UPDATE: Mich Mathews is
(a) a woman
(b) spelled with just one "t" in her last name.
She's now pictured there to the left.
Of course, I would have known that if I did a simple search ;-)
Speaking at the 4As conference, Microsoft's Mich Mathews said that the majority of their ad spend would move online in the next few years.
No word on whether or not Mich made it out of the conference hall alive. I imagine she had to hack his way through a sea of media-reps, similar to the last-remaining-human would has to in most zombie films.
That a big company (especially one whose products are all digital) would make such a move is becoming less and less remarkable. Microsoft is following territory already trod (or claimed to ready to trod) by Unilvere, P&G, Bud, Coke and others. What was remarkable was the reason he gave for the shift. Ends up, Microsoft is interested in online because of "the enhanced reporting abilities it brings".
Well that's cool. Especially coupled with the fact that they are still going to do broadcast, but with more targeting. I imagine that the data for that targeting is going to come from online, right? Here we have online, with the data that it throws off, in its proper place in the middle of the marketing mix.
It makes sense for Microsoft to adopt this attitude. After all, they build Ad Center entirely around the ability to target ads. They must have, at some point, realized that these big spreads in magazines haven't amounted to nearly as much as a very well-considered, data-driven campaign.