According to data released by Nielsen//NetRatings, as reported in AdWeek, MSN's new broad consumer marketing campaign has seemed to drive some usage growth. According to Nielsen, MSN's search market share grew 1.4 percent from 12.8 percent to 14.2 percent in the previous month.
The apparent cost of that growth has been MSN's US$150 million, spent on high-profile TV broadcasts such as the Super Bowl, as well as other media.
Is that any kind of ROI?
comScore, by contrast, showed no change in market share among the top three engines, Google, Yahoo! and MSN.
Awareness is important, but the experience is more important. We're entering a time when it's getting much more costly to acquire traffic/users, but marketing on its own won't do much of anything. It's like throwing money into the fire.
MSN has to deliver a qualitatively better search experience, which it currently does not, before it can expect to see the needle legitimately move. Meanwhile, Google and, especially, Yahoo! are getting much more aggressive in their holistic product development.