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Microsoft Advertising is continuing to invest in audience targeting products. “[Our offerings have] evolved from keyword attribution to more audience attribution as we develop our AI work and Microsoft Graph,” said Microsoft Advertising GM, Steve Sirich, in a phone interview Tuesday. “We continue to drive more aggressively into audience marketing.

Two audience solutions are now in open beta, the company announced Wednesday. Product audiences is aimed at converting past site visitors, while similar audiences can help advertisers reach more new customers.

Product audiences in open beta. In time for the holiday shopping season, product audiences now available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, India, France and Germany.

Product audiences are retargeting lists for specific products in your shopping campaigns. Triggered via product IDs, users can be retargeted with products they’ve previously engaged with on your site. This is similar to Google Ads’ shopping retargeting lists.

Microsoft says early testing has shown up to 40% lower acquisition costs and 100% higher conversion rates from these audiences.

Similar audiences in U.S. open beta. Similar audiences (also known as lookalikes in other platforms) can be used to broaden your prospecting reach. “Similar audiences leverages our ability to take partner data and extrapolate it across the Microsoft audience to improve conversion rates and ROI,” said Sirich.

In the similar audiences pilot, advertisers saw up to 70% higher conversions, says Microsoft.

Why we should care. These two initiatives bring parity with Google Ads offerings. Microsoft is well aware of its position in the market and the need to reduce friction for advertisers to get campaigns up and running and the importance of having parity with Google when it makes sense.

“We continue to tune the platform for greater efficiency. Share of mind is critical given our size,” said Sirich. These efforts include ongoing updates to Google Import capabilities. In that vein, campaign-level audience associations and bid adjustments are now available to all advertisers. Earlier this month, Microsoft opened up the responsive search ads beta.

However, it has also been building out features that are unique to the platform and that tap into the intent signals of the Microsoft Graph.

The Microsoft Audience Network, for example, uses machine learning and Microsoft Graph data (including LinkedIn profile dimensions) to extend search campaigns to target users across,, the Edge browser and Microsoft syndication partners. Microsoft says MSAN ads have driven 37% lift in searches post-exposure and 47% lift in clicks post-exposure for advertisers running them.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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