The ads engineering team at Microsoft has long been focused on bringing parity to Google Ads. While that still remains a focus, there has recently been an accelerated push to develop and release product differentiators – features that Google Ads doesn’t offer.
Vaishali De, a group product manager at Microsoft (who will also be keynoting at SMX Advanced in June), provided a product roadmap update to agency marketers at the Microsoft Advertising Partner Summit in Seattle this week. She highlighted many of these differentiators.
By my count, there are currently 10 product features available or in pilot that are only offered in Microsoft Advertising (the new name for the Bing Ads brand which retired Monday). We’ve rounded them up here.
Current product differentiators in pilot or available in Microsoft Advertising:
- Ad customizers by audience: In addition to being able to customize ads by keyword, location, ad group or campaign, advertisers can apply ad customizers by audience.
- Video extensions, in pilot. A video thumbnail can be displayed in the right corner of ads in position one.
- Dynamic product extensions, in pilot. A list of product links display below the ad description with sale and original prices.
- Dynamic data extension, in pilot. Powered by business data feeds, these can display as structured data tables.
- Action extensions launched in all markets in April. When enabled, a large call-to-action will display in your ads.
- Filter link extension, in pilot.
- Image extension, available in all markets
- Flyer extension, in pilot
- Review extension, available in all markets (Google discontinued its version more than a year ago.)
- 3D ads, in pilot. A “See 3D View” button appears in Bing Knowledge panels. When users click, it brings up an image that users can manipulate, access more product data and more. Here’s a a look at what the experience looks like.
The company is also committed to its Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN) native ads solution. It’s taking a methodical approach to expanding distribution to select search syndication partners to serve the ads beyond MSN, Outlook and the Edge browser.
Other initiatives that aren’t unique, but are on the product roadmap for this year and next include several audience targeting options such as customer match, custom combinations, similar audiences, in-market audiences and product audiences.
Additionally, Microsoft Advertising is investing in retail solutions. Online to offline attribution is coming via a partnership with LiveRamp in the US and UK, and Store Visits attribution is under development. The Microsoft Shopping Assistant is a browser extension that enables price comparisons and notifies users of price changes. “More like this” recommendations are powered by Product Ads.