Microsoft announced at the end of April that they are rebranding Bing Ads – their paid search service – as Microsoft Advertising. It would appear that this has been triggered by Google’s renaming of AdWords to Google Ads, and perhaps Microsoft want to differentiate themselves more from this name, but they say it’s for other reasons as their service evolves.
Microsoft say that their main brand is already strong with their clients and partners, and that many advertisers are using their services beyond just paid search, such as the Microsoft Audience Network. Over the coming months, all of the current Bing Ads services and materials will be updated to reflect the new – and more wordy – Microsoft Advertising brand.
Bing remains the consumer search brand in Microsoft’s portfolio, and will only become more important as intent data drives more personalisation and product innovation. However, Microsoft says that the issue of consumer trust remains their priority – “adopting personalisation through AI elevates the importance of consumer privacy and control. Integrating intelligent technology into the marketer’s toolkit means valuing brand safety and ensuring data security. Trust is integral to who we are, and it will always guide our innovation and offerings.”
Over the next year, Microsoft say that they are introducing more advertising products with built-in AI, to enable a better connection to business data, with the main services being the Microsoft Audience Network and Sponsored Products.
The Microsoft Audience Network was launched last year and uses AI, rich audience intent and ‘profile understanding’ to help marketers reach consumers in brand-safe environments. New product enhancements have been announced, including viewable impressions, image upload and management tool updates to make managing images even easier.
With Sponsored Products Microsoft have been developing their shopping offer, including new consumer experiences which help shoppers filter, suggest, and visually search and find relevant products. For marketers, the new Sponsored Products Opens in new window enabling manufacturers to boost visibility and drive more traffic for their top products in shopping campaigns. However, this is currently only available in the US market at this stage.
Apart from some of the geographic restrictions with these product developments in the new Microsoft Advertising service, the other main consideration is the small search market share compared to Google. Although Bing Ads – now MA – is the only real alternative to Google, the volumes for most advertisers remain very small and are just a small addition to any wider search marketing activity, until such time that Bing is able to build a larger market share.
If you’d like to know more about the new Microsoft Advertising branding and the use of the Bing Ads tool, please get in touch.