Bing: Left hand, Right hand get your shit together
Yes you heard right: it’s an anti Bing Title. This stuff annoys the hell out of me…
Bing are at one of the trickiest stages when it comes to building a brand. There is awareness about the brand and people are trying it out, but there’s no massive emotional attachment to it like there is to (to pick an example entirely at random) Google. That makes it dispensable in the same way that Sunny Delight was when it entered the UK kids’ drinks market. Despite a massive marketing push, the first hint of trouble with the product and and it was dead in the water.
In those early stages, you’ve simply got to be untouchable when you’re trying to eat into a dominant player’s market. That was how Google beat Altavista back in the day, and that’s how someone will ultimately beat Google.
Anyway, to get over this hump Bing are pushing like hell through online channels to reach new audiences to get them to try this new flavour of search. It’s a good time to be doing this kind of thing, because there is a sense of pressure on the Google brand of late, with concerns about monopoly and privacy seeping into the press and continued rise of social media as a way for people to share information and shortcutting search out of the equation.
Bing are, naturally on Facebook where they have 500,000+ followers – including children. They’ve been pushing Farmville big style – which is an awesome move you would think as it reaches some sweet markets right now:
But click that “we’ve got great results…” link and you’re taken to a page of Bing results which looks like this:
Hmmm .. what happened to Quality, Relevance and Integrity..? Take a closer look at those results:
- #1 Redirected me (or potentially my kids) to a adult fetish and BDSM site!!
- #2 Just look at the snippet – “I don’t play the Fucking game”
- #4 I got this message…
If you are going play stupid games online like Farmville the chances are, this weekend you now have a date with a Fetish Queen and are going to chat about some Farmville hater you found on Bing. Oh and if you’re reading this then you might want to get to PC cleaned at the local computer store!
There’s a massive disconnect here between Bing’s marketing team, the Bing results themselves and ultimately their audience. When some parent checking up on their kids’ Facebook checks that link, that’s massive bad karma for Bing. It looks like the marketing team were keen to push something about Farmville to reach the kids and didn’t bother to check with the Bing team or get them to clean up the results for that particular search. For a huge company like Microsoft, connecting the dots between different things that are happening on the promotional front can be really difficult. Nonetheless when you’re pushing a big brand in the online sphere you just can’t go dropping the ball like this. Who knows who might end up blogging about it?
Behind the misdirected marketing effort lies another truth: that the core product is still immature in comparison to Google. And you can’t market something that isn’t ready.
So Bing: if you’re going to play with high traffic please make sure you don’t run the people down trying to cross that road!