Microsoft is sparing no expense and thinking well outside the metaphorical box in its efforts to market its new search engine named “Bing.” The corporation is buying prominent placement in television programs and the online video hub Hulu.com as part of their efforts to raise awareness about their new search engine. In fact, Microsoft plans to air an hour-long “Bing-a-thon” on Hulu.com, matching the new search engine with the old marketing standby – the infomercial. Tired of having its old search engine a perennial afterthought to the undisputed champion of the search engine Google, the Microsoft Corporation is believed to be spending between $80 million to $100 million on advertising to give Bing a running start on the competition.
Microsoft is willing to invest in all this Internet marketing in their new search engine because Internet marketing has become such an effective way to build brand management, attract targeted, qualified traffic to a Web site and drive sales. In addition, search engine market share has become increasingly coveted because online ad spending has held up much better than most other types of media in a tough economic climate. It’s fair to say that Microsoft is implementing all this Internet marketing for Bing to get a bigger chunk of Google’s share of ad revenue.
Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president for the online services division of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, said, “It’s a very tall marketing challenge and a very tall product challenge…It’s going to take multiple steps to get where we want to go,” he added, “and this is the first step. The key will be whether we deliver a product and connect with people emotionally in the advertising.”
Mr. Mehdi added that to achieve the second point, “You have to do something a little bit more surprising.”
To encourage people to view Hulu.com’s Bing-a-thon, Microsoft has negotiated a powerful hook for people who prefer to watch television programming streamed via the Internet. Hulu users who watch the infomercial will be allowed to watch TV programs or movies offered on the site without commercial interruptions. So viewers will essentially subject themselves to a one-hour commercial for Bing so that they don’t have to be subjected to smaller commercials during programming.
After the infomercial has aired, Microsoft has plans to integrate Bing into some of the shows on programming networks owned by NBC and MTV in order to build brand awareness and, ultimately, market share for Bing. After gradually losing more and more search engine market share to Google year after year, Bing represents Microsoft’s latest attempt to capitalize on the importance (and revenue streams) of search engine marketing.
As is the case for most Internet marketing efforts, Microsoft’s new plan is bound to take some time before it creates waves of interest. At SLS Consulting, we’ve been assisting law firms with their legal Internet marketing for 10 years. To find out how we can help your business grow through increased Internet visibility and much more, contact us today by calling 323-254-1510.