Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN)

May 25, 2018 | Chris Caputo


Microsoft has announced it is rolling out a new ad display network labeled Microsoft Audience Network (MSAN). What is the difference between this new advertising platform and Microsoft’s previous version, Bing Audience Network?

The MSAN platform will merge Bing’s organic and paid search expertise with Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and innovative audience graph. Through the MSAN platform, advertisers will be able to expand their reach across a variety of Microsoft and third-party platforms and websites including MSN, Microsoft Outlook, Amazon, and Microsoft Edge.

To help match the right audience to the right ad, Microsoft will be incorporating its Microsoft Graph technology into the MSAN platform. Utilizing AI, this one-of-a-kind graph combines its customer data and search activity insights from Bing, LinkedIn and Microsoft.

Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Search Advertising notes, “It is no longer about optimizing your media spend by channel but understanding your customers and their interests and preferences. And, reaching them at the right moment with the right message that is relevant to them.”

Focused on the true needs of the customer, MSAN is moving away from keywords and narrowing in on what customers are really looking for when searching. This type of advertising structure will provide a happier experience for users and for businesses providing the service.

Additionally, businesses will be able to reach a very specific target audience when advertising. For example, a healthcare provider wanting to reach a specific demographic or location will be able to deliver its message to an audience that specifically meets the outlined criteria based on Microsoft’s AI graph and technology. The goal of the MSAN platform is to help deliver ads to the right audience, bringing users into the middle or bottom of the funnel with the hopes of driving higher conversions in less time.

Advantages for B2B Marketing

The MSAN ad platform offers many advantages for businesses focused on B2B marketing. Through a partnership with LinkedIn, MSAN will have access to LinkedIn’s member details such as company name, industry, and title, allowing businesses to better target and reach C-suite executives. Additionally, users of the MSAN platform will have access to Bing’s audience – which includes a slightly older demographic than other search engine audiences. Users of Bing tend to:

  • range in age of 35-65
  • hold higher degrees
  • spend 135% more on purchases than other competitive search engines

Testing the MSAN Platform

As a Google AdWords user, it is hard to imagine investing advertising budget in a new platform, but MSAN makes it easy to upload current AdWords campaigns right into the platform. This way, if you know a campaign is already successful in Google AdWords, it may be worth a testing performance on MSAN. This functionality will allow you to compare results and analytics of both platforms and search engines and help you identify if the campaign performed better on one platform over the other. If anything, running a digital advertising test on MSAN could be beneficial, especially if your campaign focuses on B2B marketing.

Topics: Social Media Customer Experience AI

About the Author
Chris Caputo

Chris Caputo is a strategic marketing technologist with over 20 years of BtoB, BtoC and agency experience. An accomplished strategic marketing leader, Chris has extensive experience architecting marketing communication plans, digital marketing roadmaps, user experience planning, and developing digital customer acquisition, conversion and retention strategies. Having led BtoB marketing departments for a variety of companies and digital agencies, Chris has developed a rounded set of skills that include a depth of multiple marketing disciplines (PR, Advertising & Direct Marketing) overlapped with Digital, Print and Broadcast channels.

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