Marketingmag.com.au had a chat with Kimberley Francis – marketing director, entertainment and devices division, Microsoft. If you would
like to see a certain
marketer profiled, please email your suggestion to Sean Greaney on sean.greaney@niche.com.au.


What do you do?

My role is twofold. Firstly, I’m the marketing director for Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, covering Xbox products and services. Secondly, I look after our PC peripherals business, covering Microsoft webcams, mice and keyboards in the same role.

What was your first job?

I have always been passionate about technology in the home. You could say it’s in my blood. I began my career 18 years ago in the marketing team at Hewlett Packard and I’ve lived and breathed consumer-technology ever since.

What did you study?

I studied business at Sydney’s University of Technology and graduated with a Bachelor of Business degree with a Marketing major.

Describe a typical day?

I start each day by taking Sonny Jim (Sydney’s most handsome spoodle) for a run. A bit of fresh air blows the cobwebs away and allows me to think through the day in a calm and relaxed atmosphere before the pace picks up. Some of my best ideas have come about with Sonny as my wingman!

Next up I hit the office, review my emails, calendar and check the latest industry and news websites over a skim cap.

The day is spent ensuring the financial side of things are working and that we’re hitting our targets – there’s plenty of numbers and spreadsheets! Much time is spent creating, reviewing and adjusting go-to-market plans for various campaigns, products and services. The technology and entertainment space is a particularly dynamic business, so you have to ensure you’re agile enough to stay relevant to your audience and ahead of the competition every single day of the week, every week of the year.

These days I cherish time at home (I can’t believe I’m saying that). Evenings are generally spent with the family, school pick-up, dinner etc., and recently we’ve been watching plenty of movies via our Xbox LIVE service.

What is on the agenda for the next year?

From an entertainment perspective, I am particularly excited as we’ll continue to broaden the appeal of the Xbox 360 console to an ever wider customer base. We’re launching a range of new products and services that continue to deliver upon the promise that, with Xbox 360, there’s something for everyone.

For our PC-peripherals business, we have some truly ground-breaking enhancements coming up focusing on changing the way users interface with their computers – making the experience more intuitive and responsive. Keep watching this space…

What brand do you love the most? Dislike the most? Why?

I’m lucky as I genuinely work on some of the brands I’m most passionate about. The Xbox brand is fun, imaginative, engaging and accessible to everyone. Now, with the recent launch of Movies on Demand, Twitter and Facebook on Xbox LIVE, the Xbox brand is delivering a genuine entertainment experience in an inclusive, social and safe home environment.

Rather than dislike a specific brand you can see how some industries just don’t value investing in their brands so companies within that industry often seem to blend together into a collective group instead of having strong brand identities.

On the flip side of this, there are certain brands that see themselves as ‘uber-creative’. Often, they become so niche that they disconnect from their audience and end up isolating themselves from their core demographic.

What do you believe has been the most significant moment in the history of marketing?

The birth of the internet has clearly been the biggest moment in marketing history to date. Looking ahead, user-generated marketing will continue to rise and influence the way in which customers receive content – pulling what they want rather than receive content they’re pushed. This in turn will revolutionise the way in which we market products and services.

Where can people find you?

Either at my favourite local Thai restaurant or, during the summer months, on the beach at North Curl Curl.

Online, you can check out what the Xbox LIVE team are up to on their blog.