On Wednesday, Microsoft Advertising introduced new audience targeting tools in an open beta that the company’s GM Steve Sirich says secures customer data wrapped in technology, such as audience targeting and artificial intelligence.
Sirich also discussed the positive results of early beta tests and the rollout of the Audience Targeting Playbook later this week.
The Audience Targeting Playbook outlines the success of moving from keywords to audiences, detailing strategies ranging from remarketing and customer match to LinkedIn profile targeting. It shows how to boost bids and improve on targeting by combining the brand’s data with Microsoft data on a variety of platforms.
When asked for Microsoft’s position on the turmoil around big tech’s privacy and data around the U.S. government inquiry, Sirich said “we see these times as a tremendous opportunity, as well as an incredible responsibility.”
That responsibility, he said, means making a “significant” investment in cybersecurity, and taking the time to respect and understand the importance of privacy, and to approach artificial intelligence with an ethical view.
Advertising strategies that rely too heavily on personal data without consent of the consumer will become passé as tighter data protection regulations sweep across the United States.
Product Audiences, one of the platforms used that is similar to Google Dynamic Remarketing, helps brands connect customers to specific products by creating remarketing lists for shopping campaigns.
Unique product IDs track what a customer interacts with while an ad display matches that product ID, helping to reach customers who clearly want to make a purchase. Some early tests by brands, per Sirich, have seen conversion rates double and cost-per-acquisition rates drop by 20%.
The shift from keywords to audiences also promoted Microsoft to build out Similar Audiences, which marketers can use with existing remarketing lists. It gives marketers the opportunity to build lookalike audiences through the Microsoft Graph. Early pilots have seen 70% higher conversion rates from Similar Audiences when compared to non-targeted users for the same ads.
Marketers who run Microsoft Audience Network ads have seen a 37% lift in searches after the consumer viewed the ad, and a 47% lift in clicks, Sirich said. The Microsoft Audience Network places advertising on what the company calls “brand safe” premium sites. Through this, American Advisory Group, a lending company, was able to boost conversions rates by 32.8% through Universal Event Tracking.
Other Microsoft Advertising tools include Responsive Search Ads, which allows brands to provide up to 15 headlines and four descriptions. Microsoft will create and match the best combinations of the most effective ads.