Marketing Mix of Microsoft
Microsoft was officially established in 1975 with Bill Gates as its CEO. Since then the company has redefined the way businesses operate in the modern world. Microsoft has played a major role in helping companies around the world achieve their full potential. It is ranked among the richest and most influential companies globally. Microsoft’s software is used worldwide throughout the business world and by individuals. Its professional software has helped individuals and companies increase their productivity and performance.
Apart from software, Microsoft has also released a number of other products including an internet browser, email services, developer tools, gaming and entertainment products, and other various kinds of hardware and software. Worldwide, most of the computers and laptops run on Microsoft Windows operating system. Bill Gates has now officially stepped down as its chairman but his role in the day to day management of the company has grown. The chief focus of Microsoft is now on its customers worldwide and on increasing their potential and performance. Its sole aim is to make technological solutions accessible to its clients that help them perform better.
Here is an analysis of Microsoft’s Marketing mix.
It has been more than 40 years since the foundation of Microsoft and in the meantime, its product mix has continued to grow larger. Apart from its operating system and Microsoft Office Suite, the company has included several new products and services to serve its customers better. Below is a list of the main products and services in Microsoft’s product mix:
- Windows Operating system for laptops and mobile gadgets
- Mobile devices
- Microsoft accessories
- Microsoft band
- Microsoft dynamics CRM and other business solutions
- Microsoft Office for home and business
- Microsoft servers
- PC Games
- Movies and TV, Groove Music
- Email and communications including Outlook and Skype
- Developer tools like visual studio
- Cloud and Online services
- Internet browsers including Microsoft edge, Internet Explorer, Bing, and MSN
Microsoft’s product mix is a diverse array of products and services, hardware and software. From internet browsers to customer relationship management solutions, it has nearly everything in its product portfolio which is just as diverse as it is rich. Microsoft also makes games and entertainment solutions. Email and communication solutions from Microsoft are meant to help businesses communicate with ease in their day to day business. It has also released several developer tools that make the developers’ task easier. Bing search is the next big search engine after Google. Most important are the Microsoft Windows operating systems and the Microsoft Office suite that is used widely across organizations on laptops, computers and mobile instruments. Most businesses and professionals know the important role that windows OS and Microsoft Office plays in helping them carry out their day to day tasks. Windows and office have become quite common and well-known names. However, there are also several other products released by Microsoft that have made it a household name. The use of cloud offerings by Microsoft has also continued to rise faster and they are generating substantial revenue each year for the company.
Microsoft uses both online and offline channels for the distribution of its products. One can buy software and their licenses online from Microsoft Website. Apart from it, Microsoft products are also available at its own stores. These products are also sold by authorized resellers. Microsoft stores sell the hardware and other products like Xbox, smartphones, etc. However, one can download software and their licenses like Windows and Office suite from its official website. The official website also provides after purchase support to the clients. Apart from it, Microsoft also provides its services and new releases to its customers through the Microsoft Store app. The windows users can download a variety of free and paid software using the Microsoft Store app. Thus, the main distribution channels utilized by Microsoft are:
- Microsoft physical stores
- Microsoft website
- Authorized resellers
- Store App
There are other channels also where one can buy Microsoft products, but their chances of not being genuine are always high. Above are listed the main channels of distribution used by the maker of software and hardware.
Accessibility is an important feature of Microsoft’s pricing strategy. It has priced its products in a manner that they are accessible to most users. While several of its products are free for basic usage, rest can be tried for a few months after which one is required to purchase a license. Its internet explorer and edge browser are free to use while MSN explorer can be used for a price. Similarly, there are several developer tools and other tools from Microsoft that can be used by clients for free for basic usage and after that can be used after paying a price or monthly charges. Its cloud-based services are also available for usage-based pricing.
The main benefit of this strategy is that one does not have to make a significant investment to attracting customers. While these products are highly useful, they are also priced to make them accessible to the highest number of clients and customers. Microsoft has not used a premium pricing strategy like Apple for its products. So, the pricing strategy of Microsoft is basically market and customer-oriented. This strategy is also aimed at building customer loyalty.
Advertising and Media promotions are two important methods of promotion of Microsoft products. It has focused on advertising to lure various segments of consumers. Its ‘Honestly’ ad campaign was specifically targeted at women and showed the women using computers in a variety of situations. Microsoft products are also promoted using media channels and through media releases. Apart from it, authorized retail stores and Microsoft stores also promote Microsoft products. The company uses a variety of channels to reach its customers and promote its products. Its main website and national websites are used to promote products through attractive deals and discounts. It uses such promotional discounts and offers from time to time to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
A large part of its multi-billion budget of marketing is devoted to advertising that mainly features the benefits of the Microsoft products and their uses. These ads highlight how the products from Microsoft can help individuals and businesses maximize their potential. Apart from these things Microsoft promotes its products and services through tradeshows, seminars and other types of programs too. In 2015, Microsoft’s total expenses related to sales and marketing equaled $15,713 million. The brand has also invested in activities including CSR and environmental sustainability to build the image of a socially responsible brand. The company has also made use of social media for the promotions of its products and brand. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels are used extensively for promotional videos and to connect with the customers. It has posted more than 500 videos on its official channel on YouTube that advertises its products and brand.
- Microsoft Products – https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/allproducts
4. Microsoft Annual report 2015- https://www.microsoft.com/investor/reports/ar15/index.html
Pratap, Abhijeet. “Microsoft Marketing Mix.” Notesmatic, edited by Abhijeet Pratap, Notesmatic, Jan. 2020, notesmatic.com/2017/02/microsoft-marketing-mix/.
Pratap, A. (2020, January). Microsoft Marketing Mix. In Notesmatic. Retrieved from https://notesmatic.com/2017/02/microsoft-marketing-mix/