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New holiday season segments & key product updates for December

The Thanksgiving celebration and Cyber Monday both quickly came and went, and now we just have a few short weeks of holiday shopping remaining. Every moment of trying to connect with your target audience is crucial during the rest of this December month, so Microsoft Advertising has a few key product updates to share that can help you both reach those audiences and see how well that’s translating to revenue for your business.

Mixed campaigns now rolling out to all Microsoft Advertising users

Our top story from last month was the open beta mixed campaigns, which allow you to combine standard ad groups (with text ads, responsive search ads, and keywords) and dynamic ad groups (with dynamic search ads and auto targets) into the same campaign. Now, mixed campaigns are rolling out to all Microsoft Advertising users over the next few weeks, so we encourage you all to take advantage so that you can get more out of the powerful automation that dynamic search ads offer!

For more detail on how to get started with mixed campaigns or import them from Google, check out the post linked above and the help page About dynamic search ads.

This month’s top story: New holiday seasonal segments for in-market audiences

Last month, we also announced the release of seasonal in-market audience segments which feature people ready to buy for a particular event, like Black Friday. We’re excited to share even more holiday seasonal segments for this December holiday season, now available across the search network and the Microsoft Audience Network in the United States, Canada, Australia, and United Kingdom.

Seasonal segments use the same predictive intelligence as existing in-market audience segments — and are infused with additional signals related to the seasonal event to deliver a relevant user segment of likely converters. The new segments available are:

  • /Seasonal Shopping/Christmas Shopping
  • /Seasonal Shopping/Christmas Shopping/After-Christmas Sale Shopping
  • /Seasonal Shopping/Christmas Shopping/In-Store Christmas Shopping
  • /Seasonal Shopping/Christmas Shopping/Online Christmas Shopping

For a list of all in-market audiences available, check out In-market Audiences: reach people who are ready to buy.

Data retention increase on Universal Event Tracking

While in-market audiences are one of our many audience targeting strategies that don’t require Universal Event Tracking (UET), some strategies do, such as remarketing. And regarding UET, there’s now been a notable increase in how much data can be retained: starting now, UET can now retain data for up to 390 days/13 months (up from 180 days). To take advantage of this notable data retention increase, make sure to update the “membership duration” (also known as a lookback window) for your remarketing lists.

Share of Voice now available for the Microsoft Audience Network

For enhancements on the Microsoft Audience Network specifically, one big piece of news this month is that share of voice reporting is now available. With this reporting, you can optimize your budgets, bids, and ads for your audience campaigns by looking at your audience network impression share, impressions lost to rank, and impressions lost to budget. This way, you can understand how to better take action on your audience campaigns, whether it’s optimizing creatives, adjusting targeting, or increasing bids and budgets.

 
Product view of Microsoft Audience Network share of voice metrics.

Optimize your budget, bid and ads for your audience campaigns by looking at Microsoft Audience Network share of voice metrics.

 

Better ways to set up your reporting and budgets for search campaigns

In terms of key reporting updates on the search side, custom columns are now rolling out in Microsoft Advertising online to help you define your own custom reporting metrics and save time! This way, you no longer need to manually calculate every time you want to check on your campaign performance. Some example custom columns you can set up include:

  • “Desktop clicks” = Clicks: Computer
  • “Cost per revenue” = Spend / Revenue
  • “Conversions per dollar” = Conversions / Spend
  • “Gross margin” = (Revenue – Spend) / Revenue

Product view of the modify columns view in Microsoft Advertising online.

Custom columns are available as a new category in the Modify columns view.

 

Along with these reporting updates, you’ll also notice a refined notifications experience for when you may be running out of budget or have an insertion order about to expire. With those consolidated budget notifications, you can take action more easily when you’re worried about potentially having account downtime.

Finally, many of you have already begun using our redesigned Microsoft Advertising. We want to inform all of you that starting next month on January 11, you may no longer have access to the previous Microsoft Advertising. All Microsoft Advertising users will be moved to the new redesigned Microsoft Advertising by the end of January 2021.

Getting started with Microsoft Advertising for the first time?

Are you new to Microsoft Advertising, reading about all these updates and overwhelmed because you don’t know where to start? Don’t fret, there’s a simple and easy way for you to get started on the Microsoft Search Network known as Smart Campaigns, which uses Microsoft Advertising AI to take care of most of the nuts and bults of ad campaign management for you, while continuously improving performance. If you’re a small business advertiser that doesn’t have much time to focus on setting up and managing your campaigns, Smart Campaigns are a perfect place to begin your advertising journey (available in the US and UK).

And if you’re already using Smart Campaigns, you now also have the ability to access your account through the Microsoft Advertising mobile app, so you can get started even more quickly with a few taps on your phone. If you’re interested in joining, please fill out the form Microsoft Advertising Smart Campaigns Mobile Pilot.

Happy holidays to you all!

Help us improve Microsoft Advertising

Your comments and feedback are integral to our ongoing efforts to shape and improve our product. For any questions or feedback, please reach out to your Microsoft Advertising account manager, or send us an email at advertising-feedback@microsoft.com. You can also interact with us on Twitter or suggest a feature on Microsoft Advertising Feature Suggestions.