Microsoft Advertising: Nokia deal will accelerate ad revenue in emerging markets

Microsoft’s Advertising division is hoping its parent company’s move to acquire Nokia’s handset business will propel it into a leadership division in emerging markets. 

Nokia Microsoft
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Baller in 2011 when the two companies’ strategic partnership was first announced.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Dmexco in Cologne, Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft Advertising and Online, said the “most exciting opportunity” the deal offers from an advertising perspective is Nokia’s “deep foothold” in emerging markets.

While Microsoft’s Advertising’s strategy to promote “beautiful, useful and relevant” advertising means it is unlikely to move into selling advertising on feature phones, Holland says the “huge untouched smartphone market” and Nokia’s brand awareness in those regions plays into Windows Phone’s hand.

Holland said: “The most exciting opportunity, beyond the fact that Nokia represents 80 per cent of Windows Phone sales is their position in emerging markets. Nokia has a phone model and OS that is not Windows Phone that is incredibly popular in India, parts of Africa and China.

“That’s a huge untouched smartphone market that will one day move to smartphones. Whatever that device is [be it a phone or a tablet], we want to be there.”

Microsoft will also take learnings from Nokia’s supply chain capabilities, which Holland suggested could help the company upsell other products beyond mobile such as XBox.

Last year, Microsoft set itself the task of “reinventing digital advertising” following the launch of its Windows 8 Software. Holland said the company has “made a good lot of progress” in its mission, particularly when it works with brands directly – such as recent campaigns with retailer All Saints, airline Delta and car marque Jeep – on campaigns at early stages, a process he calls “co-ideation”.



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