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10 reasons why the Microsoft Audience Network is a must-buy

A group of people sitting in an office around a coffee table discuss a topic.

The need to forge more direct relationships with publishers, especially with strong first-party data, is driving advertisers to rethink some past objections about the Microsoft Audience Network.

With the deprecation of third-party cookies and the new privacy landscape, advertisers need partnerships that offer robust artificial intelligence (AI) solutions powered by first-party data at scale.

Currently, over 85% of digital advertising is sold programmatically, and 67% of programmatic advertising is direct, meaning it doesn’t go through a demand-side platform (DSP). Why? Ease, speed and trust. That’s where the Microsoft Audience Network comes into play.

Advantages of the Microsoft Audience Network

There are many advantages to partnering with an industry-trusted partner like Microsoft Advertising. Still, none are more significant than access to our first-party proprietary data—which nobody else can claim.

Microsoft Audience Ads run on Microsoft properties made up of more than 20 billion daily cross-screen signals available exclusively through the Microsoft Audience Network. These include MSN, Outlook.com, Microsoft Edge, and audience signals from LinkedIn that aren’t shared with anyone else.

Microsoft and the Microsoft Audience Network follow strict processes to remain compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) to maintain control over our first-party data. We allow data in from advertisers, but no data out.

We own our data, meaning we understand our audience and perform better. Our audience ads delivered 2x higher click-through rates (CTRs) on MSN, 2.1x higher CTRs on Outlook.com, and 3x higher CTRs on publisher partners when compared with other native platforms and DSPs delivering ads on the same properties.

If that’s surprising, read on and we’ll give you 10 more reasons why you should rethink all your past objections to the Microsoft Audience Network.

1. We’re already running on Microsoft properties through other native platforms. Why would we buy Microsoft Audience Network directly?

The MSN.com average CTR on the Microsoft Audience Network is 2x higher than on other native platforms delivering ads on MSN.com.

MSN.com is a part of the Microsoft Audience Network and uses our audience intelligence and rich user understanding to power our performance. Our unique data and targeting signals aren’t available to any other
native partners.

While we perform a privacy-safe ID match with other native partners, they must use their own data and signals matched to their user IDs to target the intended audience. Only Microsoft Audience Network ads will serve on the homepage for Windows feed and native placements on Microsoft Bing.

2. Why would we run on the Microsoft Audience Network when other platforms are built further and more mature in their offerings?

The Microsoft Audience Network is growing and evolving, and there’s an opportunity for you to be a key partner and explore those learnings before the competition. Plus, our performance is better in many areas.

We have first-party audiences only available to us, and we’re integrated with LiveRamp, Adobe, and BlueKai.

3. The Microsoft Audience Network doesn’t offer enough scale or volume

When you advertise on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network, you can reach customers across multiple touchpoints, getting high-quality clicks and conversions at scale. With both networks, we reach over half a billion people worldwide and have seen a 110% click growth year-over-year.

4. We’re running a shopping campaign on Microsoft Bing and it’s not driving volume, so why expand to the Microsoft Audience Network?

Running a shopping campaign on the Microsoft Audience Network is the easiest way to extend reach. It’s also a top-performing lower-funnel solution that any advertiser should use. If you can’t find your audience on the Microsoft Bing search engine results page (SERP), you can find them across sites that make up the Microsoft Audience Network, including MSN, Outlook.com, and Microsoft Edge.

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

5. We have limited bandwidth and assets for new campaigns or platforms

Setup and management on the Microsoft Audience Network is as fast and seamless as any platform can be. It’s effortless to import from the Google Display Network, Kenshoo, or Facebook.

We have several creative options for imagery with our Creator tools and partnership with Shutterstock. Plus, you can use what you already have on other platforms or your website with different ad text. This will prevent user fatigue and allow our algorithms to use the variation in ad copy to increase performance.

  • Try 300 million commercially licensed images from our Shutterstock library built within Microsoft Advertising UI.
  • Use Creator tools to pull images directly from your website pages—which will already be brand approved. Plus, if you want to add any effects or cropping, you can do that right in the tool’s built in smart effects.

6. We’re concerned about brand safety on the Microsoft Advertising Network

Besides being GDPR and CCPA compliant, we also offer Integral Ad Science (IAS) and the NewsGuard trust rating across networks. Additionally, we have strict publisher standards backed by AI technology.

We provide advertisers with full transparency regarding where their ads are delivered across our network and offer the ability to exclude domains.

MSN.com/Microsoft Edge

  • All articles are editorially reviewed and approved.
  • A global negative block list is used to suppress ads on article pages where the content is deemed unsafe.
  • Partnership with NewsGuard is included for all users.

Outlook.com

  • Ads are shown at the top of the “other” inbox vs. “personal” inbox.
  • One click text-only experience.
  • Ads are targeted based on audience signals captured from search and browsing history, not email content.

Publisher sites

  • We have a dedicated team that carefully vets every domain to ensure they meet our quality and performance criteria.
  • Domains that don’t meet our standards are excluded from our network.
  • Recent Integration as a Service (IAS) integration, with a phased approach.

7. I don’t see how Microsoft’s Audience Intelligence is different from
my DSP

Microsoft Audience Intelligence consists of unique consumer permissioned data processed by AI. We apply machine learning to define audiences’ data and signals across Microsoft Bing, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft News, and LinkedIn. Our audiences are based on attributes, including product, brand and content preferences, purchases, demographics, and location.

With all this knowledge, we deliver targeting that helps you pinpoint your ideal audience at the right time to provide more relevant messages based on audience intent.

8. I need a DSP to monitor attribution and frequency capping across channels

Based on user interaction with the ad, we have a global frequency cap to prevent user fatigue. More importantly, while moving into the cookieless future, there will be a reset in the way that companies can provide attribution and frequency capping solutions across channels.

In this new world, direct relationships will provide better attribution and frequency capping while DSPs work to revisit their solutions.

9. My DSP makes sure that I get the most affordable rates

Unlike DSPs, we don’t pay or charge for data, we don’t have any minimum spending or fees for data or targeting, and you only pay for performance. Our integrations with various DMPs, APIs, and brand safety partnerships come at no cost to advertisers.

10. We can’t run on syndication

The Microsoft Audience Network isn’t syndication; it’s our native advertising solution similar to the Facebook Audience Network and the Google Display Network. Advertisers have the control to opt out of specific domains while continuing to receive our audience intelligence.

If you still have objections to Microsoft Advertising, consider these facts:

The Microsoft Audience Network is powered by +20 billion daily signals of first-party data unique to Microsoft—including search intent from Microsoft Bing, browser data from Microsoft Edge, and profiles from LinkedIn —to pinpoint your target audience and connect with the right message.

  • 16 billion monthly global searches.
  • 600 million devices with Microsoft Edge installed.
  • 484 million monthly unique visitors.
  • 108 million monthly unique visitors.

Want to learn more about the options available to you through the Microsoft Audience Network? Reach out to our support team today.

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