency

Today’s rapid pace of innovation requires marketers to not only unlock insights but to also take action on them. To stay competitive, marketers must build responsive teams that can react quickly to information and customer requests and rapidly create impactful campaigns.

Identifying and implementing the right productivity tools — the ones that make collaboration easy and results measurable — can often prove difficult. Marketers are increasingly turning to cloud-based productivity services to create a flexible environment where everyone on a team can collaborate on key initiatives and efficiently streamline marketing campaign management.

Microsoft’s secure productivity products, like Office 365, SharePoint, and Yammer, improve collaboration and increase marketing creativity and efficiency. Our trusted cloud-based platforms empower everyone to be more powerful, more productive, and more integrated into key customer initiatives. Our marketing customer relationship management systems, like Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, accelerate campaign creation and help marketers manage marketing assets and resources to rapidly deliver advertising that resonates.

In a world where the 9-5 work day is disappearing, marketers must be able to connect and collaborate from anywhere, at any time. Modern Marketers that implement streamlined marketing operations strategies and products can maximize efficiencies and empower everyone in their organization with cloud-powered communications and control.



Be in the moments that matter, with digital marketing that connects across every channel

When it comes to marketing today, every second counts and reaching the customer with the right message at the right time is more important than ever. Even with predictive analytics and operational systems in place, finding ways to maximize reach and deliver messages that resonate can be complicated, especially with people using more devices in more locations than ever before. Marketers need to find interactive digital advertising solutions that allow them to be in the moments that matter and make ads that work — not just bombard people with more ads.

Now, marketers have the opportunity to easily build rich advertisements and deliver them on the interactive devices that make the experience come to life. By reacting to real-time insights and information, like ID-based targeting, marketers can invite and engage customers from device to device, instead of guessing who is on the other side of the screen. They can create ads that are inviting, interactive, and content-relevant, delivered across every stage of the customer experience.

Microsoft provides the interactive digital marketing solutions that marketers need to connect with customers in the moments that matter. Our high-engagement digital ad solutions products help marketers deliver relevant, effective campaigns that target particular audiences and helps them achieve their unique goals. We embrace ad formats and platforms that invite instead of disrupt, that fit the screen and the device to drive real engagement. We make it our mission to build the best creative productivity solution available and to make sure that today’s Modern Marketers have the ability to utilize all of their favorite design tools, including the full Adobe Creative Cloud, whenever they need them. From video and social media to search and display advertising, Microsoft delivers the reach, relevance, and impact for online campaigns to succeed.



Innovate along every step of the customer journey by marrying the power of IT and the insights of marketing

Transforming customers into loyal brand advocates requires immersive experiences that make customer needs and interests the top priority. This means fostering a culture that places the customer first and listens, adapts, and grows as their needs change. Creating these immersive experiences requires powerful IT tools that are simple to use and that deliver a measurable ROI, keeping the marketer in touch with the customer on every step of their journey.

Our technology helps marketers innovate the customer experience by connecting across both physical and digital worlds, throughout the entire customer journey. Powerful devices and the comprehensive Enterprise Mobility Suite can unite multiple screens, interactive sensors, and mobile payment solutions into one solution that changes the way customers convert. We also help marketers tap into the Internet of Things to deliver consumer experiences that are bigger, more immersive, and more rewarding. We can update information about products, audiences, and offers in real time while using machine learning and analytics to find new ways to boost conversation rates.

There has never been a more exciting time to be in marketing. In a world where everything is digital and insights into every aspect of a product or retail experience are readily available, the opportunity to craft transformative experiences that delight customers is easier than ever before if you have the right tools.


Today’s Modern Marketer understands that we are no longer doing digital marketing but are instead participating in the rise of the digital age. That brings challenges, opportunities, and a new set of customer expectations.

At Microsoft, we give marketers the confidence to know that their ads are as effective as they can be, that the traffic they generate is real traffic, that their story is being told the way it deserves to be told. With IT and marketing working together, we have the tools and the creative energy to build the next generation of experiences, working with today’s Modern Marketers to create the moments that matter.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.