MSN Pays $150 Million for 1.4 Percent

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.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Greg

    I don't underestimate the value of marketing. Marketing, in fact, is now critical.

    However, marketing needs to be combined with a superior user experience to grab share from Google and Yahoo.

  2. Nome

    You are right that marketing without a good product won't succeed.

    However, don't be quick to judgement on the long term impact of a marketing campaign. Yoo many people underestimate the benefits of marketing, especially an advertising campaign. It's way too early to judge ROI on this effort. And you don't know what their objective was or how it is playing to targetted demographics.

    You are suppose to be an analyst not a pundit.

  3. Greg

    Regardless of how you slice it, the market will tighten and google anticipates this:

    http://blog.kelseygroup.com/kelsey/index.php?/weblog/more/google_10_k_were_a_media_company/

    I was also told by MSN that the $150 million figure, originally, quoted in adweek is way too high. So the growth is better/cheaper than reported.

  4. Ed Rostmeir

    12.8 percent to 14.2 could also be considered growth of more than 10% since the 1.4% increase is 1.4/12.8=11%. If I were analyzing this, I would say it is 11% growth, and that looks a little better….

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