In a bid to monetize its new search engine Bing, Microsoft has launched the Cashback program to searchers. Microsoft originally launched Cashback in May 2008…
…on the old Live Search search engine. At the time there were mixed reactions to the program, with many analysts calling it a desperate attempt to gain market share.
Cashback failed to produce any real results on Live Search so what makes Microsoft believe it will do any better on Bing? The answer Advertising!! Microsoft has no doubt spent huge amounts of money advertising Bing and now Cashback gets a look in with its own video ad. You can check it out here:
Besides the cool video above, Microsoft also launched a limited promotion of Cashback on Bing to spark interest. The offer, called Double Cashback, meant that Microsoft would match the amount of the rebates being offered by retailers (e.g. if Nike normally offered a $10 discount rebate, the promotion would give them $20). The promotion did so well that Microsoft had to cut the promotion short by a couple of days because they had used up all their allocated money. Heres the official word from Microsoft:
Due to an overwhelming, positive response from our Bing cashback shoppers, weve now closed our limited time back-to-school promotion where Microsoft increased the percentage of cashback rewards on behalf of retailers.
So will this new strategy make Bing even more appealing to searchers and steal them away from Google? I think this is a great first step for Bing, but it is going to take a bit more effort to break the strangle-hold of Google. Feel free to share your thoughts on Bing below.