Intel’s biggest marketing campaign in nearly a decade is now underway. “A New Era of Computing,” as the campaign is called, will see Intel spend hundreds of millions of dollars in a bid to lure consumers around the world to ultrabooks. Hit the jump and tell us what you make of the first commercial in this campaign.
Microsoft has reportedly begun trimming (or slashing, depending on how you want to look at it) its workforce by letting go of a "small percentage" of employees who held marketing positions with the Redmond software giant as it looks to revamp and streamline its operations. The company didn't specific exactly how many employees were let go, though several reports have the number pegged at 200.
Microsoft is at a key juncture in its history as a consumer tech company, with two high stakes launches scheduled for next month. It will be rolling out Windows Phone 7 on November 8 (in North America) as it looks to atone for the sin that was Windows Mobile. At stake is a respectable position in the increasingly important smartphone market.
The North American launch of Kinect is also scheduled for November. Here too the stakes are high as the company is looking for a magical moment that could see its console take a clear lead in what has been a keenly contested console generation.
Microsoft has no intentions of letting its Windows Phone 7 suffer the same premature fate as its Kin smartphones, and to ensure that doesn't happen, the Redmond software juggernaut will spend $400 million just on marketing the launch of its new device, says Jonathan Goldberg, a telecommunications analyst at Deutsche Bank.
"This is make-or-break for them. They need to do whatever it takes to stay in the game," says Goldberg. "It's still wide open. They don't have to take share from Android or Apple, so long as they can attract consumers switching from feature phones."
That $400 million figure is just the beginning. Goldberg claims to have heard from Microsoft's execs that it will spend "billions" of dollars in the first year on marketing and development.
"We have a long-term view and Microsoft has been in this position before in other businesses where we've had to take a long-term view," says Microsoft senior product manager Greg Sullivan, who stopped short of commenting on Goldberg's estimates. "The mobile phone market is growing by leaps and bounds, but it's still in the early stages."
Social networking may be on the fast-track to market networking, if Dell’s habits become widespread. Dell reports it is taking advantage of social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to develop networks of Dell followers, within which it promotes its products. And, according to Dell, the practice seems to be working.
Speaking specifically of Twitter, Manish Mehta, vice president of Dell’s online sales unit, says the number of followers of Dell’s tweets now numbers 1.5 million. Furthermore, these followers have spent an estimated $6.5 million on Dell hardware, software, and accessories.
Dell keeps it’s Twitter network active with more than 100 employees sending out tweets over 35 different channels to followers in 12 countries. According to Mehta, “It’s a very vibrant channel for us and it’s growing aggressively. It’s not just our reach and growth that has progressed, it’s that it’s happening globally.”
If Dell’s tweet-related sales are measured against total revenue, it doesn’t seem this approach is much better than mass-mailing. With $6.1 billion in annual revenue, tweet-related sales account for only 0.11% of the total. It hardly seems worth the effort.
The rationale behind Coke’s promotion is to emphasize just how much Coke Zero tastes like Coca-Cola Classic--there doubles, get it? What better way to underscore this by letting you find your facial double. Unless, of course, you find the idea of someone else having your face more creepy than fun.
Let’s face it, privacy is dead. In this increasingly electronic and inter-linked world, with its capacity to capture, store, and analyze data by the digital ton, the minute you step foot into it you’ve surrendered any claim to privacy you ever thought you had.
Sprint coughed-up GPS information to law enforcement eight million times last year. Not on eight million users, Sprint is quick to point out. Rather law enforcement can request GPS information on any particular user every three minutes for up to 60 days. (After that Sprint doesn’t say what happens.)
And Sprint isn’t the only one handing out information about you.
It’s sort of hard to classify this one. Gizmodo has linked to a video of staffers at the Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo, California, dancing. Not just one or two, and not just a shuffle step or two, but a full-blown, choreographed (?) routine involving all the staffers--and while the store is open for business.
What’s most surprising about this? That staffers would put up with it? (Pay must be good.) That techno-geeks can dance? (If Texans can line dance, geeks can too.) Or that customers didn’t leave en masse from the spontaneous St. Vitus outbreak
Commenters on the video were less than kind. “Reason number 6751 why I avoid Microsoft products like the plague,” writes cance440. JohnMunsch notes: “If Joe’s Crab Shack ran your local Microsoft franchise.” SunsetChaser sums it up: “O good grief, Does everything microsoft do have to be so cringeworthy.”
Whatever the case, it doesn’t seem a particularly good in-store marketing strategy. Customers seem a bit confused by it. It is a distraction to serious shoppers. And business comes to a standstill during the 4-plus minute routine.
Let’s hope this is one of Microsoft’s ‘working out the bugs’ moment.
Twitter has made recent moves to get rid of web promotion company uSocial by claiming that their means of advertising count as spam.
uSocial’s CEO Leon Hill claims that the accusations from Twitter are false. “The definition of spam is using electronic messaging to send unsolicited communication and as we don’t use Twitter for this, the claims are false.” He believes that the claims are because of their service, which allows users to buy followers on the popular microblogging site.
“The people at Twitter who are sending these claims are just flailing around trying to look for any excuse they can, though it’s going to take much more than this if they want us to pack up shop,” stated Hill. “We’re not going away that easily.”
So what do you think? Are the folks at uSocial trying to make a buck in a spammy way, or should the folks at Twitter back off? Make your voice heard in the comments.