Microsoft has developed a far-reaching ecosystem throughout the years, currently boasting assets such as Microsoft Bing, MSN, Windows, Microsoft 365, LinkedIn, and Xbox.
In April 2019, the company added a new name to the mix – Microsoft Advertising, which came as a rebrand of Bing Ads.
Speaking to B&T, Microsoft Advertising Vice President APAC Nick Seckold [feature image] said the change was about highlighting how Microsoft can help advertisers across various network solutions for both search and native advertising.
“Because Microsoft Bing has always been closely associated with Search, we needed a new brand that better reflects what we deliver to clients,” he said.
“Microsoft Advertising is more expansive and can represent intelligent solutions that empower marketers to deliver personalized experiences that value people.”
One of the main services provided by Microsoft Advertising is their search engine, Microsoft Bing, which currently helps power the 182.3 million searches from 9 million searchers (comScore qSearch, Sept 2020) in Australia each month as part of the Microsoft Search Network. However, what advertisers may not know is that Microsoft Advertising also empowers advertisers to run targeted ads across Verizon Media properties (AOL, Yahoo), as well as providing search capability across Microsoft services like Windows, Office and Microsoft Edge as well as more than 30 different search partners.
Microsoft Advertising’s Regional Marketing Lead Adam Goodman [pictured below] explained that Microsoft demonstrates the ability to meet customers where they search across multiple products and services, and across multiple search partners, rather than only on Microsoft Bing.
“Brands see enormous value in reaching customers across the Microsoft Search Network, whether consumers are searching on Microsoft Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo or the ever-growing sustainability search engine Ecosia,” he said.
“Australians are not limited to a single search engine; they have choice and it’s important that our advertisers reach those consumers where they are searching. For us it’s not about search being a destination site but it’s about empowering consumers the ability to search across all of the Microsoft properties and our search partners too, and the opportunity for advertisers to reach them.”
Launching native advertising in Australia and New Zealand
Earlier this year, Microsoft Advertising launched The Microsoft Audience Network as a new network which helps advertisers deliver native advertising across Microsoft properties leveraging a wealth of demographic, professional and interest profiles.
“The Microsoft Audience Network is a new AI-powered audience marketing solution that helps you connect to the right people using native content placements in brand-safe environments. We empower advertisers to reach a highly relevant audience using the Microsoft audience intelligence graph which contains rich consumer understanding through our assets, including Microsoft Bing, MSN, Outlook, LinkedIn, Edge and others,” continued Seckold.
With access to a vast amount of consumer data through various Microsoft networks, the Microsoft Audience Network connects user intent data with user profile data to help advertisers get a 360-degree view of a customer.
“The on-going signals we receive and new data sources, along with the machine learning algorithms, allow us to maintain a deep understanding of the user based on both explicit intent and implicit signals that is updated continually,” said Seckold.
“Our advertising offerings, including audience marketing solutions, are anchored in the understanding provided by the Microsoft audience intelligence graph, delivering terrific performance for our clients.”
Balancing trust and privacy
And while Microsoft Advertising is all about helping its customers achieve results using data from across the ecosystem, privacy is still a guiding principle for the company.
At its core, Microsoft Advertising’s approach to privacy is all about earning trust through long-term engagement and strong marketing performance whilst also leveraging the industry leading technology, solutions, and services across the wider Microsoft brand.
“As the use of data increases in our day-to-day lives, Microsoft will continue to focus on earning the trust of its customers every day,” said Seckold.
“We believe putting people first is the key to greater engagement and a better customer experience and when you put people first, you can build a strong, trusted relationship. We deliver value to marketers and more meaningful connections for people. Our commitment to protecting peoples’ privacy and starting from a foundation of trust helps people and brands connect more meaningfully.”
With the deprecation of third-party cookies in the coming years, advertisers across the globe are on the lookout for the next ‘cookie-less’ solution, which enables privacy-compliant tracking.
“Microsoft Advertising is well-positioned to help advertisers reach their target audiences at-scale, due to our vast first-party data and industry-leading AI that uses different signals to reach the right audience with the right message,” said Seckold.
Microsoft Audience Ads run on massive reach properties owned by Microsoft such as MSN and Outlook whilst leveraging powerful first-party data graph, enhanced with LinkedIn’s 722 Million+ global user profiles.
“We have created a unique, brand safe marketplace for advertisers to reach the millions of people who use Microsoft products every single day. Launching our native advertising solution as well as leveraging the unique Microsoft audience intelligence graph, helps brands drive great performance across their search and native advertising strategies here in the Australian market.”
“We are actively developing solutions to help advertisers in the transition of moving ‘cookie-less’ working with our partners, agencies, and clients. Today, we have strong alternatives to help advertisers reach their target audience at scale, such as the Microsoft Audience Network, as few companies in the industry have the first party data footprint and cutting-edge AI matching technology that Microsoft has.” said Seckold.
Rewarding Australians for searching with Microsoft Bing
Give with Bing is now live in Australia! Give with Bing lets Microsoft Rewards users earn and donate points to causes they care about every time they search.
By joining Microsoft Rewards and switching on Give Mode, points you earn searching the web with Microsoft Bing will automatically be donated to a cause that is important to you. And because we believe giving is most rewarding when it’s personal, we have over one million non-profit organisations for you to choose from, including the Australian Red Cross, UNICEF Australia, Doctors without Borders and many more. Microsoft will also be matching all donations through to the end of December to double the impact.
Charities will receive real donations, and users are able to track their lifetime giving and see the global impact Give with Bing is making through their dashboard. As we grow this program internationally and continue to expand our range of causes, we hope to build on the massive success we’ve already seen in the US and make a real difference to the causes our users in Australia care most about.
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