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Bing Entertains – Can Microsoft focus on one cohesive strategy PLEASE?

How do you compete with Google, without being Google?

You become more like Yahoo!

Today, Microsoft announced the addition of a very un-search-engine-like entertainment portal at http://www.bing.com/entertainment [1].

Rather than traditional Google simplicity, Bing’s entertainment page is much more reminiscent of the Yahoo! entertainment portal and is probably a good harbinger of what Microsoft is planning to launch to compete against Google’s market domination.

However, is this really what people want?

Bing said 76% of users polled “want one online destination for entertainment options to eliminate clutter,” and I concur. I’m just not certain that under the Bing brand is the best place for it to appear.

Microsoft appears to have a little schizophrenia about their offerings too.

Within the Bing Entertainment interface (and as the roll-in to the first video I watched), Bing is promoting “the new MSN” which, funny enough,  *also* has an entertainment section!

Microsoft’s own users “want one online destination” so why offer two?

[2]

MSN Entertainment

[3]

Bing Entertainment

I certainly believe Microsoft’s domination of the desktop and browser via their operating system offers them a chance to dominate valuable and profitable verticals online, unfortunately this Bing addition illustrates the strategic difference between Apple, with a singular focus, and Microsoft, whose strategy appears to be “throw a lot against the wall, and see what sticks.

Although I’m a big believer in trying new initiatives, Microsoft needs to focus to avoid consumer confusion.

After spending a massive amount of marketing dollars on the Bing brand, it would be prudent (and just plain intelligent) to support those efforts with a singular brand strategy and singular online destination.

Because, Microsoft… that’s exactly what 76% of your prospective audience really wants.

About Grant Simmons

Grant Simmons+ [9] is an Online Marketing Professional at The Search Agency driving product development & innovation as Sr Director, SEO and Social Product.

Grant has over 22 years experience in both traditional and digital marketing, working with such companies as; Paramount Studios, Countrywide Wholesale Lending, M&M/Mars, Disney, Napster, Warner Bros., UPS, SunAmerica, Red Bull, Young Presidents’ Organization, GE Plastics, Amgen and Fox Sports.

As an entrepreneur, Grant has been key to the successful branding, development and launch of several thriving and innovative Internet startups.

Described as an online marketing strategist, motivator, entrepreneur, idea machine, experienced bridge between marketing & technology, Grant prefers; father, sailor & innovator - though not necessarily in that order when there's a fair wind.