Expert Interview #1 – Mike Egan of Microsoft

This summer I got the chance to interview Mike Egan, Microsoft’s Director of Corporate Affairs. In addition to being just about the nicest guy you’ve ever met, Mike travels the world, giving people the inside scoop on what’s next for Microsoft.

In part one of the interview, Mike gives some advice for tech startups.

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Why They Should Dump “The Verizon Guy”

Do a Google search for “The Verizon Guy” and this is what you’ll find:

  • Gossip from 2005 that he is dead (he’s not)
  • USA Today article from 2004
  • Unverified article from 2003 that he has a brain tumor
  • Marijuana worshiper griping about a Verizon cable technician “ratting on him”

That’s just the first page…

If people are talking negatively about your brand you may or may not have a problem. But if people aren’t talking about your brand at all, you definitely have a problem.

How It Started

Somewhere around 2002 Verizon started their “Can You Hear Me Now?” campaign. The ads featured Verizon Guy Paul Marcarelli, who was one of 50 people hired to drive 100,000 miles a year, testing the reliability of Verizon’s network. The campaign took off and helped Verizon gain double-digit market share and reduced customer turnover.

Why were those ads so effective? Was it the Verizon Guy character? Or the jokes? Nope.

The campaign took off because…

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Is Social Media a Fad?

If you are new to the concept of using Social Media (facebook, twitter, youtube, etc) for marketing purposes, watch this:

(this video has 1.2 million views)

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