You’ve got to hand it Microsoft, they are nothing if not persistent. Their problem: the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 doesn’t have the largest amount of brand recognition, especially when compared to the iPad. Their solution: aggressive marketing campaigns whereby they attempt to insert the device into high profile media events. Thing is, this strategy keeps backfiring in the worst possible ways…
Their marketing strategy keeps backfiring in the worst ways
First came Microsoft’s attempt to make the Surface the “official tablet of the NFL”. Microsoft gave commentators, coaches and players free Surface Pro 3 tablets, in the hope that they would be talked about in-game. The problem was, commentators kept referring to the devices as iPads. Even when they were alerted to the fact that these were not Apple devices, they were merely referred to them as “iPad-like devices”.
If that wasn’t enough marketing fail for Microsoft, they have tried again with a similar strategy, and (once again) it has horribly failed. Knowing that the coverage of the US midterm elections would be a large TV media event, it supplied newscasters with Surface tablets for them have on their news desks. Indeed, for the first few hours everything seems to be going well…
But then reports began to trickle in that many newsreaders were not actually using their Surface tablets, leaving them to be rather expensive branded paperweights. What’s worse is that in some photos, the journalists appeared to be using their Surface Pro’s as little more than kickstands behind which they are hiding their iPads.
CNN used Microsoft Surface Pro as a kickstand for their iPads. Guess we know which device they prefer using... pic.twitter.com/ORCebF8uar— David Wolf (@WolfSnap) November 6, 2014
At this point, I think it’s time for Microsoft to admit that this marketing strategy is a horrible failure. Within US markets, the iPad is such a strong brand name, that is has become synonymous with the tablet, and due to this, users would prefer to use it, even over a free Surface Pro. To counter this Microsoft would need to deploy a all-encompassing marketing approach, similar to that already used by Apple. This however, is no easy feat…
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