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Microsoft Advertising Partners: Here’s what’s coming in 2021

Partnerships are critical to mutual success, and the year 2020 has made that clearer than ever. The Microsoft Advertising Partner Program was created out of our commitment to deepen our relationships with our highly valued partners. We strive to help you grow your business, provide access to the larger Microsoft community and technical experts, and recognise your work with Microsoft Advertising. We’re grateful for your commitment and dedication, and we’re excited to share some upcoming updates about our Partner Program in 2021.

Virtual events and Partner recognition

Some of the most anticipated benefits we offer our enrolled partners are our exclusive partner events — and we’ve got some exciting ones lined up for the new year:

  • Regional Partner Awards: The Microsoft Advertising Partner Awards will celebrate our Elite and Select partners for the incredible work they’ve done in 2020 across a number of categories in the Americas, EMEA and APAC. This year’s theme for the Awards is “Forward Together,” which points to the importance of partnership, and how we move forward toward recovery and growth. Elite and Select tier members are all invited to join the virtual Regional Partner Awards on 25 February 2021, when we’ll announce our winners with all the celebration and recognition you’ve come to expect. (Nominations for this year’s awards are now closed.) Please visit www.microsoftadvertisingawards.com for more information, and make sure you save the date! Registration for the event will be opening this week.
  • Elevate 2021: One of the most valued benefits for our Elite and Select partners is the opportunity to attend Microsoft Advertising’s annual partner event, Elevate. Elevate will take place virtually this year on 22 April 2021, allowing all our global partners to join us for this important event. Please save the date and look for more information early next year.
  • Partner Celebration: Partner tier members are invited to nominate themselves for our bi-annual Partner Celebration, which aims to recognise and reward outstanding, creative, effective and passionate work by search advertising partners working with Microsoft Advertising across the US, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, and Netherlands regions. We will be accepting nominations beginning April 2021.
  • Global Virtual Partner Summit: Created to meet the needs of our small and medium business partners, the Global Virtual Partner Summit provides an opportunity to hear directly from Microsoft executives and subject matter experts as they provide industry insights on current consumer trends, product expertise on how to adapt to recent changes, and a sneak peek into future Microsoft Advertising offerings. The Partner summit will be held in May 2021.

Microsoft Advertising Sweepstakes & Contest

We invite members of our Partner & Select tiers in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, and Germany to participate in our upcoming Sweepstakes, which launches 1 January 2021. We have a special contest launching at the same time for customers in Australia, New Zealand, and Israel. Whether you’re a current or a potential partner, you’ll have a chance to win some incredible prizes, such as an Xbox One game console, digital gift cards and more.

Prizes will be awarded in March 2021, once all entries are verified. You can enter the contest between 1 January and 28 February — and if you’re among the first 20 people to register, we’ll send you a $100 digital gift card! More information will be coming in January. Read more about our sweepstakes and contest. Please reach out if you have additional questions.

We’re expanding into Mexico

Another exciting announcement is that we’re expanding our Partner Program to include Microsoft agency partners based in Mexico. This continues our momentum from 2020, during which we opened the programme to our partners in Israel and makes Mexico our twenty second market. We’re looking forward to growing our partnerships in Latin America and beyond in the coming years.

New Partner opportunities

This year we are delighted to welcome our Distribution and Syndication Supply Partners to the Partner Program. While our Supply Partners have had the opportunity to participate in partner events like Elevate in the past, officially opening the Select and Elite tier to this new partner type will unlock even more benefits and growth opportunities. If you’re a Supply Partner interested in the Partner Program, please reach out to your Microsoft Advertising contact.

Additionally, we’re expanding the Partner tier to include smaller and more specialised Technology Partners around the world. Technology Partners are developer partners who enable scaled demand through apps and solutions that include but are not limited to campaign management, shopping advertising, analytics, and reporting. The new partner tier for Technology Partners will be by invitation only. Please reach out to Microsoft Advertising support for more information.

Open enrollment begins in January

Open enrollment for the Partner, Select and Elite tiers of the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program will run between January through March. The opportunity to enroll at the Partner tier, and begin unlocking benefits, will remain available year-round.

If you're ready to enroll, and are not sure what tier you qualify for, please reach out to Microsoft Advertising support or your Microsoft Advertising representative. Agencies can also apply for the Partner Program on our Partner website. The Partner Program tiers are determined by level of investment in Microsoft Advertising, in addition to other requirements.

Your partner tier will remain for a calendar year and will be evaluated every December to take effect 1 January. Given the impact of COVID-19 on many of our partners, tiers will not be negatively impacted in the 2021 calendar year. Partners will either maintain their current status or upgrade to a higher tier. We’re happy to announce that more than 60 of our existing partners will receive upgrades in the coming year. We’ll be communicating with you about your partner status for 2021 over the coming weeks.

In addition, we continue to invest strategically to deliver the resources and tools you need for continued growth. We’re here to help you plan a path for continued recovery and growth that could enable you to reach a higher tier by 2022.

Stronger together

As we approach the end of what has been an extremely challenging year for businesses around the globe, trust, transparency, and the value of partnerships have never been more important. The Microsoft Advertising Partner Program was created out of our commitment to deepen our relationships with our highly valued, highly qualified partners through a tiered loyalty programme that offers a number of different partner benefits. We strive to help you grow your business, provide access to the larger Microsoft community and technical experts, and recognise your work with Microsoft Advertising.

Working together, we can overcome the challenges we’re facing throughout the pandemic, so we can emerge stronger and better prepared to seize the economic opportunities that are sure to become available as the world recovers.

As we continue to move forward together in the new year, please stay connected with us, and continue to leverage these resources:

  • Partner Program Community: Join the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program Community on LinkedIn and stay connected with our team.
  • Partner Portal: Enrolled or prospective partners can access www.microsoftadvertisingpartners.com for Partner Program resources, their partner badge, and more.
  • COVID-19 hub: Get regularly updated insights and trends to allow you to make informed decisions for your business.
  • Retail resources: Get the most out of your budget and return on ad spend this retail holiday season through industry insights, consumer trends, and actionable product information.
  • Marketing with Purpose Playbook: Learn how to build trust and business value with purpose-driven marketing.

Keep in touch 

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