BUSINESS research, MARKETING, CONSUMERS, NEW product development, INDUSTRIAL research, PRODUCT management, RAPID prototyping, and COMPUTER operating systems
This article reports that Microsoft Corp. had a big challenge for its business marketing efforts in 2006: develop a value proposition for the business segment that would encompass new products being rolled out, as well as an overall messaging platform for Microsoft's business customers. In addition, Microsoft wanted to develop broad business messaging that would encompass new products being launched this year, including operating system Microsoft Vista, a new version of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics. So about a year ago, Microsoft launched a comprehensive market research project to define a business brand and messaging that would communicate its value to the business segment. The company began with initial messaging research, in which it analyzed existing research it had already conducted with customers, as well as industry data, to learn which messages resonated with customers as well as which messages were considered believable as coming from Microsoft. During this phase of research, Microsoft learned that the messages that resonated most with customers were those involving people, technology and ease of use.
MARKETING research, MARKETING, COMMERCIAL products, RAPID prototyping, NEW product development, and SURVEYS
This article reports that according to a report by the firm VisionEdge Marketing, measuring marketing performance is a top priority for b-to-b companies this year, yet there is a gap between what companies identify as critical activities and what they are actually measuring. The survey asked respondents to identify the activities that will be critical to their companies' success in 2005. The top-ranking response was acquiring new customers in existing markets, followed by bringing new products to market. The survey also found that 65% of respondents plan to conduct or want to conduct an audit of their marketing metrics this year.
B to B. 5/3/2004, Vol. 89 Issue 5, p12-12. 1/3p. 1 Color Photograph.
COMPUTER operating systems, NEW product development, SYSTEMS software, RAPID prototyping, COMPETITION, and COMPUTER users
Microsoft Corp. has always been a fascinating study in technology, money and marketing. Microsoft typically plays to the breathless, "this is so cool" technician joy about new products, new introductions and new features. Now Microsoft, at 29 years old, is facing a "Midlife Crisis," as BusinessWeek declared on the cover of its April 19 issue. Forget about competition posed by Linux, the open source operating system, the slowing growth of worldwide PC sales or the ongoing effort to fill the security holes in Windows XP. The biggest challenge is Microsoft's next-generation operating system, code-named Longhorn, which Microsoft itself touts as the biggest advance in Windows since Windows 95. As Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates says in the BusinessWeek story, the installed base is his "biggest competitor." That is, getting the base to upgrade is the biggest challenge. How the operating system is marketed will determine the outcome. With Longhorn, can Microsoft rekindle the rock star excitement that accompanied the launch of Windows 95? It will try, but probably the effort will be misguided.