Microsoft launches Microsoft Audience Network
While much of the focus of our blog and indeed digital marketing more widely is on Google — it does account for 90% of searches across its platforms, after all — we must also consider Bing, Google’s closest rival.
While its market dominance may not be as great as Google’s, 12 billion global searches take place on Bing every month — a reach that could be crucial in helping you better connect with your target audience. In fact, doing so has just become a whole lot easier through the launch of Microsoft’s new Microsoft Audience Network.
The new tool uses artificial intelligence to offer advanced audience targeting based on demographic data, Bing search insights and LinkedIn profile information. After gaining these insights, advertisers can then target their chosen audience through the Bing Ads Platform. Not only does this enable ad placements within Bing’s search results, it also allows visibility across MSN, Outlook.com and Microsoft’s other web domains.
As the importance of data to digital marketing grows daily, the rollout has been welcomed by marketers who want further control over the targeting of their campaigns. However, in the wake of the data scandal surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, Microsoft was quick to address data harvesting concerns.
Rik van der Kooi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Microsoft Advertising, said on the issue: “As the use of data increases in our day to day lives, we continue to be deeply committed to privacy and to earning the trust of our customers. We anonymize and secure all data in our advertising systems, prioritize brand safety, and do not allow targeting based on any sensitive categories.”
Advertisers will be able to access the Microsoft Audience Network from the existing Bing search ads interface and will share the same pricing model — meaning advertisers will bid on search terms and pay when a user clicks an ad.
The additional functionality offered through the new Microsoft Audience Network will help digital marketers further refine their paid search campaigns on Bing. Ultimately, this improved refinement could lead to greater targeting accuracy, exposure and revenue generation.