Q&A with Alex Val, Marketing Communications Manager, Microsoft

January 19, 2017

Alex moved to London from Barcelona thirteen years ago. He is currently the EMEA media lead at Microsoft, for the Cloud business. Alex was previously responsible for Consumer media the UK. Alex experience at Microsoft spans across a wide product portfolio that includes Xbox, Windows, Surface, Office and Azure amongst others. Prior to joining Microsoft Alex worked for two major media agencies, Carat and UM, where he managed a diverse portfolio of clients including Audi, Microsoft, AMD, Motorola and Statoil.

Why should agencies/advertisers enter the World Media Awards?
Alex: It’s important that, as an industry, we continue to put a spotlight on sharing the best in class. Content, alongside Data is one of the two key pillars of our advertising industry. Sharing and recognising good content programs should be at the core of what we do.

What will you be looking for from the entries?/What will make a winning entry?/What does great branded content look like?
Alex: Great branded content needs to be aligned to three core principles: rooted in good insights, flawless activation and it needs to deliver results.

Why should advertisers use branded content – what is it best suited to achieve?
Alex: Does branded content have to work harder than editorial? If so, how do you make that happen?At the core, marketers need to be able to answer the same question a journalist would ask him/herself: why would our audience choose to spend two minutes of their time consuming our content? What’s in it for them? In addition, branded content has an additional task, to be transparent and genuine.

What should clients look for in a native advertising/branded content proposal? And what should they look for in the team who will be delivering it?
Alex: The branded content ‘dream team’ should have a strong strategist that delivers good insights, an ideation lead that delivers unique engaging ideas, a project manager that makes it happen and an analytics team that is able to measure success and learn from it.

What are the biggest challenges in planning and implementing an international campaign across four or more international borders?
Alex: The challenges range from the most strategic reasons (different audience insights and business needs in each country) to the most tactical such as logistics in implementation or budget management across borders.

How do you balance what needs to be carried out from head office and what needs to be carried out locally in international content campaigns?
Alex: It’s key that both global and local teams are passionate about a branded content program before implementation. Those programs that ladder up to the global strategy and also address local business needs will get the most support across teams.

What made you want to pursue a career in media and marketing?
Alex: Media and Technology continue to evolve at a very fast pace which represents a great professional challenge.

What is your favourite restaurant?
Alex: Cicada in London. Da Greco in Barcelona.

Which industry buzzword would you ban?
Alex: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)

Deadline to enter is 16th February 2017 – ENTER NOW