Kevin Lourens, chief growth officer at Native and MC for the events, explains the thinking behind the union, "Historically when introducing new technology Microsoft's focus was on IT departments in organisations with the contact person being the chief information officer. Now Microsoft recognises that it is in fact the chief marketing officer spending the most on technology as they rely on technology to engage with their customers. For this reason Microsoft created a new division, Digital Marketing Platforms Group, with the idea that this division would enable digital agencies with tools to assist chief marketing officers to meet their objectives."
Because of this development Microsoft needed a new breed of partner to assist in reaching the chief marketing officers. It recognised Native as a key digital player and an ideal partner because of the scale of its clients and its combination of creative and technical expertise. "If organisations want to adopt Microsoft technology they need an agency that understands both brands and the technology space. These are Native's core strengths," says Lourens.
The Johannesburg and Cape Town events highlighted the possibilities that Microsoft's technology provides, such as managing large-scale websites, mobile experiences, and gesture-based interfaces ie Kinect Platform. At the same time, digital trends were discussed and how technology advancements are assisting the digital world as it continually morphs and grows.
"Both events were a great success and we got some very positive feedback from those who attended. I believe the attendees definitely got a feel for the world of digital trends and where the industry is headed and how Microsoft's technology will assist them in getting there. These events are but the start of an ongoing process where Native will be working with Microsoft to assist large clients with their marketing needs," concludes Lourens.