Adage.com has announced in this post that Danielle Tiedt has left Bing to join Youtube. If you ask me, I say that it is definitely a very good thing for Bing and for the Bing brand in general.
What I think is that, since its launch in 2009, the Bing brand has been everything but cool. And the pathetic attempts made the Marketinng team to change that have actually contributed to worsen the situation. Examples?
1. Decision engine
First attempt: market Bing as a “decision engine”. I must admit I was relieved when they decided to drop that slogan. Because Bing is a search engine, just like Google is, and everyone knows that. So trying to market a product for what it’s not doesn’t make any sense to me. Trying to market Bing to get people to think that it’s a different thing than Google, when it’s actually the same thing with slight differences, is obviously not the way to go! Using words such as “decision engine” is a terrible consequence of that thinking. What a terrible wording! It’s long, not easy to say, and even worse, it’s weird to speak, because it doesn’t make sense! When you hear that, go try Bing and see that it’s a Google like thing, you just think wtf… And the words don’t really have a different meaning from search engine anyway. So why use them at all?
This has certainly contributed to Bing’s lack of image during its first year of existence.
2. Bing is for Doing
According to Adage, she is the person responsible for the “Bins is for doing” marketing campaign. What is that “Bing is for doing” thing? What does that mean? Again, it’s the same kind of stupid marketing that should be avoided, because people simply don’t understand what it means. When marketing is not related to the product it sells, then there is a situation. The product is a search engine, period. Market that.
3. All the crap stuff
Since 2009, the Bing marketing team seems obsessed with Bing’s image, and regularly makes moves to obviously try and improve that image. The problem is that most of these moves often appear to be desperate moves to change the product’s image, not to market the product. And when you give the impression that you are trying to change a product’s image, then you draw attention on the fact that the product’s image sucks in the first place.
What happens when the marketing team wants to associate Bing with things like Jay-Z, the Super Bowl, the movie Real Steel, … ? Well, they try tot associate things that simply don’t match. Bing is a nice pieof of high tech, that works pretty well, that is designed by engineers, that is thoroughly tested, that brings complex technology to users in simple ways. It has nothing to do with sport or rap, sorry about that.
Actually, I would say that rap and Bing are almost opposite. I am not talking about Jay-Z about whom I know nothing, but rap in general. Rap is about music, but also about drugs, crime, parties, girls, nice cars, etc… Why would Bing want to market itself on this basis?
Bing is about engineers: people who studied at University, are highly qualified, and do extremely complex stuff that no one understands. Bing is a serious thing, with complex algorithms, mathematics, etc.
So how do Bing and rap fit together? The answer is simple: they don’t.
4. What works then?
I ask this question because I believe that Bing’s image has improved since a year and half. And I see two main reasons for that:
- Google’s problems
- Bing’s results
Google has had so many issues lately that is becomes difficult to keep track of them. The web farms, privacy, Google Plus, etc…
And, the results provided by Bing have improved dramatically.
In February 2011, during the Honey pot controversy, the Bing team posted a response to Google, called “Setting the record straight
“. In that article, they mainly answer to Google’s attacks. And, they have this intriguing sentence:
At the same time, we have been making steady, quiet progress on core search relevance. In October 2010 we released a series of big, noticeable improvements to Bing’s relevance. So big and noticeable that we are told Google took notice and began to worry.
What were these improvements about then? Well, that’s what I would like to know. And that’s what the Bing marketing team should be marketing! Bing’s main problem in the beginning was the poor quality of its results. Why not make publicity about the improvements then ???
And it’s when the results were actually better than Google’s that Bing got its most positive publicity. When the web farm issue reached its peak, some interesting articles were published (including this famous article on Coding Horror
or this one on TechCrunch
) about how Google’s results were becoming less and less relevant. Of course Google took action with the Panda update. But the point is that this is where Bing should market it self. As a search engine that produces quality results.