Bing it On – a marketing campaign by Microsoft’s Bing to challenge the Google user experience did not create market share movement in September according to ComScore. As a share of total search, Google slightly increased while Bing stayed the same.
The “Bing it On” marketing is now hardly present, only found in a Google AdWords campaign. This seems to indicate that the campaign no longer has the legs that it did on the outset. If October comes and Bing hasn’t gained any market share, it probably indicates that the Bing It On campaign was ineffective, but why?
What if people don’t use Bing because it’s superior?
While the Bing It On campaign asserts that users prefer Bing over Google two-thirds of the time, I haven’t read anyone write about this challenge who preferred Bing (including myself). In fact, a lot of people remarked at how similar the searches seemed.
Google has a stronger market share than when Bing began, showing the ineffectiveness of Bing to dethrone the king. So why do people use Bing?
In general, Bing users are disproportionately older men (45+), and Bing enjoys a larger market share in the Pacific Northwest where it is heavily marketed (brandishing the jerseys of the Seattle Sounders FC futbol team as well as the Seattle Storm WNBA team). Given those demographics, I wonder if the Bing audience is a generation / geographic population that holds an especially favorable view of Microsoft? It’s an odd demographic for such a new(ish) service.
Not great news for next month either
The recent discovery by Sophos that Bing is not effectively filtering malware from its images is not a good sign for Bing, either. It will be interesting to see if Bing’s share of market declines as a result.
Despite their advantages with social tie-ins and Microsoft’s willingness to invest crazy money into its development and marketing, Google has kept a reliable book of business. Whatever the reason for adoption by these groups, it’s becoming obvious that Bing is not qualitatively differentiated from Google and it will take more than Bing It On to chisel away Google’s market share.