Microsoft’s former Windows marketing chief is launching his own firm to help Fortune 500 companies improve their brand marketing strategies with data intelligence technology.
Thom Gruhler most recently spent four years at Microsoft, where he oversaw marketing teams for Windows, Windows Phone, and consumer apps/services like Skype, Bing, Outlook, and more.
The idea is to help CMOs and brands improve their marketing strategies and customer outreach by leveraging big data, predictive analytics, and automation. Gruhler said there is a “huge missed opportunity” for brands and marketers who aren’t spending enough time analyzing data about their current and potential new customers.
“Today, customer experience is the new brand, and winning requires data — the more, the better,” Gruhler told GeekWire. “And yet identifying the right data to model, predict, and improve customer experience is one of the toughest challenges facing CMOs and marketers today.”
Gruhler said he co-founded Fjuri after his experiences at Microsoft, where he helped build a modern marketing team for a global software-as-a-service business. He faced challenges working with IT, engineering, and marketing teams to apply data that could improve customer experience and design. While working with agencies, he noted that many were not equipped to guide transformation at the enterprise level; larger consultancies, meanwhile, did not have an adequate on-the-ground approach.
“I knew if I was grappling with these challenges at Microsoft — one of the world’s largest tech companies with a tremendous focus on being data-driven — then without question, there were other marketers facing similar challenges in need of a resource to help,” he said.
Before his 4-year stint at Microsoft, Gruhler spent eight years at McCann Worldgroup, where he was global leader of the agency’s Verizon business, overseeing the team that came up with the “Can you hear me now?” campaign for the wireless giant.
Resende, Fjuri’s other co-founder, worked at Microsoft from 2002 to 2015, holding positions as a revenue and financial analyst before becoming a director for product marketing. He joined Chef Software in 2015 as its director of business development before leaving this past June.
Fjuri also today announced a strategic partner, as it will work with Redmond, Wash.-based startup Versium to leverage its predictive analytics platform that uses online and offline data to give marketers a better picture of who they’re targeting. Versium was accepted into Microsoft’s Accelerator in September; it reeled in a $1.7 million round this past May and has raised $4.5 million to date.
“We’re pleased to partner with Fjuri to provide deeper marketing strategy consulting to our clients,” Versium CEO Chris Matty said in a statement. “With our predictive analytics technology and Fjuri’s consulting expertise and content strategy, this partnership offers our clients a holistic approach that will help them exceed their sales and marketing goals.”