Friday, May 29, 2009
Although I currently lack 4,000 words to match his analysis, (and 10,000 to match Danny's), I agree with Henry Blodget's answer to Microsoft's search problems, I think. In case you somehow missed it, I also roughly believe that it's a good idea to spin Bing and MSN into Yahoo, in exchange for a major share in the company. (Add a Bartzian Boatload of $ to that, for good measure.)
Still and all, a lot of folks have an ever-optimistic take about what money can do for market share. Not everyone agrees with our grizzled search analysts' take that says: the money won't move the needle. Folks I had dinner with last night said "$80mm in marketing has to do something." You would think constant TV ads would get to people somehow right?
Many of us have seen this movie before, and we disagree. Users try out the new thing, the traffic spikes incredibly for one or two weeks, and then it goes right back down to where it was and people resume using Google. This has happened with Ask, Hotbot, A9...
One interesting twist with Bing is, well, the bling. If there is any segment that is amenable to switching, it's customers who will subscribe to loyalty programs for cash or points. I'll tell ya, I'm a pretty big points addict (Aeroplan miles) and that would almost get me to switch. So I think if Microsoft is absolutely dead set on spending cash to build market share, they might be able to build it one customer at a time and one giveaway at a time, and keep market share holding steady just north of 10%. With weak profit margins, but at least in the game and gathering valuable data.
So with all that being said, Bing is a major search product and it therefore deserves our full attention - some people (I think they'd need convincing with some points or cash, though) will use it if it's actually good. With that in mind, I'll be attending a demo and gathering notes for a review next week.
Labels: microsoft, microsoft search
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