MSN Media Does Some Shuffling

    November 29, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Joanne Bradford has a new role at Microsoft as her star continues to ascend. The corporate VP and chief media officer for MSN has left a few people playing musical offices in her wake.

MSN Media Does Some Shuffling
MSN Media Does Some Shuffling

A spokesperson at Microsoft broke down the various personnel changes as Bradford embraces the leadership responsibilities for the MSN Media Network. Those will pose a substantial challenge, as Bradford has been tasked with reestablishing MSN as a potent brand.

Whether that can happen with portal brands like Yahoo, AOL, and Google to a lesser extent depends on how well she and the various product managers can not only execute their brand strategy, but how much the public will buy into it.

It’s not as though MSN is hurting for traffic. They pull in more than 465 million unique visitors per month. As with virtually everything, room for improvement exists.

The spokesperson told WebProNews the names of those who will be charged with making the MSN brand resurgence a reality. Chris Dobson gets Bradford’s former global sales responsibilities as he takes over the MSN Global Sales Team. Bill Shaughnessy has been tapped to run Microsoft’s Digital Advertising Solution Business Group.

Shaughnessy’s duties include planning the direction for adCenter, Microsoft’s foray into self-service advertising and a dare to compete more forcefully with Google and Yahoo for the multi-billion paid search market.

James Colborn is a product manager for adCenter, and he’s someone I hope will be gracious enough to chat with WebProNews about adCenter as an option for our many small- and medium-sized business entrepreneurs. We extended the invitation recently through the proper channels, so we’ll see how that goes.

For now, Colborn said in an email that advertiser response to adCenter since the May launch has exceeded expectations. “We have some of the highest converting, most desirable audiences on the web,” he said. “We’re seeing higher click-to-customer conversion rates than competitive products.”

Live Search needs to continue to develop, “in order to provide the inventory that advertisers desire.” Colborn said, if they hope to match Google in paid search. “We must also continue to provide advertisers with the intelligence, ease, flexibility, control and service to better meet their ROI goals.”

There are plenty of places for Live Search to improve. Another spokesperson said search is still in its infancy, with opportunities abounding for improvement to the user interface, customization and personalization of search, and access to new media through it.

Those are the challenges. Let’s see if Bradford and company can deliver.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.