Microsoft on Monday officially changed the name of its advertising business from Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising, creating a business unit to support a line of advertising services it will launch in the coming months.
Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice president at Microsoft Advertising, wrote in a post that Microsoft Advertising will become the umbrella for all the company's ad products as it continues to branch out from search into other digital media and products, such as those offered through the Microsoft Audience Network.
The changes begin today, as BingAds.com becomes MicrosoftAdvertising.com. Microsoft's partner program name also will change, renamed to the Microsoft Advertising Partner Program. The company said it makes sense to rebrand the business with a name that advertisers and consumers already trust.
The move was supported by more than eight years of consecutive Bing share growth as well as 500,000 advertisers with access to more than half a billion consumers. Microsoft also became the exclusive provider of search advertising across Verizon Media properties.
Research analysts at the digital agency Merkle wrote in its first-quarter 2019 Digital Marketing Report that Microsoft's deal with Verizon has the potential to slow the growth of Google Shopping, since Yahoo -- a Verizon Media company -- will no longer serve ads from its Gemini platform or Google Ads in its results. Verizon began to make the transition in March.
Google had been running Google Shopping Ads since 2016.
During the coming months, all of Microsoft's “experiences and materials” will change their name to reflect a series of products under the Microsoft Advertising brand.
Bing will remain the search engine brand for consumers within Microsoft Advertising's portfolio of products. A variety of other ad products will launch in the near future.
Within the next year, for example, Microsoft Advertising will introduce products with artificial intelligence that connect to advertisers’ data and businesses through the Microsoft Audience Network and Sponsored Products.
New capabilities through the Microsoft Audience Network will include updates such as enhancements to viewable impressions, image upload and tools to make managing images easier.
Citing Steven Sun, manager of paid search at Overstock.com, Microsoft said the company has achieved a 33% increase in return on ad spend since using the Microsoft Audience Network.
Microsoft also will extend its audience campaigns to the United Kingdom and Canada later this summer.
Sponsored Products, only available in the United States, will give brands a lift to increase visibility and drive more traffic for top products in shopping campaigns. New reporting and optimization capabilities for advertisers, and additional product marketing support with a fair cost split for retailers, also are being introduced.
All existing Microsoft Shopping Campaigns reports will work for Sponsored Products campaigns, according to Microsoft. Retailers will see the impact of Sponsored Products in the Product dimensions and Production partition reports.
Both reports will contain information on Assisted Impressions and Assisted Clicks and with conversion tracking enabled, Assisted Conversions. Each column will track impressions, clicks, and conversions on a Sponsored Product campaign.