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Bings $100 Million Ad Budget: A Lesson in Convincing VS Engaging

$100 million. That’s the marketing budget Microsoft has allotted to convince people to buy into their new search engine. Google’s new e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, forums, blogs, mobile, SMS… and everything-else-under-the-sun aggregator, called the Google Wave, intends to spend zero.

Here’s some free, easy marketing advice: advertising doesn’t make a
product valuable. It might have worked in a world where consumers were
spoken to, not spoken with. In today’s environment, consumers are
smart. Everyone is his or her personal Private Eye.
They know if your ad campaign oversells the product or meets or even
exceeds expectations. They know how and where to find value. If your
product oversells itself, you’re probably not fooling anyone. That
brings us to Microsoft’s new search engine: Bing (often poked at as an
acronym for, But It’s Not Google). We’ll discuss how today’s
environment will not support an old way of doing business. As much as
Microsoft preaches innovation, they are very much doing business the
old way.

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Convincing VS Engaging

$100 million. That’s the marketing budget Microsoft has allotted to
convince people to buy into their new search engine. Google’s new
e-mail, instant messaging, wikis, forums, blogs, mobile, SMS… and
everything-else-under-the-sun aggregator, called the Google Wave,
intends to spend zero.

Why will the Wave outshine Bing? For starters, Google gave Influencers (ie developers) a sandbox version of Bing
several months before the product is slated to launch. After the
developers build upon the framework Google has created, when it
launches, it will have tremendous value. With the efforts of those
Influencers, the Wave will add incredible value to the market while
positioned ten steps ahead of Bing.  Google is inspiring Influencers,
whereas Microsoft is ignoring them.

Quality VS Convenience

From Sparxoo.com

Already, Bing has been jabbed at and jeered by many in the blogging community. Instead of offering quality query results, Bing is focused on convenience. Microsoft says in its press release,
“The explosive growth of online content has continued unabated, and
Bing was developed as a tool to help people more easily navigate
through the information overload.” They’re asking, “
How can we
make the search experience more convenient?” Problem: isn’t the market
leader Google, already convenient?  Microsoft’s focus on owning
convenience seems off-target.  If Microsoft truly wanted to gain
leadership, they would make progress on Search results and convenience,
and move a few steps beyond with a game changer.  We’re not convinced
that they’ve even advanced the ball on the user’s basic needs.

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While Google traditionally relies on it’s open source collaborative
approach and value-driven product philosophy, Microsoft has gone in the
other direction. Instead of investing that $100 million into product
development to turn a six search engine into a nine or perfect ten,
they’ve settled on creating a six search engine and selling it as a ten.

A Value-Driven Future

No longer can you make your product successful by screaming the
loudest. No longer are the 30-second radio or TV ads the end-all,
be-all in product marketing. Re-allocating some of those marketing
dollars to increasing the value of your product will go further in an
era where consumers are smart. They will quickly know the difference
between the Google Wave and Microsoft’s Bing.  They will vote with
their keyboard.