Microsoft surface


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Campaign idea for Microsoft Surface and Store

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Microsoft surface

  2. 2. Grafstein2CAMPAIGN SITUATION:Microsoft’s newest product, the Surface, is a tablet meant to compete directlywith Apple’s iPad. Along with this new product Microsoft has opened Microsoft storesacross the United States. A campaign plan has been compiled in order to promote theSurface alongside these stores.Research:The research begins with differentiating the Surface with its main competitor theiPad. In order to compete with Apple, Microsoft has to meet the need for a tablet in adifferent want to create want. Physically the Surface is longer, narrower, and weighsmore than the iPad, but by less than (Kwan). The iPad beats the Surface in visualresolution; however the Surface has double the RAM. A reoccurring complaint with theiPad is the incompatibility of memory sticks. Apple has yet to address the needs ofconsumers wanting to use external hard drives. The surface meets this need with amicroSD slot and a USB port.The biggest physical difference between Microsoft’s Surface and Apple’s iPad isaccessories. For the iPad accessories such as covers, keyboards, and stands can bebought to accompany the tablet. However for the Surface, there is no need for theseadd-ons, they are part of the product. The Surface’s attached cover comes with the dualpurpose of becoming an optional keyboard. The Surface is touch screen like the iPad,but recognizes people’s discomfort with touchscreen keyboards. The Surface also has abuilt in kick stand.
  3. 3. Grafstein3In online reviews the Surface never comes out a true victor over the iPad. Whilethe effort to branch out into physical products is praised the execution is scrutinized.The kick stand’s limited positioning does not allow for easy viewing, apps are limited,and even those the cover keyboard is better than touch screen it is still not as easy oraccurate as keyboards bought as attachments to the iPad. The biggest complaint aboutthe surface is not only the lack of apps, but the quality of available apps (Lu).App which stands for application, is a huge part of the tablet market as a whole.In June Apple Announce that 30 billion apps had been downloaded from the AppleStore. This is triple the amount downloaded in 2011. The desirability of apps has grownexponentially (Cocotas).However, even with these negative reviews not all the feedback leaned towardApple. As mentioned early iPad users have been frustrated with the inability of the iPadto work with external hard drives or memory devices. Tablet users appreciate the SDSlot and USB port in the Surface. Also a key point came up in most reviews; theSurface is good for specific needs (likely people who want to use Microsoft software ontheir tablets) which can be useful in finding the appropriate target audience.Who buys tablets? Who would buy a non-Apple tablet? Of people who areconnected to the internet in the United States, 31% own a tablet of some kind. While inthe past technological products have been targeted toward a younger generation tabletsare experiencing trend growth in the middle-aged population. There is not a significantdifference in buying habits between men and women for the tablet, but economicallyhigher income individuals are buying tablets (Horan).
  4. 4. Grafstein4Key Message:The key message of the campaign will be that the Surface is not for just anyone.This campaign takes the negative feedback that the Surface is better for selective usesand turns it into message of envy. To highlight the message the campaign has a slogan“A Surface Only a Few Can Touch”. Much of the Apple phenomenon has to do withkeeping up and have what everyone else has. What if the Surface became to producteveryone wanted, but only an exclusive few had access to. While the campaign doesnot want this to be the reality it is certainly an image that can evoke emotion anddifferentiate the competition. The slogan is the embodiment of the campaign’s keymessage; not everyone can have this so to own it is to have high status and not be partof a crowd.TARGET:This is a national campaign so the target audience is national. Based on thedemographics the main target audience of the campaign will be professionals betweenthe ages of 35 and 50 with a high income. The age and income are based on peoplewho are already buying tablets, but the professional aspect is added to help narrow thetarget to people interested in using their tablets on a professional capacity.Based on the success of Microsoft software in the professional world it wouldmake sense that professionals would want the tablet that works best with the software.This target audience is also less likely to care about apps which is a particularweakness in the Surface.A secondary audience for the campaign might be educational boards. Apple’siPad has begun to work its way into classrooms and this is an area the Surface may
  5. 5. Grafstein5have a competitive edge. On top of the performance of Microsoft software on theSurface, the lack of apps may be a positive for schools because they do not wantstudents downloading distractions. Also the Surfaces capability to connect with otherhard drives makes it more desirable for school work. This secondary audience could bea good way to reach the primary audience. Children can expose parents to the Surfaceand create knowledge and loyalty.OBJECTIVE AND STRATEGY:The overall goal of the campaign is to draw customers to the new Microsoftstores where the tablet Surface is being sold. However, do to the fierce competition ofthe Apple iPad a necessary secondary goal is to become more desirable than theApple iPad.While the campaign has an overall goal this goal can be broken into long andshort term objectives. The immediate objective of the campaign is to present theSurface as a competitor to the iPad and to draw people to Microsoft stores. The longterm objective is to have the Surface replace the iPad as the best known and most usedtablet and to create a demand for Microsoft Stores.The campaign strategy is to use different tactics that build off of each other andstay consistent within the campaign message to reach objectives. The tactics include;new media, traditional media, giveaways, a long term program and an in-store event.The greatest emphasis will be on the in-store event and the long term program. Thetraditional media and new media will act as support of the in-store event and long term
  6. 6. Grafstein6program. The in-store event is to launch the Surface as a real competitor against theiPad and draw people to the store. The program is to help the Surface stay competitivefor the long run and to not only keep people coming to the physical store, but create aneed for more physical stores.The in-store event is a black tie cocktail party in the actual store. The idea of theevent is to create an exclusive feeling among guests, cater to the profession image ofthe Surface, give people a reason to come to the physical store, and introduce MicrosoftConcierge. As of now the Microsoft stores are considered copycat Apple stores and thisgoes against the image of the campaign and works against the popularity of theSurface. This event will refresh the image of the Surface while the image is stillmoldable.The long term program is to continue the differentiation process of between theSurface and iPad. The program is called Microsoft Concierge. While the objective is todifferentiate from Apple, Microsoft Concierge works similarly to the Apple Genius Barexcept the image is more business professional and it will highlight flexibility in terms ofservices offered and availability.In terms of new media the Surface, the company Microsoft, Microsoft Store, andMicrosoft Concierge will each have their own Facebook, Twitter, and YouTubeaccounts. The Surface will also have a Pinterest, the Microsoft Store will haveFoursquare, and Microsoft Concierge will have a blog. While having all these accountscan lead to inconsistency and confuse the hope is to better reach specific audience andcreate connection to different aspects of Microsoft.
  7. 7. Grafstein7The traditional media being targeted will include popular talk shows and nationalnewspapers. However special attention will be made toward trade associationpublications, radio talk shows, financial and business television shows, and businessmagazines.The giveaway tactic is the only portion of the campaign even partially directedtoward the secondary audience. Certain schools, industry leaders, and well knownmedia people will receive free Surfaces and their experiences will be tracked for futurepromotions and campaigns.TATICS AND CALENDAR:The general idea and purpose of each tactic has been stated. However thedetails of the tactics are crucial. The first tactic initiated in the campaign is new media.When the campaign reaches out to the traditional media the new media should be inplace to as a resource and help fully create the new Microsoft image.As previously mentioned the company Microsoft, Microsoft stores, the Surface,and Microsoft Concierge will each have their own social media accounts. There aredraw backs to this plan if the accounts are not properly managed; however if done rightthis approach to new media can create continuity while give life to the different aspectsof Microsoft.In order to avoid confusion or create dissonance between the companyMicrosoft, Microsoft stores, the Surface, and Microsoft Concierge all accounts shouldhave a link back to Microsoft’s main website in order to avoid confusion. Also care betaken to avoid contradiction and an effort can be made to refer to the other sections’
  8. 8. Grafstein8social media to create unity. For instance if someone tweeted to the MicrosoftConcierge twitter about how much they enjoyed the Surface the person could receive athank you tweet and also be advised to look at Surface Twitter. The response tweetwould include the Surface twitter handle.While he company Microsoft, Microsoft stores, the Surface, and MicrosoftConcierge all have a Facebook, Twitter and YouTube account some of these divisionshave other new media accounts; the reason being that the nature of each section leadsit to suiting certain media better.Only the Microsoft store has a Foursquare because it is a physical location.Foursquare allows people to check-in to a location online. As people check-in to aparticular location they obtain different statuses and companies can rewards for thesestatuses. While theoretically this could also work for Microsoft Concierge it is moreimportant to reward people for visiting the store where the concierge is located.Microsoft Concierge does have a blob. This account allows posts, videos,articles, and photos to be found in one location with customized style. This is necessaryfor Microsoft Concierge because this allows for posting of helpful articles or advice, howto videos, responding to customer needs and feedback, and for posting photos ofsatisfied customers.The second tactic implemented would be traditional media. Television talkshows aimed toward investors such as Squawk Box, Money, and Forbes on Fox will bethe target to represent the campaign on television. Radio talk shows of political andfinancial nature will be targeted. Major newspapers such as the; New York Times, Wall
  9. 9. Grafstein9Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, USA Today, and Newsday will beaggressively approached. Trade publications of high income professions such as; law,commercial or retail real estate, finance, and other of similar income fields will be veryimportant to reach. Magazines are going to be a major aspect the traditional mediaoutreach. Fortune Magazine, Business Insider, and Forbes will be considered mustreach publications.All of the targets mentioned will be reached out through an electronic press kits(EPKs) and traditional media kits. Each medium with receive kits about the slogan, in-store event, Microsoft Concierge, and the Surface. Every kit will include a press release,fact sheet, pictures, a backgrounder, and a feature story. The in-store event EPKs willalso include a Video Press Release (VNR) while the traditional media kit will have presspasses to the in-store event for the store closest to the individual media outlets. TheSurface and Microsoft Concierge media kits will include brochures.The radio media targets will receive an audio press release on top of the EPKand traditional media kit. The radio, trade publications, select television media andbusiness magazines will receive actual Surfaces. The heaviest emphasis is being madeof business magazines, trade publications, and radio because these are media that arepopular with older professionals.The third tactic, giveaways, was mentions when discussing traditional media.The radio, trade publications, select television media and business magazines were allselected to receive free Surfaces because they are the most important media to the
  10. 10. Grafstein10campaign. The best way to prove the effectiveness and hence newsworthiness to themedia is to let the see for themselves.Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts, The Madeira School in Virginia nearWashington D.C., The Masters School in New York, San Domenico School in California,and Northside College Preparatory in Illinois are some of the most elite high schools inthe country which set standards for other school. These five schools have beenselected to enter a partnership with Microsoft to receive free Surfaces to be used aspart of the curriculum to help make the Surface a standard in education. The elitereputation of the schools coincides with the campaign message and beings to competewith Apple on a front they are also newly exploring, education. If the top students inAmerica use the Surface so should the top professionals.The fourth tactic is the in-store event. The black tie cocktail requires an invitationor guest pass to attend. Tickets do not cost money, but require registration on theMicrosoft website or in the stores before the event date. The event is taking placesimultaneously in every store. Each store will have a host, a CEO from the generalarea. The main party, the most exclusive, will take place at The Shops at ColumbusCircle Microsoft store location. While the other stores will allow anyone to register thisstore is invitation only. Top CEOs will be invited to this location. Guests at all locationswill receive a Surface to use for the evening.The event will start out with an address from Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer atThe Shops at Columbus Circle location. All the other locations will be streaming theaddress live on the Surfaces given to the guests for the evening. Following the address
  11. 11. Grafstein11guests will turn their attention to their location’s host. The hosts will introduce theMicrosoft Concierge, offer a toast, and then open the floor to mingling, browsing,networking, and shopping.Throughout the event caters will provide hors dœuvre and refreshments, theMicrosoft Concierges will be available to answer questions, and the Surface can beused to exchange information, take notes, or simple be explored. At the end of thenight guests will receive Flash Drives to save information from the Surface and a giftbasket. The basket will include a Microsoft gift card, treats from the catering company,the business card of the host and something from that host’s company.The final tactic is Microsoft Concierge. Microsoft Concierge is a customer serviceprogram available within the Microsoft Store. There is a Concierge Desk whereconcierge workers, referred to as Concierge, are available without appointment to be asupport system to customers. Companies that invest in the Surface can also haveconcierge service come to them. It is comparable to the Apple Genius Bar; howeverConcierges are trained to treat customers with extreme care and have professionalattitudes. This will create comfort for those unsettled by the hectic and laid back cultureof Apple.The in-store event will take place December 21, 2012. The month leading up tothis event will be the crucial point for media attention. The official media blitz will beginon November 21, 2012 with American Bar Association’s publication ABA Journal,Forbes, and Business News New Jersey featuring stores on the in-store event and
  12. 12. Grafstein12Surface. On November 12, 2012 a spokesperson for the event will appear on Forbes onFox. After that Steve Ballmer take over appearances until the day of the event.MEASUREMENT APPROACH:The measurement approach for the objectives will change over periods of time.Throughout the entire campaign measurement will be taken. However there are certainpoints when extra evaluation must take place.Most new media sites track activity so measuring the progress of this section ofthe campaign will be relatively easy, but important. By checking the provided statisticsweekly the campaign can adjust the new media approach where necessary.News clipping services, Google Alerts, and doing searches is how traditionalmedia will be tracked. A news clipping service is paid to track all media mentions andthis service will be used for a year for a weekly basis from the beginning the campaign,November 21, 2012. This is to measure the short and long term effects of the campaign.Google Alert is a free service that allows users to create alerts. For an alert, key wordsare entered and any online material about the key words are emailed to the user asfrequently as requested. For the first month of the campaign alerts will be monitoredconstantly. After the in-store event alerts will be monitored on a daily basis for twomonths. After those two months alerts will be monitored weekly. The last trackingmethod for media will be online searches. Sporadically throughout the campaignmanual online searches with key words will be done to see what appears on first threepages of a search. Searches will be frequent during the beginning of the campaign andbegin to decrease as the campaign continues. The Google alerts and searches will alsomonitor and measure public opinion.
  13. 13. Grafstein13The giveaway success will be measure by media mentions, school partnershipsformed, and inquires that come in from professionals of businesses linked to theschools. A part of the purchase process of the Surface a representative will ask wherethe customer heard about the Surface.The in-store event will be measured by the attendance, spike in sales for threeweeks after the event, event mentions in new and traditional media, and storecongestion throughout the four weeks following the event.The Microsoft Concierge program will require constant measurement mostly fromcustomer feedback. This program is for the customers and used after purchases socustomer loyalty will be the true test. Returning customers, store congestion, customerreviews (especially online reviews) will be used to measure the success of the MicrosoftConcierge program.BUDGET:The campaign has a budget of 30 million dollars for staffing, new media,traditional media, the school giveaways, evaluation, the in-store event, and launchingthe Microsoft Concierge program. This seems like a hefty budget, but for the importanceof the campaign, size of the company, and work involved it is necessary.The campaign as it is lasts a year due to measurement. Five million dollas of thebudget will go toward campaign staffing. This includes the campaign development, newmedia management, event planning, program designing, and success tracking for ayear.
  14. 14. Grafstein14The school giveaways take up another five million dollars from the budget. Notonly are Surfaces being given away, but promotional material needs to be collected anddeveloped from the effort and relationships need to be formed and keptThe budget allots one million dollars for new media to create content, promote,and develop. Most of this budget will go toward creating content; videos, articles, andphotos. A much larger portion of the budget is going toward traditional media with sevenmillion dedicated to it. Between creating media kits, distributing kits, travel, and givingaway free Surfaces this budget is quickly used.The in-store event takes up the most of the budget costing ten million dollars.With almost 70 locations to cater, find hosts, hiring security and staff, and documentingfor future promotions the hefty budget is necessary. Plus creating the tickets, giftbaskets, and attracting high end executives escalates the cost more so.Launching Microsoft Concierge costs include; program development, staffing,training, and branding. To do all of this 2.5 million dollars of the budget is dedicated tothis program.The final part of the budget goes toward evaluation.$ 500,000 is being dedicatedto tracking the success of the campaign. While this is the smallest portion of the budgetit is not the least important. Most of the budget goes toward clipping services. However,other costs include creating reports and developing solutions.The chart below breaks down the budget.
  15. 15. Grafstein1516%16%3%23%32%8%2%SalesStaffing School Giveaway New Media Traditional MediaIn-Store Event Microsoft Concierge Evaluation
  16. 16. Grafstein16WORK CITED:Cocotas, Alex. "CHART: More Than 30 Billion Apps Have Been Downloaded In TheAppStore." Business Insider. 23 2012: n. page. Print.<>.Horan, Pam. "A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User, Part I of III: Introduction & OverallTabletAudience." Online Publisher Association. 18 2012: n. page. Print.<, Michael. "What Should You Buy? Microsoft Surface RT vs. Apple iPad 4 ."MobileOnline. 26 2012: n. page. Print. <what-should-you-buy-microsoft-surface-rt-vs-apple-iPad-4>.Lu, Alan. "Microsoft Surface RT review." Computer Active. 23 2012: n. page. Print.<>.