Microsoft, whose budget for squeezy toys and t-shirts exceeds the national budgets of 30% of the countries in the world, has come to grips with the reality that cheap swag is not getting the job done.
According to Robins, Microsoft will begin focusing their marketing in a completely new way starting this week: Every marketing piece will have a call to action.
"Microsoft has spent too long wasting their money on name recognition. Guess what? Everyone knows who Microsoft is. It's time to spend money asking for the sale."
Apparently, Steve Balmer went to the bank with a report on name recognition and product awareness, but the bank wouldn't let him deposit it. "I'm sorry, sir." they told him, "We take cash."
Once management realized that you can't take reputation and products awareness to the bank, it was clear that changes were needed.
An extensive analysis of Microsoft's marketing revealed some startling facts:
- They have never asked for a sale. Why aren't people buying Vista? They've never been asked.
- In fact, no Microsoft advertisement has every had a clear call to action.
- The average American owns 1.5 Microsoft T-shirts, most of them for products that don't exist anymore.
- Microsoft makes no effort to target a message to a target audience. They think they do, SIC codes don't exist anymore because 60% of the professions in existence today came into existence after the SIC codes were defined.
- When asked what their goals were for specific client-facing events, 99.9% of Microsoft event marketing personnel babbled aimlessly about image and name recognition until the survey personnel quit their jobs.
- Microsoft has consistently tied marketing results to metrics related to license sales. But, at the same time, every employee inside the company has discovered that Microsoft is not able to track licensing sales, so all the employees with sales goals have been given a "pass" for the last twenty years.
Robins was quite blunt about the failures at Microsoft and the challenges ahead.
"The average subscriber to the Technology Marketing Toolkit spent a couple thousand dollars and made a a lot more than that in return.
In the meantime, Microsoft spends Billions of Dollars on marketing and cannot clearly define why they're doing it."
. . .
On a related note, Microsoft posted a series of items for sale on Ebay today. In all, the company will be selling seven metric tons of "Corporate Chotchkies" as collectibles. This may be your last opportunity to get an Office 2007 leather "padfolio" or Server 2008 rubber dart. Check it out now!
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Don't forget to ask for the sale!
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On a personal note: It's the first day of April and I hope you have a great month.
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