Always looking to pull market share from Google, in September Microsoft launched the open beta of two new audience targeting solutions, both proven to enhance campaign performance in pilot tests.
Microsoft Product Audiences
Microsoft Product Audiences allow paid search advertisers to remarket to consumers based on purchase intent, as demonstrated through product searches. Unique product IDs track consumer interactions. In a pilot study, Product Audiences doubled conversion rates and lowered the cost per acquisition (CPA) by 40%, according to Microsoft. Product Audiences are currently available in beta in the U.S. and a handful of additional countries.
Microsoft Similar Audiences
Deploying Microsoft data, Microsoft Similar Audiences help advertisers get products in front of lookalike consumers, those with interests similar to consumers on brands’ remarketing lists. According to Microsoft, Similar Audiences boosted conversion rates by 70% in pilot tests.
Steve Sirich, General Manager of Microsoft Advertising, recently explained that Microsoft has “evolved from keyword attribution to more audience attribution as we [Micorosoft] develop our AI work and Microsoft Graph.” The Microsoft Graph is “built on rich consumer understanding through robust data sets, including search and web activity, demographic and consumer data and global LinkedIn member profiles.”
Microsoft holds just a small portion of the total online search queries in the U.S., but as of Q2 2019 it had one-third of the mobile paid search click share. Targeting enhancements that result in parity with Google’s advertising functionality should help Microsoft better compete, especially as marketers look for alternatives to Google in light of reports about high volumes of no-click searches.
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