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Microsoft Advertising innovates for the modern consumer journey

Two men in an apartment sit on a couch and work on laptop computers.

This year's Elevate, Microsoft Advertising's premier partner event for Elite and Select partners, showcased engaging experiences advertisers can make use of to thrive in a world where change is constant. For example, there’s a rise in the Workday Consumer, and advertisers have to respond to an evolved consumer journey through planning and organizational changes. During the event, we discussed the “Galactic collision of work & life” and how it illustrates a need to transform organizational (and remote work) cultures. In addition, the fireside chat titled “Combating disinformation's toxic impact,” focused on how the advertising industry can continue to build trust to succeed.

Combining the understanding of evolving consumer behaviors and the need to get ahead of the advertising industry’s hot topics is driving the Microsoft Advertising product vision. Our product roadmap is rooted in consumer behaviors and guided by what will help advertisers succeed.

Microsoft Advertising product vision

We have a global view. We’ll be where advertisers need us, that’s why we’ve recently expanded into 29 additional markets and plan to grow our global scale to over 150 markets in the coming months. This is important for advertisers to see a scaling of our platform, a first step in unlocking even more of Microsoft global search volume.
 

This past year has been transformative for us. We have been investing in new products, experiences, and value creation for our consumers.

— RUKMINI IYER, DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER, CVP, MICROSOFT ADVERTISING PRODUCT ENGINEERING

 

New product highlights

Cash back promotions

As people read the news, watch videos, shop online, and get things done using Microsoft products, we’ve adapted to engage them. We’ve created our newest ad products to engage shoppers as they traverse Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Bing, Microsoft News (MSN), LinkedIn, and Outlook.com at the intersections of work and life. In fact, with coupon availability and new wallet capabilities, Microsoft Edge is quickly becoming the preferred browser for shoppers.

Putting a spotlight on shopping experiences, we’re excited to announce cash back promotions. This new ad offering will automatically incentivize shoppers to complete transactions by giving them rebates. Microsoft Advertising chooses the right amount of cashback for the right ad and the right user, providing the best possible return on ad spend (ROAS) for an advertiser.

Snapshot of a cash back promotion example.

In addition, other shopping experiences optimize current consumer behavior and advertiser goals:

  • Microsoft Start, aimed at addressing people’s need to be in the know, provides personalized shopping experiences by pulling featured products from advertiser product feeds within the shopping tab.
  • Microsoft Wallet automatically helps with express checkout when a consumer is ready to pay. In addition to auto-filling all relevant details quickly, it automatically finds and applies coupons to save customers time and money.

We are committed to continuing to deliver engaging shopping experiences that delight consumers and drive business growth for our retail partners.


Ad Creator

Visuals are, without a doubt, one way for your ad to break through the noise. Research firm Kantar Group’s insights show content with images results in 50% more recall, and at Microsoft Advertising, we see that visual ads can lead to more engagement, quantified by higher click-through rates (CTRs).

We’re leaning into this reality with Ad Creator. You can find relevant creative images, leverage smart tools that help choose the best pictures from your website, and edit your photos right from the tool, so your creatives stand out from the rest, and much more. We’re always innovating and looking for ways to add reporting and media management capabilities to power media. Ad Creator takes the guesswork out of creative strategies and helps you grab attention.

Snapshot of the Ad Creator interface.

Multimedia Ads

We’re also focusing on the effectiveness of visual storytelling through a highly visual ad format: Multimedia Ads.

ADT customer Multimedia Ads example on a Microsoft Bing search engine results page.

Multimedia Ads combine creative assets such as images, headlines, and descriptions to deliver attention-grabbing, large visual ads.

ADT tested them to great success. They partnered with Microsoft Advertising to become the first in their industry to try Multimedia Ads and target their ideal customers within the residential market with messaging that was optimized for their search terms and audiences.

Their goal was to generate website traffic and leads while maintaining cost-per-lead efficiency and ROAS comparable to other ads in their account. Learn how ADT decreased overall cost per click (CPC) and achieved a 9.5x higher ROAS in their success story.

Vertical ads

New vertical ads balance what consumers want with what’s essential for advertisers while also reflecting what makes each industry unique. As consumer behaviors indicate a high demand for these ads, and advertiser performance data shows high conversion volumes at low costs, we’re expanding our vertical ads portfolio.

Building on past success, we’re bringing new ad experiences to market across Travel, Financial Services, and Automotive industries. Our pivot towards vertical-based ads in these industries results from customer feedback and our desire to help advertisers break through in crowded marketplaces. Our vertical experiences serve across the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network.

The richness of content in the elements composing a vertical ad comes from the use of feeds, not keywords. These feeds allow us to source all attributes displayed in the ads, leveraging advertisers’ existing digital catalogs. It also minimizes the time and resources required to set up and manage campaigns on our network.

Vertical ad solutions leverage search intent data and a deep understanding of users’ needs to connect customers to richer ad experiences for specific industries, including:

Travel

  • Cruise Ads* are rich and eye-catching ad solutions that showcase images with timely and relevant cruise information such as length, excursions, and pricing.
  • Tours and Activities Ads are visually engaging feed-based ads that increase awareness and drive bookings.
  • Hotel Price Ads are search ads that showcase rich photographs and real-time pricing information with action taken within the search experience.
  • Property Promotion Ads are highly visual ads that appear in the top two slots on the hotel grid in Bing Maps.

* Exclusive to Microsoft Advertising

Financial Services

  • Credit Card Ads* can showcase various credit card products and promotions such as rewards and cashback percentages.
  • Health Insurance Ads* trigger non-brand queries such as generic Medicare and plan-type queries (promoting specific plans is not yet supported).
  • Insurance Services Ads include data specified in feed files such as plan type, the organization category, federal registration status, and URLs.
  • Real Estate Ads can promote individual agents, listings, certifications, and other information.
  • Tax Services Ads highlight the benefits of tax specialists, offices, local, regional and national offices, and other information.

* Exclusive to Microsoft Advertising

Automotive

  • Automotive Ads showcase the attributes of your car inventory such as makes, models, years, trims, images, URLs, and other information.

Automotive Ads example on a Microsoft Bing search engine results page.

Our roadmap also has several new vertical-based ad formats in development for financial advisors, doctors and clinics, legal service providers, and mortgage lenders.

We hope you’re as enthusiastic as we are about these new product experiences. Microsoft Advertising is committed to creating opportunities that empower advertisers to achieve more by focusing on consumer engagement that’s driven by rich experiences, insights, and AI-powered campaign optimization and performance. The future is exciting.

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