Bing Goes Bonk: Lessons in Marketing from the Search Wars
Ian Lurie May 29 2009
So, Microsoft announces Bing. The world is about to change, the pundits say! This time our renamed technology will win, cries Ballmer! We’re spending $80 billion to make this thing win, dammit!
24 hours later, let’s take a look at the hottest terms on Twitter:
Wha? How did this happen (in my best Elmer Fudd voice)?
Bing is going bonk, and it’s not even out of the stable yet. Why? Because:
Microsoft still sells search like it sells Windows: In a box
Microsoft is selling Bing the way they sell their operating system:
- Crank up massive PR machine.
- Create logo using the most popular web colors.
- Crank up massive marketing machine.
- Release highly polished, on-message marketing video with attractive-yet-accessible actors and funny looking rodents.
Oh, a couple other things:
- Ignore the fact that Google is having their developer conference right when you announce your search technology.
- Use 10 different names for the API, the search tool and the web site where the search tool is promoted, so I’m not sure if I’m developing on Decision Engine, Live 2.0, Silk Road, Bing, Bing Road, Bing Engine, Decision Engine Bing or whatever.
Google stomps all over them moments later
In comes Google. They focus on the developer community, telling us (yes, I’m still at least 49% developer) all the cool stuff we can build, and consolidating the Wave name around an API, a protocol and a tool.
Who’s going to win?
Microsoft marketed to reporters.
Google marketed to the developer community.
Who’s going to win? Who do you think?
I am not a Google fanboy
Understand: I am not a Google fan. I want someone to give them a serious run for their money. I want another search engine so my clients aren’t 70% dependent on the paid and unpaid traffic from one outlet.
But Microsoft ain’t gonna do it. This was their last shot.
While we wait for this drama to shake out, why not buy this book?:
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More