In her new role, Clarke will oversee the company’s marketing outreach to the client/agency community, promoting marketing platforms including MSN.ca, Windows Live Messenger, Hotmail, Skype and Xbox Live. Her five-person team will be tasked with creating product solutions aimed at engaging both media and advertising agencies.
“Our ultimate goal is to drive share of digital and to ensure that digital is thought of further up the food chain as part of an integrated advertising campaign,” said Clarke in an interview with Marketing. “Technology and digital should be driving strategy, not an afterthought.”
Her team will also share Microsoft’s global insights (augmented with Canada-specific data) into consumer behaviour with clients, data she said outlines the “significant shift” that digital has created in terms of the purchase path and consumer behaviour.
Clarke said that Microsoft plans to re-launch some of its b2b-focused social channels and websites early next year, but will spend the remainder of 2012 sharing insights with current and prospective clients.
The U.K. native’s career path has included stints with the British media firm eMap (now Bauer Consumer Media), where she oversaw b2b marketing for magazine brands including FHM and celebrity title Heat, followed by a stint with cinema advertising firm Carlton Screen Advertising and the U,K.’s Central Office of Information (which oversaw government communication and marketing campaigns until its closure in March of this year).
She joined Microsoft in London in 2006 as go-to-market (GTM) marketing manager, responsible for preparing the company’s sales team and senior management for the launch of its Windows Live services.
In her most recent position as Microsoft’s Toronto-based global GTM and content lead, Clarke drove product launches and communications strategies for digital properties in all major Microsoft markets.
“Digital media is positioned very well,” said Clarke. “It’s got a solid growth trajectory for the foreseeable future. Growth in search versus display, video versus new ad formats, there are an awful lot of ways to cut the cake, but the future is digital. It’s an exciting time to be in this business.”