Byravee Iyer
Sep 16, 2012

Microsoft promotes cultural expertise as part of new go-to-market strategy

SINGAPORE - The industry has to start treating cultural knowledge as a professional competency, said Frederique Covington Corbett, Microsoft’s central market organisation lead for Asia-Pacific, in a seminar on the first day of Spikes Asia 2012.

Microsoft promotes cultural expertise as part of new go-to-market strategy

Corbett was speaking at a post lunch session at Spikes 2012, titled, 'Putting Asia first: How Global brand leaders break through barriers of culture'. She noted that the age-old discussion of recruiting “chief cultural officers” is becoming more relevant. 

Reiterating the point, Ian Chapman-Banks, general manager of strategic alliances for Dell Asia- Pacific, said it is integral for cultural diversity to come from within oneself. 
 
Banks also said that gender diversity and promoting women in markets like Japan and Korea is another side to the cultural diversity debate.  “If we get diversity right we can really start to change things at a fundamental level,” Banks pointed out. 
 
Corbett highlighted the kind of work Microsoft is doing to promote cultural expertise. Describing it as an “insourcing model”, she said that while companies outsource certain functions, Microsoft, which is in the middle of one of its biggest launch years, is promoting an insourcing model.
 
Simply put, it means the company will be bringing in very high local talent and building its own agency. 
 
Citing that a one-size-fits-all strategy doesn’t work, Corbett said it is not just about translation and trans-creation but also about understanding what is happening in those markets and letting local talent come up with their own pieces of work and taglines. 
 
“I’m excited as we have a new go-to-market strategy in our biggest launch year,” she said. 
 
To conclude, Banks advised young marketers to grasp business and recognise gender diversity as one of the most important things in the cultural debate. 

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