Last Updated on December 23, 2020
Bing Ads’ most recent transformation came in 2019 when it rebranded itself as Microsoft Advertising. Previously, the platform was known as Microsoft adCenter.
As with any rebranding, changes are at the forefront to give the new product a fresh face and a bit of curiosity for those on the outside looking in. Likewise, when you are trying to get the interest of people that are afraid to try a new product, you need to present your new and updated features in a new way.
Do I Really Care About the New Microsoft Advertising Changes?
This rebranding is focused on personalization and artificial intelligence. Microsoft plans to introduce more built-in UI with more advertising products, keeping you intricately connected to your business.
Rik van der Kooi, corporate VP for Microsoft Advertising, said in a blog post on April 28th, “It’s a simple shift because our clients and partners already know us as Microsoft, and many are already tapping into our new advertising products that go above and beyond search, such as the Microsoft Audience Network.”
While Bing has made a name for itself, reverting to using Microsoft gives them more leverage and influence.
A year ago, Microsoft launched Microsoft Audience Network. This is the AI (Artificial Intelligence) backbone giving them the means to be more innovative. While machine learning makes a marketer’s job easier, it is also looked at as intrusive by the public. For example, governments are taking action to maintain privacy for users on all platforms. Microsoft is keeping the ethical and human input in their decisions.
The Microsoft Audience Network takes data from its PPC advertising marketplaces. It learns about client objectives to be able to make recommendations for advertisers. Microsoft has added the human factor into its process. It is refined by Microsoft’s knowledge of the businesses they serve and their goals.
Reflections of The Past
The previous rebranding came from an attempt to focus on search advertising. That was the birth of Bing Ads while putting to rest adCenter 2012. After that, Microsoft and Yahoo teamed together to create what was known as Yahoo Bing Network.
Yahoo was listed before Bing in the new name, but they bowed out of the search ad delivery in 2018. Subsequently, Bing claimed exclusive rights to the search platform on Yahoo and AOL.
While this transformation was going on, Google was rebranding itself from AdWords to Google Ads. That evolution was a change from a keyword-based search to one that supports a variety of formats. For example, these now include text, shopping, display, video, and app install. These were found across their extended network including, YouTube, Gmail, and Maps along with their search partner sites and apps.
More Changes with Microsoft Ads
Microsoft has renamed the Bing Ads Partner Program to Microsoft Advertising Partner Program. Rick van der Kooi says Bing is not going anywhere. He stated, “Bing remains the consumer search brand in our portfolio…” This is important in the fact that having the confidence of your product. He goes on to say that we “will only become more important as intent data drives more personalization and product innovation.” Users can make better decisions and choices using improved search results through intent data. This becomes more important each day.Learning is always a good thing and Microsoft has given us a fantastic opportunity for learning the new features they have introduced. Click To Tweet
Microsoft Advertising Partner Program
The Microsoft Advertising Partner Program gives business owners more time to grow their business. This is done by working with an advertising expert. Members of the Partner Program are agencies in the advertising industry with extensive knowledge of digital search technology and solutions. Consequently, they can be effective due to the data available through Microsoft Advertising. Many will even provide white label solutions. In each case, partners provide expert service to clients to achieve maximum results in Microsoft Advertising. It is possible to find an agency that can enable one to be an online marketing reseller to expand business even further.
The Power of Momentum
Over the previous decade, Bing reached a milestone of 100 months (about 8 and a half years) of consecutive Bing share growth. This was done while serving a half million advertisers. Subsequently, they became the exclusive advertiser for Verizon Media.
In the first year, Microsoft introduced more products with AI to be more connected to your data and your business. The Microsoft Audience Network and Sponsored Products are two ways they are delivering on this potential.
Microsoft Audience Network
In 2018, Microsoft Audience Network was launched. It used AI, rich audience intent, and profile understanding. This helps marketers reach consumers in brand-safe environments. More recently, they have released product advancements in viewable impressions, image upload, and management tools to manage images easier.
As in Google, Microsoft Advertising has made big improvements in their shopping environment. Sponsored Products enabled manufacturers the ability to boost visibility. This also delivered more traffic for their best moving products. Now Microsoft Advertising clients can better align marketing efforts between manufacturers and retailers.
Microsoft Advertising UI Improvements
One of the more recent changes in Microsoft Advertising’s rebranding is the UI, user interface, within the ad manager. While the Microsoft Merchant Center is only accessible through the old UI you can still import from Google into Microsoft. When the Merchant Center is updated, this should remain unchanged.
The Microsoft Merchant Center is not the only thing not available in the new UI, bulk operations are another. The changes needed for a project of any magnitude, including any back end fixes, is an enormous task. It is certainly one I would not want to be involved with.
Pieces and Parts
As with other paid platforms, the Overview section allows a quick performance review of all accounts in your Business Manager. This screen may not let you know which account needs attention more than another but there is plenty of information for an overall health check.
The Account Summary gives you high-level information for an individual account and gives detailed information on the account’s health. You can select the most important columns for that client and set segments to see more details. When you are informed the new UI is available, your column views will transfer over to the new UI.
Microsoft Ads Tools
Like the new Google Ads tools menu, the most noticeable is the link to the Microsoft Ad Editor under the Bulk Actions column. The Import and Reports options continue to give you features you will recognize from the old UI.
With the Google redesigned UI, we had to hunt down or wait on some features. At this point, Microsoft has not included the Opportunities button, but it may find a new home soon.
In the End
With all the updates and upgrades made in the past year to rebrand Bing into Microsoft Advertising, we have seen several improvements to existing features along with a few new features. Learning is always a good thing and Microsoft has given us a fantastic opportunity for learning the new features they have introduced.
Keep your eyes open for more changes.