Why Microsoft Is Giving Away Some Data Integration To Sell More Ads

Taking a page from Gillette’s brilliant marketing strategy of giving away the razors and selling the razor blades, Microsoft this week announced it is giving away a valuable add-on to its massive consumer database so it can sell more advertising to marketers.

On Tuesday, during its Business Applications Summit, Microsoft announced that marketers subscribing to its Dynamics 360 consumer database can now integrate its Consumer Insights add-on into Microsoft Advertising for no additional cost. The goal obviously is twofold: One, to get more utility out of the consumer database, and secondly, to drive more Microsoft Advertising sales.

"Advertisers can now bring their customer segments from Dynamics 365 Customer Insights into the Microsoft Advertising platform to target on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network using 'customer match' targeting," explains Microsoft Senior Product Manager Ankit Kapoor.



Not surprisingly, Kapoor touts the fact that the integration comes as cookies are being phased out, making a marketer’s own first-party data -- and the ability to integrated it with various media audience segments -- even more valuable.

“Let’s imagine you’re a retailer, with both an online presence and a brick-and-mortar presence, managing your online and offline businesses separately,” Kapoor says, citing how the integration enables marketers to “bring together your online and offline data in one location to better understand your customer interactions across all channels."

Importantly, he notes that it’s not just Microsoft Advertising, but "other ad platforms" that will benefit from the enhanced consumer insights targeting.

“These segments can be also used on other destinations outside of advertising including Marketo, MailChimp, dotdigital, SendGrid and Autopilot,” he notes, adding: "Segments could include customers who have purchased in-store but never online, customers who returned a product and haven’t purchased since, and even frequent purchasers who have shown interest in other product lines."

He adds: "Let’s take this one step further. A customer hasn’t bought online and has an affinity to a brand that you sell. You can now target that audience with the same message on all advertising platforms as a single audience -- inviting them to purchase again from you.”

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