I know that this is the last place you’d expect to hear this, but we should cut Microsoft some slack. When it comes to advertising that is.
I am hearing a ton of grumbling about the recent marketing efforts and announcements by both partners and customers. Last week we were in a sales call to a client that wanted to explore the new desktop streaming technology to consolidate a few thousand workstations and licensing but would not even allow us to pronounce Vista all the way before cutting us off. I figured I’d “float” the new ship campaign (I try to sarcastically pronounce ship like Ms. Dansey does) and explain that Vista is really not as bad as they have heard and the customer shot the following back at me:
The ship to try Vista has sailed.
For me, the Wow started there, though more in a jaw dropping disbelief that customer perception has sunk so low for an operating system whose most appreciated pitch was the fact that you can get a full motion preview of a bear eating a salmon by hovering over the taskbar icon for Windows Media Player. So what if you needed to replace every peripheral bought before 2005, shut up! 🙂 Honestly, here is the bottom line:
Bad advertising is better than no advertising..
So let’s cut them some slack and let them spend a few hundred million trying to promote the brand that has made us all a lot of money. No, they aren’t going to stoop down to Apple’s level of smugness nor are they going to be able to present an overall unified platform since they don’t have one. But we need to let them try before we burn it alive before it’s even had a chance to air.
I know there are a lot of concerns about Microsoft advertising only going down to turn the company more direct and less partner-oriented, but to be honest Microsoft has only ever promoted itself and since they are paying for it they should be marketing themselves, their message and their products.
Reality is, Microsoft is turning into a direct company in the same way that Dell is. The less complex their solutions become, the less need there is for partners to exist to solve the problems that no longer exist. In order to raise interest in the solutions Microsoft will have to spend more money on direct marketing which will make for a larger market and larger opportunity for software solutions that bridge the gap and service providers that Microsoft just can’t compete with because they are a software company and if Zune is any evidence, they will always be a software company.
So can we please let them sink $300 million into promoting their solutions so we can make money servicing and supporting their new audience?