Marketers in France and Singapore can now bid directly on keywords within MSN Search.
NEW YORK - Microsoft's MSN has launched its paid search service in France and Singapore, according to the portal's SVP Yusuf Mehdi.
Mehdi described the service, which is powered by MSN's in-development adCenter platform, during his keynote address at the kick-off of Advertising Week in New York.
The features resemble those now available through Google AdSense and Yahoo Search Marketing, but with some twists. They include a manual keyword selection tool, a "site analyzer" keyword suggestion module, demographic targeting, and assistance with budget allocation. The launches -- today in France and on August 31 in Singapore -- follow pilot programs in both countries.
The service is the first component of a total ad management platform that the Microsoft will use to sell media across all its channels and properties. Mehdi said adCenter will offer media planning and buying across everything from Web to email to interactive TV.
Mehdi admitted the current functionality is "paid search as you know it today, but we introduced better audience intelligence. You can do amazing research even before you start a campaign."
He said, for instance, that wine marketers in the French beta have called up detailed demographic information on who searches for "vin" (wine) by age.
During his address, Mehdi also commented on a recent reorganization at Microsoft, which brought MSN together under the same umbrella as Windows. He said advertising sales would get a much higher priority at the company.
"Advertising is no longer an MSN effort," he said. "It's a Microsoft effort. [We will] bring advertising into all of our experiences, whether it's a Windows experience or an Office experience." He said platforms such as Microsoft TV, Xbox 360 and phones would also be likely targets to display advertising.
Beta users of MSN adCenter have reported overall good experiences with the platform, sharing their impressions in a forum thread hosted by WebMasterWorld.com. They particularly like its easy of use and research and targeting tools, but characterize the budget allocation features as a bit weak. One post cited a "targeted bidding" function that lets marketers deliver ads to users in a specific location, or those searching during a specific day-part or day-of-week.
MSN is expected to begin an invitation-only U.S. beta of adCenter next month.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT