In a major rebrand announced on Monday, Bing Ads has been renamed Microsoft Advertising. A blog post this week by Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President Microsoft Advertising, also announced new sponsored products, an update to the Microsoft Audience Network and a focus on personalisation and AI.
“In the next year, we’re introducing more advertising products with built-in AI, more connected to your data and your business.”
Microsoft is focusing on AI with intent data driving personalisation and product innovation, and new advertising products that go “above and beyond search”.
Microsoft announced the introduction of new Sponsored Products, to enable manufacturers to boost visibility and drive more traffic for their top products in shopping campaigns. Manufacturers will be able to access to new reporting and optimization capabilities, and retailers will receive additional product marketing support with a fair cost split.
Advertisers can apply to join the Sponsored Products beta, currently available in the US only.
Microsoft Audience Network
The Microsoft Audience Network, which uses AI, rich audience intent, and profile understanding has been updated with several product enhancements “including viewable impressions, image upload and management tool updates to make managing images even easier”. Audience campaigns will be rolled out to the UK and Canada later this summer.
Microsoft said the name change was a simple shift, with people already knowing the company as Microsoft. However, Bing is not disappearing as a brand.
“Bing remains the consumer search brand in our portfolio, and will only become more important as intent data drives more personalization and product innovation.”
Microsoft Advertising currently has 500,000 advertisers which, while sizeable, is not in the same league as the tech giants Google and Facebook. Facebook has more than 6m active advertisers. Google last year rebranded its advertising arm AdWords to become Google Ads.
In a nod to the recent data privacy issues faced by the tech giants Microsoft noted the continuing importance of advancing trust alongside innovation.
“Adopting personalization through AI elevates the importance of consumer privacy and control. Integrating intelligent technology into the marketer’s toolkit means valuing brand safety and ensuring data security.“