CXPA Member Spotlight: Stein Broeder and Building a Customer-Centric Culture at Microsoft Advertising

By Gabe Smith, CCXP posted 12-04-2019 09:16 AM

CXPA Member Spotlight

Stein Broeder has long been aware of the impact that powerful experiences can have on customers. “Just as a person or consumer, I’m impressed by companies that have done it well,” Broeder says. “And I’ve noticed the impact it has had on me from a brand loyalty perspective.”

In his role as Senior Marketing Communications Manager in Microsoft’s advertising arm, Broeder was determined to use the power of storytelling to help build a customer-centric culture across the organization. The transformation project, called “Powerful Moments,” began three years ago with what Broeder calls a key question: “How can we share stories internally where we have had success in creating powerful moments for clients?” In the first year of the program, staff submitted short videos that demonstrated how their work had fueled their customers’ success. 

Stein Broeder, Microsoft Advertising“That went well,” Broeder recalls, “but what we quickly learned is that people still very much tended to focus on Microsoft Advertising business results when they told the story. We’ve had to work over the last couple of years to shift people’s thinking. We’re not talking about what it did for us as a business but it’s really about the client’s business and what we did for them.”

To shift perception, Broeder took his message on the road, facilitating workshops to help explain to staff how they can deliver on Microsoft Advertising’s three behavioral pillars of client obsession—relentless discovery, earning trust, and meaningful connection—to create powerful moments for those they serve. Now, in year three, Broeder has begun to see the fruits of these efforts across the company’s 1,000 -plus global staff. “Everybody got a chance to see we had much bigger global participation,” Broeder said. “We had 50 [video] entries from the U.S. and 45 international entries.”

Though progress has been made, Broeder says the work is not finished. “Because I can’t give workshops to all the teams, we’re working with learning and development around client obsession behaviors and powerful moments and integrating that into our new hire experience.”

Broeder’s efforts to drive internal culture change through the Powerful Moments program complements the work he does highlighting customer success stories through the Client Evidence program, in which Microsoft Advertising produces external content that highlights customer successes of those who use the company’s products and services. For Broeder, it’s important to highlight successes from businesses large and small. “[We have] customers that don’t spend a lot but we have a lot of them, and they need stories that they can relate to, like Jane who owns a flower shop and only has a budget of $100 a month. What is she doing? How’s it working for her?”

Though he doesn’t have “customer experience” in his job title, Broeder has found purpose in elevating CX within his company and thinks that CX professionals should consider how they can more effectively leverage their marketing and communications colleagues to tell customer stories. “The big challenge that people have is how do I break down the silos? How do I enable my CX boosters in my organization? I think sometimes we struggle with to engage these various functions and help deliver effective CX messages across organizations. Marketing and communications can be a booster.”

#Customer Centric Culture