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Who was the Marketing Caucus Tech Winner: Microsoft or Apple?

While the country watched the reality TV show-like reporting of the results of the Iowa Caucus last night, many may not have been aware that there was another competition simultaneously occurring for branding leadership in the technology world.

The data was coming in quickly and accurately due to Microsoft’s new platform developed for the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. According to Microsoft:

We are honored to support the 2016 Iowa Caucus via a new, mobile-enabled, cloud-based platform that will facilitate accuracy and efficiency of the reporting process. Under the new system, each Iowa political party will have their own app available on all mobile and PC platforms, which will support the party’s unique caucus voting process. The reporting apps may be used in every precinct in Iowa by both parties. The results will be securely stored and managed in Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.

But what should have been an effective marketing investment turned ironic when the reporter on Fox News demonstrated the new Microsoft mobile app on his iPhone and then cut back to the Fox News desk where the commentators all had Apple laptops in front of them, a blatant product placement.CaLcjB2XEAAnrgp

My guess is that seeing an iPhone during the demo and seeing the Apple laptops trumped (yes, I get the pun) the impact of the verbal explanation that Microsoft had created the reason last night’s data could be reported so instantaneously.

It is critical for marketers, even in the age of full-on digital and even in the technology segment, to adhere to classic, proven marketing disciplines, such as being aware of what your competition is implementing. Microsoft, no doubt, invested heavily in the development of the breakthrough platform. Throw in an iPhone and two on-air Apple laptops, and the viewer confusion most likely gave the credit to the Apple brand.

Its’s a tricky marketing world out there, but the classic principles are still effective and necessary.

For help navigating and integrating proven marketing approaches with state-of-the-art digital execution, contact Betty Tuppeny at

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