If you regularly check Techmeme tech news aggregator, you’d know that the biggest news today as it always been whenever things like this happen – is Google’s acquisition of mobile ad technology company AdMob. But if you scroll through the Techmeme page, passing through the list of blogs covering the news, you’d see a small headline that says – “Microsoft Bing Gives WiFi Users Free Search”.
So, what was that all about? It was actually a story running on MediaPost about Microsoft’s latest marketing strategy to gain more Bing users. The deal is users can have free Wi-Fi access at participating WiFi hot spots in exchange for “one” search using Bing.
Did that sound awfully cheap? Desperate or what?
But wait given the high-cost of mobile internet access and users getting more into mobile computing, it might actually work, agree?
It might actually achieve its purpose – that is to make more people aware of Bing and let them try the search engine. But the question is, will this be enough to make users continue to use it once the Wi-Fi access is no longer free?
Awareness is one thing, but engagement is another. For Bing to elicit more engagement, the awareness should not be as low as providing free Wi-Fi Internet access in exchange for one search using Bing.
I don’t know about you, but the whole marketing campaign maybe rubbing differently on me.