Leave a comment
Get the GH Bookmarklet

AMAs

Geoffrey Colon works at the intersection of marketing, tech, and popular culture. Data punk, DJ, podcaster, and author, Geoffrey is a communications designer at Microsoft, where he markets search advertising products for Bing. He has written for The Futurist, Advertising Age, and Fast Company, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Billboard Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Guardian and The Los Angeles Times. He has also appeared on NPR and Cheddar TV.

Colon has written his first book Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal (AMACOM) out now on Kindle, Audio and Hardcover.

Prior to joining Microsoft in 2013, Geoffrey was vice president of digital strategy at Ogilvy & Mather and digital community supervisor at 360i in New York City.

Colon has done work with several influential brands including Spotify, Netflix, American Express, IBM, The Economist, USA Network, WWE, History Channel and Red Bull. He also worked with high profile music artists including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, The White Stripes and Moby.

He is a graduate of Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.

Geoffrey is host of the weekly marketing podcast for eccentric minds Disruptive FM, producer and host of video blog series The Disruptive Marketer and regularly writes on LinkedIn, Medium and the Microsoft Search Advertising blog. He is an avid speaker on the global marketing conference circuit.

You can follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter @djgeoffe or his website geoffreycolon.net

He will be live on August 24 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible.

  • ES

    Edward Stephens

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Geoffrey,

    So awesome to have you on and amazing to see someone with such an ecclectic background.

    1) What is the unifying characteristic that drives you to achieve in DJ'ing, data science and marketing? Have you set out a framework and what are the best ways you've learned any new discipline?

    2) What future advertising technologies excite you or do you see the most potential in? We've seen a fairly large movement in AR/VR recently.

    3) Having worked across a range of large influential brands who were you most impressed by and what was it about their way of tackling the challenges of the future that impressed you?

    Very much looking forward to your answers.

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Well first off, thanks for the warm welcome Edward. Glad to be part of my first AMA on GrowthHackers.com. Been a big fan of this community for a long time and find the resources pretty awesome.

      1. DJing is both an art and a science if you think about it like marketing in the modern age. It has always been centered around technology (turntables, CDJs, Serato, etc.) but the music one programs and how he/she plays it is an art. This is why turntablism is still a major craft. It's not something everyone can do. That being said, it's important to approach data and marketing in the same manner as DJing. Yes, there is technology, but you have to manipulate that in ways to create new things in our space. To just rely on automation is boring as hell. It's what has made most forms of digital advertising cold and inhuman. I've never understood companies that think a technical solution is enough in our world. If that were the case, why do people spend so much money on things that are designed in ways that make us feel a certain way? To learn any new discipline I think it's important to commit to it 100%. When people used to tell me they wanted to learn to DJ but then didn't lock themselves in a room for hours on end trying to tinker and make mistakes and try different things that shows me they're not fully committed to a craft. You don't find the best artists in the world say they "dabble" in art. No, they live it. Marketing is filled with a bunch of people who are just hidden sales people in disguise. This new era won't be kind to them and that's good. We don't need snake oil salespeople in this world anymore. We need people who are real, transparent and don't just talk up their own company or products. They know the entire world around them. I like people like this because they are open to any and all possibilities, not just what is in their wheelhouse.

      2. VR is going to change personal computing. Instead of a phone, you'll have glasses that will be your computer. It's pretty amazing when you think of where we'll be in 5 or 10 years time. I won't have to type on this laptop anymore! I also think voice enablement services will be huge. This is good for two reasons, you can talk and computer software will translate that information for you and second it makes computing accessible to a whole community who cannot use computers right now due to physical challenges. My nephew has no motor skills but he can speak and for him to be able to use a computer in 10 years is already making me tear up. I'm a big proponent that technology needs to be accessible to all. We need to work toward breaking down those barriers that impair many from utilizing technology whether it's physical or economical reasons. I also think "Nowcasting" which is a trend in economics is going to be huge. So instead of doing an AdWords or Bing Ads search campaign, search engines may give you data that helps with your business strategy and forecasting. Can you imagine the possibilities? No more working in the dark wondering what people are seeking and how you fit into their daily habits.

      3. I am really a big fan of American Express. They are not a credit card company. They are an empowerment company. They started a community for small business owners back in 2007 that doesn't hype or sell their products. It acts as a forum for small business owners to talk about problems and solutions that affect them. What Amex gets out of it is they are the enabler of those businesses. That's huge and is something I feel Mastercard and Visa missed the boat on. Amex also was early with mobile payments. I like companies that really see where human behavior is going (not where it is) and work toward those goals. Those companies will not only survive but thrive. I talk a lot about this in my book but you need to see the future and work toward that. Any business can work in the here and now.

      Thanks for your questions and I look forward to continuing the conversation!

      Geoff

      5 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        about 3 years ago #

        Talk about starting off with a bang! :key:

        re: " you need to see the future and work toward that"
        Clearly not everyone can do that. So what is it that's different between people that can and those that can't?
        How do you even go about developing that skill that you can recognize trends and give yourself that potential advantage?

  • TN

    Tri Nguyen

    about 3 years ago #

    What are your top 3 favorite episodes from Disruptive FM? Why are they your favorites?

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Oh Tri!!!! I thought no one listened to that piece of garbage! ;);)

      Hmmm, I think the first episode. I recorded it in GarageBand with a headphone mic. It sounds like crap but I approached it like a Minimum Viable Product. What can I build that gets to market that I can evolve with over time? Media doesn't even understand how much technology has affected it. Why are there shows on CNN with a bunch of analysts? No one wants that. They want to feel interactive with the shows now. I think TV as we've known it is toast because it has no vision of how people behave or how to evolve around technology.

      I also love Episode 44 which is all about Prince. He was very influential on my life. Sounds weird to talk about him on a marketing podcast but he created art for the sake of creating art. Sometimes we need to do that to test boundaries and limits.

      Oh and episode 38 with my close friend Cheryl Metzger. She is so smart and so savvy and an old co-worker from my days at Ogilvy. She and I spoke about how Donald Trump uses social media. It's fascinating.

      Thanks for the question Tri!

      Geoffrey

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        about 3 years ago #

        I'm totally with you on Prince and I actually don't think it's weird at all that you're talking about him on a marketing podcast.

        To me, great music evolves from tinkering and experimentation and a large dose of creativity. Prince was so far ahead of most (if not everyone) on that front imo.

        Feels like there could be a few podcasts worth on how the two worlds intersect + how great some musicians are about getting found, getting loved, creating tribes/communities etc (I've also been watching "Roadies" off late that's just reinforced this view).

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Geoff,

    I thought of another question. :)

    Do you have a team dedicated to growth at Microsoft? If so, how do you interact with them? If not, how do you interact with other teams to achieve growth?

    Thanks again!

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      No growth team here. Everyone is a growth hacker! Also I'm a firm believer we shouldn't have a marketing department anymore. That creates siloes and wall and boundaries. Everyone should be a marketer.

      If we democratize data, we can democratize the creative process. That's how you get the best marketing ideas. Many good marketing ideas come from inputs from developers, sales, marketing, design, etc. You have to have everyone at the table now. Marketers should act as the "voice of the customer" not just people who do marketing. If a team knows what people want, you can build explosive products by developing around them and also innovating on what they may not yet see is possible. :)

      Thanks again Dani!

      Geoffrey

  • HQ

    Hila Qu

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Geoffrey,

    Super cool to have someone from MSFT to be on GrowthHackers:) You brought a very unique perspective.

    You obviously have a very open mind about growth and other trends that are disrupting traditional marketing, I am curious to hear what's your perspective in term of how big companies like MSFT will react to and adopt these new marketing/growth trends? Do you see leaders embracing the trends from top down, or marketers will begin to use the mindset in their daily work and influence up? Or growth hacking need to be adapted in a new way to create value for bigger companies?

    Look forward to your insight!

    Hila

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Hila,

      So back in 2014 our CEO was using the term growth hacking and really wanting everyone to adopt that growth mindset here. I think it has immersed itself in the Microsoft culture. The way we approach problems here is very different from maybe how the company approached those same issues in 2012. The leaders here are very open to everything now. Microsoft to me is a challenger brand. That's what makes it unique. I think if we keep this in our DNA it will be interesting on what we innovate or create next. I think in marketing we are very digitally and creatively driven. Some of the most creative people work here and realize creativity is a differentiator as much as having access to data-centric tools. I'd like to see us set the market in terms of marketing trends and innovations. That's one reason I wrote the book. I think we're in a place to set up and do many of the things I talk about but the world shifts all the time so our agility must be seen as a precedence.

      One thing that's important is how do we flatten hierarchies here at the company? Instead of having top down approaches, how do we have more of a social network approach?

      Thanks for your query Hila!

      Geoffrey

      • HQ

        Hila Qu

        about 3 years ago #

        Very interesting, thank you for sharing, will definitely follow your work to see how things evolve.

  • AS

    Alok Shah

    about 3 years ago #

    You mentioned that influencer marketing is taking off and if it's done right, it's authentic. Can you share your experience on doing it right and how to turn users/customers into advocates (to start with), eventually building a community?

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Alok!!!

      Well for one, influencer programs take time to build. Advertising and marketing programs can be deployed very quickly. That's because say you are doing a lead gen marketing program, you have messaging, customer experience and search/social to drive all of that. You don't have to take into consideration relating to real people and finding out if what your goals are fit their goals.

      Influencer marketing in its purist form is finding someone who actually uses the product or is influential in a line of business or space to vouch for the product because they actually like it and use it. Too many programs companies are paying influencers. How is that any different from advertising? It's not and the audience can smell that it's not real from a mile away. We have many influencer programs we run at Microsoft and teams really try to take time to build reciprocity. If you do this, what can you do for us and vice versa. It's a true partnership. So you have to approach marketing in this area like you would any relationship. That is hard for many companies to do who like to dictate terms.

      Also, infiltrating communities is important. I like being part of this community but I also participate weekly on Twitter in #PPCChat and #AdWeekChat. People know I'm really into it because I like the topics. So I'm seen as a person not pushing a company objective. It's important to work toward being a leader in your space or working with those leaders if you're going to make influencer marketing successful. If you have a bad product, they'll tell you and if you have a good product, they'll tell everyone else!

      Thanks Alok!

      Geoffrey

  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    about 3 years ago #

    Bonjour Geof,

    How does your experience as a DJ help you create disruptive growth?

    Merci!

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Bonjour Arsene! Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn.

      DJing is both an art and a science. It always has been. What separates it from other fields of music is it is a hybrid very much like what I call for in my book Disruptive Marketing. Sure, anyone can buy a laptop and some mp3s and program music. But it's the people that manipulate three to four audio sources into something new that stand out. Also with all of the technology around us, what is happening in DJing again is it's going back to its analog roots. This is also where marketing is going. It's not enough to say, "hey we use social and search and all these analytical tools to enhance our marketing." First, that's not customer centric. In the DJ world we call that person a "DJ who plays for him/herself" DJing isn't about entertaining yourself, it's about entertaining others while pushing new boundaries. Customers are way more sophisticated than companies make them out to be. So DJing helps one view an audience and now how to speak their language. You wouldn't go into a hip hop club and play punk rock. However, you could test some of those tracks depending on how you present it in the overall mix. The overall experience is a huge part of DJing just like marketing. The issue is DJs pay attention to how they are going to present that experience over the entire evening, not just one track or tactic. So marketers need to approach in a similar fashion. Having a few tactics isn't enough. You need to make sure your entire experience is set up that really captures your audiences attention. If you have their attention you've done something many marketers fail to do, you have them as a channel to help spread more word of mouth about you. That's how most of the big DJs get big. They build from nothing into something by outplaying and out manuevering everyone else based on their creativity.

      3 Share
      • AL

        Arsene Lavaux

        about 3 years ago #

        Hi Geoff,

        Thanks for connecting. Great answer.
        Hope to hear some of the DJing experiences you create.

        Merci!

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    about 3 years ago #

    Hey Geoff - super to have you on!

    What prompted you to write your book?
    And if there's one actionable thing someone can take away from reading it what do you think that might be?

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hey Anuj,

      Thanks for the question.

      Hmmm, what motivates people to share in this world? If we look at the psychology of sharing I probably wanted to write the book to get people to view the world differently from how they view it presently. The world is a big place with lots of different people, cultures, languages, customs, etc. But there is one thing humanity has in common, the need to learn. I feel in the past 30 years marketing and marketers have just stopped wanting to learn or do anything radically different from what they had been doing. So I was watching and studying human behavior and how technology was reshaping it and realized most companies and agencies were so behind the curve of where the world of marketing was and is going. We have so much information at our disposal now yet it appears people don't want to use it to their advantage to connect with audiences.

      If there's one actionable thing you can take away from the book it's how you think about people and their actions and reactions based on how you communicate with them about your product/solution/service, etc. How are you using so much user data to improve your product? How are you using your customers in betas and pilots? How are you "tinkering" and asking "what if" questions which always helps with innovation more than simply saying, "we're going to innovate" and following linear processes to usher in that innovation. Most studies show linear processes rarely bring out the best new ideas or new innovations.

      Thanks Anuj for the question!

      Geoffrey

      2 Share
  • JF

    Javier Feldman

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Geoff,

    What do you think it is about marketing that most people still don't understand?

    Thanks!

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Javier!

      Well, for one, and I talk a lot about this in my book Disruptive Marketing, it's that marketing isn't just a nice "add on" anymore. Too many companies treat it like, "Oh, that's nice that we do some marketing." Well, the world is now filled with abundant products both in the physical and digital world. Many of which are good and great products! But those still can't find an audience and don't take off? Why is that?

      Communication.

      We are social animals by biological design. We love to live in groups and we love to share information. Remember, sharing information is how we have survived as a species for as long as we have. If we stop doing that, we will cease to exist. Right now we're in a world of hyper sharing and hyper knowledge. But also in a world of messaging manipulation. It's easy to say, "This product is the best because it does X, Y and Z." What many companies fail to realize is they can't control that narrative anymore and are a blur because there is so much information that needs to be defined and not enough gatekeepers to do it. Also it's easy for people to manipulate or hack your message. If you are a company selling an unhealthy product, it doesn't matter how much marketing you put behind that product, hackers, subversives and manipulators are going to call it out and say the product is garbage. In the tech world, we see this a lot. Microsoft can make a good even a great product but you have so many who hate anything the company makes so they always drum up noise against the company.

      This is why influencer marketing is taking off. First, if it's done right, it's authentic. Second, it is real people talking about things rather than a brand advertising to you. Ads in many formats don't work very well in some cultures and societies because we have a filter system on. Marketing tactics have definitely changed but its main goal has not, how do you create emotional resonance with others based on what you have to offer the world with your product/solution/goal/philosophy, etc.???

      Thanks for the question Javier!

      Geoffrey

      2 Share
  • JS

    judy shapiro

    about 3 years ago #

    The word "Disruption" has been the mantra of ad tech yet with its inherent allusion to "destruction" - what do you think needs to disrupted in ad tech and why? And what do you think should NOT disrupted in ad tech?

    2 Share
    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Judy!

      Great to hear from you and great question!

      Disruption is a really funny word in business. It's sexy so everyone loves to use it. When I wrote my book I actually wanted to call it "Creatively Destructed" because marketing as we've known it doesn't work anymore but I'm not so sure the ad tech solutions so many tout as a holy grail work either. Of course the publisher was like, we need to use "Disruptive" in the title. ;)

      I think the biggest issue facing all ad tech in this day and age is the metrics are faceless. They are a bunch of hoopla. Impressions, likes, shares, retweets are all vanity metrics because you have no idea who the person is and what their interests are, what they do for a living and what their intent is with the ads. Think about search. While I love it and think ROI and attribution is great, you don't know who clicked on your ad so you have no idea how to build a relationship with them. In social, you may have a name but no other info and half the people who click on ads on Facebook and Twitter are farmed bots. Finally display advertising is so ineffective because it interrupts you on mobile when you're trying to get to content. Google just announced yesterday they're going to penalize sites like this in their search rankings. That is going to make the publisher world which relies heavily on these terrible ad formats to change their tunes quickly or risk irrelevance.

      Most ad tech cropped up similar to how ads worked in the physical world. While that worked in the early years of the commercial web, it doesn't work at all now and people are trying to get away from these ads as fast as possible. The best thing ad tech could usher in is ads that don't feel like ads, ads that take into consideration a person's social, interest and economic graphs with their search history. The problem with much of the retargeting we get now is it's past intent. Do I need to buy porch furniture if I already bought it? I should be shown ads that show what I'm going to be interested in, not what I already showed interest in. We're a long way from any of this and their are ethical considerations and debates we should have around this too. If ad tech wants to be on the right side of history, they are going to ask and answer these questions rather than usher in a bunch of shiny, bright items unleashed by silly developers who act like clueless kids in a candy store. The spray and pray model ad tech still relies too much on needs to go away, it's impersonal. Most of the ads targeted to me on Twitter and Facebook are irrelevant and advertisers get no real actionable data that they can use to grow their business beyond "engagement numbers." While I think engagement is a good predictive indicator it's not enough.

      What should not be disrupted is personal data. That should not be spread all over the place like a wildfire. I think that's why many ad products will be tied to personal digital assistants. It will now what you like and will serve that to you in your calendar rather than on a third party trafficked website.

      Thanks for your question Judy!

      Geoffrey

      2 Share
      • JS

        judy shapiro

        about 3 years ago #

        The word "disruption" has shifted in meaning over time - kinda like the word "outrageous." It used to mean a bad thing ("the price was outrageous") then a good thing and then a "larger than life" thing.

        Same with "disruption." I explored the word's meaning in the prezi I did to National Academies of Sciences: http://www.slideshare.net/jgshapiro/disrupting-the-disruption-myth-56090716.

        IMHO the "good" parts that got disrupted was the over reliance on the art of marketing to determine what worked.

        The "bad" parts of ad tech that it disrupted was the human element that made marketing engaging and productive.

        The innovation going forward will be tech that empowers holistic marketing - from click to conversion - putting the pieces together for the first time - art + science - in reality!

        And BTW - too much of ad tech was intimidated by Google so they shied away from much tech related to "content" beyond SEO. That SHOULD absolutely get disrupted & I am aiming to do just that ;)

  • GH

    Glen Harper

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Geoff, thanks for being on the AMA with us.

    How has the way that Microsoft has approached search evolved over the last few years and what have been the drivers behind that approach? Thanks in advance for any insight.

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Glen!

      Thanks to GrowthHackers.com for inviting me on!

      Microsoft and search is really fascinating. I only got here three years ago and the company I would say was still a "fast follower" in the space. It was mimicking or copying to be on parity with other players in the space. But in the world of growth, you ultimately have to start doing things where you ask, "Okay, how do we now start to differentiate? How do we make things people want and not simply copy?"

      I think that's where we are right now. Voice search is really starting to take off and Microsoft and Bing are in a good place to bring unique customer experiences to a variety of people across a wide array of experiences and devices. Of course, search is still a great place when it comes to current events or trying to navigate our nomadic world. I'm giving a presentation at Advertising Week New York this year all about this. Think about this search query for a second: "How do I play Pokemon Go?"

      That wouldn't have existed three months ago. But beyond keywords, latent language or natural language is becoming a big part of search. Facebook even got into this space around 2013 knowing people wouldn't type in keywords but ask questions. We have so many questions in our world because we constantly are learning, unlearning and relearning. So search is a huge glue to help us navigate this uncertain world.

      I think if you add what Microsoft is trying to do in mixed or augmented reality and how search plays into this, well wow, the possibilities are endless. We are at a point right now where search is radically undergoing massive change more than it has since the early 2000s. When you have all this happening and you want to lead the way in innovative and people-centric experiences, I think it puts Microsoft in a unique situation. I really love it here and a lot of that is because of the leadership. They ask more questions than they have answers to. It's a very intellectually curious environment and Satya Nadella is a huge reader and his monthly Q&A's he mentions so many books he reads. Qi Lu who is head of applications and services is similar. Even our head of legal and our CFO Amy Hood are just fascinating people. They're real, they're human. They make mistakes and they talk about how they learn from them. It's a unique time to be at Microsoft and I'm humbled that I can be a part of it.

      Thanks for your question Glen!!!

      Geoffrey

      2 Share
  • DH

    Dani Hart

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for joining today. I'm excited to hear what you have to say. :)

    It seems like you have quite a busy schedule. Do you have any tips or techniques for balancing everything?

    Also, with all of the influential brands you've worked with, I imagine you've seen how changes in the way brands are approaching digital strategy. Can you highlight the changes you've seen?

    Thanks!

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Dani!!!!

      What a pleasure it is. I love sharing information with people. Also, I learn more from questions like this than hopefully you learn from my insights. The world is a beautiful place in that sense. Two-way communication has really reshaped how we learn. My two daughters who are 5 and 7 know how to ask Cortana and Alexa (Amazon Echo) questions that provide answers that I used to have to look up in my old Encyclopedia books at their age!

      Balance. Let's start with work/life balance. First, find something in your life you love to do. Work shouldn't be a job in the 21st Century. It should be a passion. The balance should be around asking and answering these four questions: What can I do to get paid, what can I do that I'm good at, what can I do that I love and what can I do that the world needs? I wrote about this on LinkedIn a year ago: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/finding-your-purpose-21st-century-cognitive-economy-geoffrey-colon

      Also remember you as a human being and those who you love/care for come first. Jobs will come and go, but friendship, family, all those things they really should matter first. Why? Because they are ultimately what gives you drive in life. I love going to work everyday because I love what I do, I love the people I'm with and I love that my family supports me on all of this. Also don't be afraid to use a calendar where you put everything (even going to the gym or alone time) into that schedule. It's the only way to carve out time to think and thinking is essential in order to reflect on what you do on a daily basis. Oh and drink plenty of water! ;) ;)

      In terms of digital strategy, it used to fall into the hands of a few strategists who worked like armchair philosophers. "We think the world will like this so that's what we'll provide." These gut-level strategists don't exist much anymore because of data. But it's how one manipulates that data into action that sets apart the good brands from the poor ones. I won't name names, but there are so many brands with power who think they can set the market without understanding how people interact with one another in the world. If you approach the world like "Brexit" where you think you're an island unto yourself, well, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn!

      Most planning now is 1-3 months tops. Consumer behavior changes so quick to plan a year or even five is antiquated. You should always be doing small batch testing to see what's working so you can pivot or persevere based on how customers react or don't react to your messages and/or experiences.

      I encourage you to read not just my book but "The Lean Startup" which is a modern marketer's blueprint in terms of how brands should approach the strategic vision in the 21st Century.

      Thanks Dani!!!

      Geoffrey

      4 Share
      • DH

        Dani Hart

        about 3 years ago #

        Awesome insight here. And I love your assessment on the evolution of learning. So true!

        Front row nerd here! I've already read (well listened to) "The Lean Startup". My own balancing act includes listening to audio books while I run. I listened to the book while training for my first marathon. :)

  • JS

    June Swatzell

    about 3 years ago #

    What products would u recommend for students k - college with disabilities?

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi June,

      There are tons of assistive technologies out there but to get you the best answer, can I speak with my Microsoft Accessiblity team? They know much more in this space than I do and I love to ask those who know of both Microsoft and other products/services depending on your objectives. This is an exploding field and it makes me excited because it takes into consideration our personal differences are a strength in this world.

      Just so we stay connected, tweet to me @djgeoffe or email gcolon@microsoft.com

  • DO

    Danielle Olivas

    about 3 years ago #

    Hi, Geoff!

    I'd never heard of netnography until I read it in your LinkedIn profile. Do you think this is something all marketers should be familiar with and develop expertise in? If yes, why? If not, who should care about netnography and why? Would you mind giving a specific example where you've used this to glean some deep insight?

    Looking forward to your response!

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Danielle,

      Great question and glad to have you here. Netnography is a growing field and one that many who work at Microsoft Research (Danah Boyd and Jaron Lanier) are really steeped in. I think it's important to be familiar with how people behave on the web. This is what could help Twitter solve its harassment issues and also figure out how we stop bullying and other things that make it difficult for people to inhabit the web. It also is important in terms of how we think about how people will interact or behave based on our approach.

      For example, when we talk about search marketing we think of it like it's something you do on mobile when you have a question in the moment. But what we've found from behavior is people have different types of searches based on a variety of things that infiltrate their lives. Searches for subjects that are long term (cost of buying a house, a big ticket item, etc.) and then things you may need to learn quickly (how do I use Outlook?). Then it's interesting to note what is the best way people learn?

      For years at Microsoft, blogs were simply written word. But in 2014 we did a test study where we added other elements to those posts (videos with subtitles and closed caption), audio and visuals explaining very complex equations. The pickup was massive on those posts because it considered all the various ways people ingest information. We're finding new information out daily so netnography is only a growth area and one who wants to understand what motivates their audience should pay particular attention to.

      Thanks again!

      Geoffrey

  • MM

    martín medina

    about 3 years ago #

    Geoff,

    What are you most excited about for the future of marketing?

    Also as a fellow DJ I feel obliged to ask: How did you first learn how to dj? How did it differ from how you learned your craft in marketing?

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hi Martin,

      So many things. I think personalization is a big one. My great grandfather ran a store. He knew every person who used to come into it. Their kids, what they liked to buy, etc. If we can make ecommerce which is still a very cold user experience warm like that, it opens up so many possibilities.

      Also, while I love technical and analytical and creative marketing fusion, I also love what we do in the physical world and how that translates into the digital world. So when every surface becomes a touch screen, what does that do when you show up at an amusement park, a hospital or an office building?

      Finally, augmented reality. So many things that it will do to change personal and mobile computing in ways we can't imagine from entertainment to healthcare to agriculture to architecture to economics to video gaming.

      I started DJing in 1991 on two Technics MKII turntables and five crates of vinyl. It required you to really test and learn and make lots of mistakes that software couldn't correct. I think that has helped me approach the world we now live in where we should try and do and fail more than just simply talk about doing things and do nothing. That attitude I have applied to my life in marketing too.

      Thanks for your question!

      Geoffrey

  • MD

    Mark Anthony de Jesus

    about 3 years ago #

    What was the most valuable learning from your time at O&M? Also what if anything (ie processes, philosophies, mindsets, frameworks etc) from your time there have you been able to transfer over to your role at Microsoft?

    • GC

      Geoff Colon

      about 3 years ago #

      Hey Mark Anthony!

      Good question. O&M was great. So many creative people there. It's insane. Just a different type of creativity I find in the agency world than the tech world. I think the design thinking approach O&M had has transferred really well to Microsoft. The creatives I worked with at O&M wanted EVERYONE in the room when diagnosing issues. That is definitely the same now with how Satya Nadella and our CMO Chris Caposella want to see at Microsoft. Just like how information yearns to be free, the same is true with the information those at an org can bring to problem solving. If you only have developers around the table, you're not going to find the best solution. I really like what the team at Cortana is doing. It was written about in one of the larger publications (I can't remember off the top of my head) about how they have many poets, English majors and humanities majors trying to give personality to Cortana. This is important because tech and how we approached it in the 80s/90s/00s is very different from how we have to approach it in the 2020s.

      Thanks Mark Anthony!

      Geoffrey

  • GC

    Geoff Colon

    about 3 years ago #

    Thanks everyone for the great questions. Keep in touch on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or wherever. Let's keep the conversation going!

    Geoffrey

Join over 70,000 growth pros from companies like Uber, Pinterest & Twitter

Get Weekly Top Posts
High five! You’re in.
SHARE
49
49