Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Forget Kumo, Welcome Bing

I wrote on Monday about various happenings in the world of search. The biggest bits of news were around Yahoo! and Microsoft's new search offerings, both set for release shortly. In an update, following a very in-depth article on AdAge yesterday, there are several really interesting bits of information to share about Microsoft's Kumo and the massive advertising campaign rumoured to be behind it. For starters, Kumo is no more. Kumo, as it turns out, was just the in-house operations name that Microsoft were using for their new engine during trials. Bing is the name of Google's newest rival.

According to AdAge and other sources, Bing's $100m advertising campaign, through JWT, will target the web, TV, print and radio. However, although some stories circulating the web have suggested that Microsoft plan a full-on attack campaign (similar to the 'I'm a PC' that targeted Apple directly), it has no been reported that their will not be specific mention of any competitor, Google, Yahoo! or otherwise, and the campaign will instead concentrate on getting users to rethink how they search, questioning if the "other" search engines actually deliver what they want.

The main thinking behind the campaign follows a series of research initiatives by Microsoft to determine how and why users search the web, and how they treat the results they are given. Their research concluded that 42% of searches needed additional input following a users first attemp, 25% of clicks are the back button, and only 65% of users are satisfied with the search engine they currently use. Oddly this data may be seen to be villified by Google's recent Search Options, which added several ways for users to refine their searches, following an initial attemp.

Beyond this, an extremely interesting analysis that has come to light is the breakdown of advertising spends by Google and Microsoft last year. According to TNS Media Intelligence, Google spent just over $25 million on all its advertising. Microsoft, on the other hand, spent $361 million.

How crazy is that?


Kevin Dunne said...

Hi Christian,

I like this approach by Microsoft. I think trying to position Bing as the next "Google killer" would be a mistake.

The research results are interesting. But as long as Google keep giving users what they want when it comes to search, every other search engine will be second.

I really can't see Google slipping up here. So I don't think we'll be saying "Bing it" in the future.

Just on the advertising piece. It’ll be interesting to see Google’s advertising spend this year when you consider they’ve moved into tv and press ads.

Christian Hughes said...

Hey Kevin,

I completely agree about what kind of spend Google will have this year due to tv etc. however, from what I've seen already, their tv has been inhouse produced, web-adapted stuff so from a production point of view there's very little cost. I would also suggest that they will likely enter into mutual media agreements with tv networks on ad spends, thereby spending very little in media.... my thoughts anyway.

I just remembered that I never sent you that document I promised - it's on the way right now!

Kevin Dunne said...

Very good point about production costs Christian.

Thanks for that document. There's a few interesting one's on it.