Search engines are now able to leverage their powerful first-party data behind-the-scenes to help brand and agency practitioners manage their bids better using publisher-side auto-bidding optimization. This innovation enables search engines to introduce rich signals in the bidding process. Inturn, automated bidding considers your campaign goals and adjusts your tactics in order to help your ads perform at their best – saving you time and improving ad performance.
One example of this is Microsoft Advertising’s automated bidding solution, now available through Skai’s search platform. After seeing great success with publisher automated bidding, we are excited to add this powerful solution to our offerings. Building on the synergy between Microsoft Adverting and Skai’s search technology, we are developing features on top of automated bidding. One that was recently released, offers marketers scale through the ability to easily mirror automated bidding campaigns across search publishers (Microsoft Advertising and Google).
Diving deeper into what makes this such a great solution for marketers, Skai spoke with Microsoft Advertising’s SeniorMarketing Manager, Aaron Lauper
Five Questions with Microsoft Advertising’s Aaron Lauper on Automated Bidding
What’s the Microsoft Advertising automated bidding solution and why did Microsoft invest in it?
Lauper: Every decision a marketer makes starts with a business goal or desired outcome. Microsoft wants to help marketers achieve their goals in critical areas where they spend a lot of time, such as bid management.
We’ve created a growing list of bid strategies, based on common business or marketing goals. These bid strategies automate the bid management process for marketers, while still allowing for important controls and customizations to adapt the process to account for the fact that every advertiser is unique.
How does it work, and what signals does it use?
Lauper: Microsoft is a very popular publisher, across websites like MSN and Outlook.com and on media and information partner properties such as AOL Yahoo, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal. Microsoft is also a platform for many apps and services across the web. And, of course, the Bing search engine from Microsoft uses cutting-edge technology including artificial intelligence and machine learning.
When you combine all this together, Microsoft can offer a set of bid management strategies to advertisers that better understand users, their purchase intent, and whether a user is likely to find an ad relevant and become a potential customer.
Some of the signals we incorporate into our bid strategies are the search query, match type and ad copy, along with characteristics including a user’s location, device type, operating system, web browser, time of day and day of week.
However, I believe the most important aspect of our automated bidding platform is that our automated bids are recalibrated for each and every auction (i.e., in real time). That allows us to adjust quickly to changes in the marketplace and search behavior all throughout the day.
Which Microsoft Advertising bidding strategies can marketers use?
Lauper: Enhanced CPC, Maximize Clicks, Maximize Conversions and Target Cost Per Acquisition (Target CPA) are widely available to most markets. A month or so ago, we also started an early test on Target Return on Ad Spend (Target ROAS) with a dozen or so advertisers. We hope to expand that to a much wider audience over the next few months as we validate the offering and tune it for improvements. We also have a couple of other bid strategies we’re considering for our next wave of development, including Maximize Conversion Value.
What are the benefits for marketers?
Lauper: The benefits are simple. Achieve your desired business or marketing goals, without all the time, overhead and optimizations needed to manually manage your large and growing set of keyword lists. We have a flexible set of strategies to choose from, all of which tap into our advanced technology stack and apply auction-time bids based on a wide set of user intent signals that we as a platform and publisher can uniquely leverage.
What has been the feedback from Microsoft Advertising customers?
Lauper: More than a third of advertisers’ spend on our platform comes from keywords and campaigns that are using one of our bid strategies — and that’s growing every month. Most of the feedback we received last year was to expand our offerings to include more international markets and more campaign types. We made a lot of progress on that last year. Now, based on feedback, we’ll be focusing this year on expanding our offerings to include new bid strategy types. And, of course, we’ll always be updating and fine-tuning our bid strategies to learn faster and improve the overall performance.
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