Do ad networks have a future in an exchange-enabled world?
With both an ad exchange and a network in its portfolio, Microsoft Advertising is particularly interested in the answer to this question. In this three part series hear how Microsoft, while bringing its Advertising Exchange to market, is simultaneously evolving its Media Network to capitalize on the changing dynamics of an RTB-enabled ecosystem. Click here for Part 1
Part 2: Microsoft’s Evolution of the Media Network
At Microsoft, we believe firmly that ad networks will continue to have a place, though for traditional networks, adaptation is a must. This channel has proven incredibly resilient over the years, so we have faith that many networks will find a way to not only survive, but thrive in the new environment; others, however, will have challenges that they can’t overcome.
The evolution of our Network product offering over the past year or so provides a lot of insight into how we are answering this question. We remain singularly focused on helping marketers reach their audience and achieve specific outcomes at scale. Increasingly, to do this ad networks need to leverage some unique piece of data or technology. At Microsoft, we have several unique offerings that aren’t easily replicated, and only get better in an exchange-enabled environment that can help them scale. Here is a small sampling:
Custom Database Targeting
- Many marketers have a customer or prospect database full of offline names and contact information. But very few of them have a specific cookies associated with them.
- Microsoft has 550 million registered users with a Windows Live ID. We use this asset to help buyers find their customers online.
- With Custom Database Targeting, we match up our database of Windows Live ID’s with an advertiser’s offline database to create a targetable cookie pool.
- The breadth of Microsoft’s authenticated user base makes this offering very difficult for most networks to match.
- Search has long been one of the best indicators of consumer intent, but the opportunity to reach people who have searched for a specific term has been limited to a few characters of text alongside a search result.
- With the number of search providers dwindling fast, we are one of the best places to target display advertising to customers who have searched for a specific group of keywords.
CPG Online Effect
- Without an online store to measure conversions, or even an expectation to visit a web site, CPG advertisers have had a difficult time measuring the sales impact of specific campaigns.
- Microsoft has partnered with comScore, who leverages loyalty card databases covering 75 million households, to build and report against specific audience segments custom made for a CPG advertiser.
- Using this methodology, we can create custom targeting pools and track the impact of online marketing, quantifying the sales lift of a particular campaign.
These are examples of the direction that we are heading in with the Microsoft Media Network. There is an emphasis on unique data, and on the hard problems that aren’t easily solved by any old ad network.
Check in tomorrow to hear how our Exchange allows marketers to take advantage of unique solutions provided by other networks, while maintaining access to Microsoft’s premium inventory.