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Improve ad effectiveness with ad customizers

Reaching customers with the right message at the right time is essential in helping you maximise your advertising dollars. A lot of time and resources can go into creating effective ads, especially when you manage multiple campaigns with hundreds of ads across each account. How do you scale this and create ads which appeal to specific customers?  With ad customizers of course! Microsoft Advertising is excited to announce the availability of ad customizers for all our customers globally. 

What are ad customizers?

Ad customizers help reduce setup time and improve ad quality by allowing you to create hundreds of different ad variations with just one ad copy. Ad customizers are parameters within the ad copy which get replaced by dynamic text when the ad is displayed for the user. The text values are provided in the feed file and they are selected based on the targeting defined in the feed. The parameters in the ad copy follow this format: {=FeedName.AttributeName: Default}. If your feed name is “Deals” and you want to reference the custom attribute “Product (text)”, the parameter would be {=Deals.Product}

How do ad customizers work?

The possibilities with ad customizers are endless since you can surface any text you’d like. You can change ads based on an array of targeting options within the feed, including, but not restricted to, location, audience lists, device, search queries, time of day and others.

For example, to modify ad text based on user location you can create a feed with Target Location attribute:

Product (text) Promo (text) Start_price (price) Target location
Contoso 16v Vacuum 10% off in all our stores $90.00 United States
Contoso 16v Vacuum 20% off in our Seattle locations $80.00 Seattle, WA

The ad copy can be structured like this:
Get {=Deals.Promo} for limited time.
Buy now for only {=Deals.Start_price}
When someone is looking for “Contoso Vacuum Seattle” or is physically based in Seattle looking for “Contoso Vacuum” they will see:

Contoso 16V Vacuum
Get 20% off in our Seattle locations for limited time.
Buy now for only $80.00

You can use Target audience ID to provide better deals to users who are already looking for your products or service. For example, users looking for vacuums can be found in the In-market audience segment /Home & Garden/Home Appliances/Vacuums with the ID = 806055006

Product (text) Promo (text) Start_price (price) Ends_by (date) Target Audience ID
Contoso 16V Vacuum 30% off with free shipping $70.00

You can also add custom attributes of type “date” to your feed and use them inside countdown for increased effectiveness.
Get {=Deals.Promo} – offer ends in {=COUNTDOWN(Deals.Ends_by)}.
Buy now for only {=Deals.Start_price}
When someone in target audience is looking for “Contoso Vacuum” on 6/12/2019, they will see a great time sensitive promotion enticing them to complete their purchase right away:

Contoso 16V Vacuum
Get 30% off with free shipping – offer ends in 2 days.
Buy now for only $70.00

How do I get set up?

Take advantage of ad customizers by providing an ad customizer feed that tells us what information you want to insert into your ads under which circumstances. Construct your feed file using custom attributes, targeting attributes and standard targeting attributes. Custom attributes contain information you want to surface in the ad and the targeting attributes determine which feed item should be selected to replace the ad customizer parameter when the ad is displayed. See the About ad customizers help page for more details.

Product visualisation of an ad customizer feed as a spreadsheet. The columns of the spreadsheet are feed attributes.

Next, upload the feed into the account via the Feed Management Tool under Shared Library in the UI, then create Expanded Text Ads with the reference to the ad customizer parameters in the ad copy. Finally, ensure the feed name and attribute name in the parameter match the feed uploaded: {=Feedname.AttributeName: Default}.

Some key details about ad customizers

  • Ad customizer parameter can be referenced in all parts of Expanded Text Ads except for the URL field.
  • Default values ensure you always show an ad even when a feed item is not selected. The default values are optional, but they are highly recommended.
  • Google Import tool is available to easily import ad customizer feeds and ads you are currently running in Google Ads to make easier set-up in Microsoft Advertising. You can schedule your Google import to ensure your ad customizer feeds have the most recent updates.

Currently, you can create and manage feeds via Feed Management Tool in the UI, Google Import tool, and integration with our bulk API. In the coming months, we'll also provide the ability to schedule feed uploads from a URL. Check out our help page for more examples and details on ad customizers in Expanded Text Ads.

Let us know your thoughts

For any questions or feedback regarding ad customizers, we encourage you to reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account manager or contact Support. You can also ping us on Twitter, suggest a feature on the Microsoft Advertising Feature Suggestions Forum, or send us an email with your thoughts to