>> Microsoft’s marketing of Windows Vista and the Zune have failed in large part due to the fact that Microsoft has not learned how to effectively sell consumer products. Consumers buy Windows and Office, but that’s because they have no choice, not because of the company’s marketing savvy. Microsoft only effectively markets its products to businesses, which represents a very different type of sales relationship.
Businesses are so used to disgorging overloaded language about facilitating and empowering that they don’t find Microsoft’s marketing of the same caliber all that difficult to swallow. Consumers are a whole ‘nother ball game, and Microsoft is striking out in efforts to reach them. This has big impacts on the company’s future prospects.
Vista’s Consumer Failure. Microsoft’s TV advertising and and other marketing materials for Vista show just how out of touch the company is when marketing a technology product to consumers. The “Wow” Vista campaign blew millions on billboards that said nothing and TV spots that portrayed a breathless reaction from actors excited by the aroma of a new version of Windows. Consumers don’t buy software like coffee however.
This wasn’t a two dollar cup of emotional excitement being pitched, it was a several hundred dollar software license that would slow down your PC, change how everything worked, pop up lots of error messages to read, possibly force you to buy a new printer, and step you through a phone-home software activation process that appeared to be designed by the TSA. “Wow” doesn’t cut it.