Microsoft is one of the oldest tech companies around, and it’s still reinventing itself. Just this week, Microsoft rebranded Bing Ads into Microsoft Advertising. The new name is supposed to reflect the growing and evolving nature of Microsoft’s advertising products and methods. Besides the name change, Microsoft Advertising also announced Sponsored Products ads that could be useful for online retailers.
Microsoft says the name change is more about keeping things simple for customers. Now, instead of going to BingAds.com, a person searching for Microsoft ads would go to MicrosoftAdvertising.com. This decision is logical. Even though Microsoft owns Bing, that may not be known by everyone. It’s better for Microsoft to capitalize on their name recognition.
The name change also reflects a shift in how Microsoft plans to promote advertising services in the future. Microsoft plans to launch more advertising tools and products that have built-in AI features. In theory, this addition should make advertising more effective, but it does create privacy concerns.
Microsoft is aware of this criticism and made comments to assuage any fears during the announcement. Microsoft’s Rik van der Kooi wrote, “One thing that’s not changing — the importance of advancing trust as we innovate. Adopting personalization 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.”
Microsoft is also using the rebranding as an opportunity to tout the successes of the expanded Microsoft Audience Network. The company announced two updates regarding the network. First, new product enhancements have been launched, “including viewable impressions, image upload, and management tool updates to make managing images even easier.” And later this summer, the audience network will be expanded to include the UK and Canada.
Advertisers should expect to hear more from Microsoft Advertising as the year continues and new products are released. The first update has already arrived. Advertisers in the U.S. can use Microsoft Advertising to promote Sponsored Products. This new advertising product from Microsoft will boost visibility and drive more traffic to your site’s top products in shopping campaigns.
Microsoft’s goal with Sponsored Products is to allow better alignment of marketing efforts between manufacturers and retailers. Besides the usual performance measures, such as clicks, conversions, and ROI, manufacturers gain access to new reporting and optimization capabilities. And retailers get additional product marketing support with a fair cost split.
Though Sponsored Products was announced this week, the service is still in beta testing. However, if you want to be a part of the test, all you need to do is complete the Sponsored Products beta form.
For more recent news about Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads), read this article about an update from April that introduced new call-to-action features for search ad products.