Unknown Speaker 0:11
Next up, we’ve got john Lee, himself from Microsoft, one of our platform friends. And John’s going to talk about something I’m, I’m really interested in hearing, which is the Microsoft audience network.
Unknown Speaker 0:31
Thank you, David. Can everybody hear and see? Can you guys hear me? Okay? Yes,
Unknown Speaker 0:42
Unknown Speaker 0:43
Awesome. Just want to sort of confirm. All right. Well, again, thanks for having me. We’re gonna talk about the Microsoft audience network. But before we get to that, who am I? So hi, I’m john. I occasionally like long walks on the beach. I’m the head of evangelism at Microsoft advertising, which means I get to be here talking with all of you, I do all the writing, manage a group of influencers, several of which are on this call those here today. It’s a great, it’s a great job, and I love getting to work with all of you. 15 years in this industry, that number keeps getting bigger, and I keep feeling older. Outside of marketing and advertising, you know, again, I’ll talk with anybody on anything that that excites me that includes tech, music, games, motorcycles, you name it. So that’s a little bit about me. For today, in our path to native advertising success, we’ll talk a little bit about the native opportunity, give you the quick rundown of what the Microsoft audience network is lovingly known as M sand. We all love our acronyms. Right? Talk a little bit about AD effectiveness and performance, walk through the different flavors of running ads on the audience network, and then go through some tools for success. So with that, let’s jump right in the native advertising market opportunity. It’s a big, big, big industry 2019, it was around 44 billion, projected by 2025 to be around 400 billion. I don’t I didn’t do the math. See what that percentage increases. But that’s a massive growth trajectory. And again, that growth where that boom is that’s just pure native advertising that doesn’t take into account social and video. So we’re talking about Facebook today. And of course, there’s YouTube, are they 100 pound gorilla in every room? But, you know, in this case, this is just pure, pure native advertising. So a lot of opportunity. And, again, it’s about the consumer engagement, right? That’s where native advertising really shines. And so, you know, when when customers consumers have been polled, 71% of them have said, yes, they personally identified with a brand after viewing a native ad. And those ads registered 80%, higher lift in purchase intent than a traditional display banner ad. Those are big numbers, pointing to effectiveness, right. And that’s really what we and Microsoft advertising have been looking to tap into with the Microsoft audience network. And so what is it in in a nutshell, high quality, native placements, yes, it’s Microsoft properties. That’s where this started. So MSN, the Edge browser, right, then the launch screen of the Edge browser, Outlook calm. But now we’ve added a very large number. In fact, I can’t even keep track of the number of high quality publishers. And you know, if any of you have had run campaigns with us on the audience network, you may have seen that growth, particularly over the past six to 12 months of additional publishers being added to that queue. But again, the key here is high quality publishers. And it’s brand safe. And we’ll dig a little bit deeper into what that means for us. It’s very unique access into the Microsoft user base when we think about everything that is Microsoft, but the big ones being being Yes. You know, MSN, yes, LinkedIn is another huge one. It’s a unique way to tap into that data set. And, of course, all that powered by that data and brought to you in meaningful ways and surfaced as targeting which leads to strong results. So the quick pitches, it’s programmatic native, that’s infeed, right? It’s infeed native ads offered to you from a cost per click standpoint, not CPM. And it’s it’s a direct engagement right? So what’s a click through to your landing page? How does that surface so big, bold, beautiful image ads. That example there on the left is showing the MSN.
Unknown Speaker 5:14
But it’s also product ads. So it’s both of these angles, right? It’s it’s a direct native ad that you’re building, say, hey, I want this beautiful lifestyle shot. But it’s also Hey, I’ve got a product feed. And I want to plug in and actually serve my products to consumers. We’ll dig into both of those. That’s part of the flavor section coming up. So brand safety. And, you know, what does it mean to be a brand safe environment? Well, there’s a lot that goes into that. So yes, it’s it’s standards, right? How do we pick and choose publishers? You know, when it’s our own properties, that’s, that’s easy to do. But when you’re working with partners, things get a little more challenged, you could say, but it’s also what are we doing from an advertiser control and transparency perspective. And so there’s editorial reviews, there’s a mix of machine learning AI pieces, but also just real people going through and doing live editing. And then, of course, ad placement, quality monitoring, what did these ads look like in the wild? Are they surfacing in a way that’s meaningful, useful, impactful, and most importantly, driving positive? performance? Right, within a campaign? It’s that ability to exclude sites, right? So saying, Hey, you know, what, I’m showing them this, you know, this, this track phone thing? What is this? It’s not performing. Okay, we hear you excluded for 45 minutes. If everybody could mute, please, thank you. Also, from a brand safety perspective, so for those of you that are aware of the programmatic and native industry, which is not new by any stretch of the imagination, there are systems there are controls out there that provide layers of brand safety and integral ad science, right, I use one of those entities. And so back in September, we made the announcement that we’ve formally partnered with IAS and have have that as a layer across the entirety of the Microsoft audience network, saying, pre click right before you have paid for a click, we have this layer in place to ensure brand safety for you. And so a lot of work has gone into that over the last couple of years. But it’s this is native, right, and we touched on part of that market opportunity is the meaningful consumer engagement opportunity that’s available to you. And that’s all about providing high quality, highly personalized engagements with the end user. And that’s where this thing really shines. And so you know, fun, fun, pretty animation here, how he’s loved the slides, I didn’t make this sort of, I won’t, I won’t take credit for it. But just saying, Hey, there are real people, on the other end of these data points with these these targeting aspects, right? Yes, it’s the Microsoft data, it’s being it’s LinkedIn, it’s MSN, etc. But what that means is, is that as someone is going about their day, and doing searches, reading content, looking at, you know, you name it retail site, you know, maybe dropping a product into their cart, that data is surfacing, then for you, as targeting criteria. Whether that’s traditional remarketing in market, which we’re going to come to some data points on in market audiences here in a minute, custom audiences. So again, if you’re already working with a data management platform, your DMP plugin, right, bring in, get that connected, dynamic remarketing, similar audiences, customer matching, etc, etc, etc. So it’s a very big pool, and would be remiss to not call out LinkedIn. Right. So LinkedIn profile targeting is another big, big piece here. And where we see a lot of positivity is,
Unknown Speaker 9:13
Unknown Speaker 9:14
you have the opportunity to target consumers throughout the customer journey. And when you think of it from the customer journey matched to targeting criteria, you can start to make sense, okay, whether it’s awareness and thinking, Hey, now I want to do some sort of a broad scope, just, you know, big wide brush stroke, targeting you maybe it’s similar audiences to consideration and you know, that’s in market, it’s LinkedIn profile targeting, maybe it’s plugging your shopping feed down to conversion, right, where we’ve got that dynamic remarketing piece, which is so powerful, but even past that when we think about customer loyalty, maintaining and expanding, there’s a criteria targeting criteria that can match throughout that funnel. So what what is the mean then in terms of performance? So I’ll approach this in a couple of different views. So when you think MSN, you think outlook.com, and many of our publishers, the microbalance network, MSN is one of multiple potential native ad providers. And so, okay, well, what’s happening there, right, we have data points to see, particularly when it’s our own properties to say, Okay, how does the performance shake out, and so on MSN, which was one of our biggest placements here, an ad that’s been created and run through Microsoft advertising, targeting the Microsoft audience network has to x the click through rate of another native ad that’s being served on an MSN. But what does it mean exactly? Well, it means that we’re giving you the tools and providing the guidance to create a big, bold, beautiful ad write a wonderful image, layered with great ad copy, right, and that experience is driving a big boost in click through rate. And the same goes for outlook.com. When you look at our publisher partners, that number goes up even higher. So three and a half times the click through rate compared to other native ad providers on those same sites. We did a brand, sorry, not a brand strike that an ad lift survey. So looking at what is happening when consumers are engaging with these native ads, and particularly when they engage in a native ad and engage with a search ad. But just looking at an awareness, consideration of purchase, with ads served through the Microsoft audience network, 147%, lift in awareness, over 300% lift in consideration, and a 236% lift in purchase intent. Those are really, really big numbers. But then, where things really get interesting, right, so remarketing, and market audiences are really the two big I would call them tent poles from a targeting perspective here in market audiences is where things really, really really shine on the Microsoft audience network. So just comparing those two different targeting modalities in market audiences are driving 190%, higher purchase consideration. And when you are, well, I’m sorry, that awareness consideration, but I’ll purchase it’s 639% higher purchase intent compared to remarketing on it. So I mean, that just the first time I saw that number, I chuckled, I’m like that’s, that’s got to be made up. That’s like Monopoly money. But know that third party independently verified, ad lead survey. But when when managing both search ads and audience network ads, that’s where you can really start to say, okay, hey, I’m gonna draw, I’m gonna push and I’m gonna maximize performance. And so when both of these are in play, 194% lift in just overall visits compared to only running search ads. And when it comes to that conversion element, a 278% lift versus only running search. So it’s that one two punch, search. Yes. Also natives to get getting it throughout that customer journey throughout the funnel. Just a couple of case studies. So for those of you with a keen eye, you’ll note that this is dated 2018. So the microscopies network is not new. It was in in beta, admittedly, for a long period of time and in the US market. Fully active, right? Anybody can run ads here, but just want to call that out. Right? That 2018 number feels like it feels old.
Unknown Speaker 13:48
But still still relevant. But AG, this is lead gen, it’s mortgage products. Their account the way that they had things set up, they were driving 50% of their overall traffic volume between search and audience, right, so insane. But only 20% of their conversion volume is coming from that search activity. The rest of that was coming there audience network activity and serving native ads. Like that’s just again, this was another one of those data points. The first time I saw it is like somebody messed up the math somewhere along the line. No, that was real. Then let’s bring things you know, fast forward, and particularly when we think about 2020 and what that meant with the pandemic and how everything was impacted. This particular data point from LL Bean on the retail side of things was last summer, so May through August. And whenever we’re running a test using dynamic remarketing on the audience network, they saw a 350 count like to trigger 50 additional conversions and just a matter of four weeks. And what did that mean? Well, it’s a bit drop across preposition, they saw a wonderful lift in return on adspend. And LL Bean walked away from that quite happy as I think any, any advertiser would save a significant lead to conversion. Alright, so where does the rubber meet the road here? So there are multiple flavors of running ads here on the audience network. So again, one, one platform, multiple pathways. So there’s the convenience side of the of the house, and then there’s the control side of the house. So we’ll start with the convenience side of the house. So saying, hey, I’ve got search, I’m already on Microsoft advertising. I’m already running search campaigns. But I want to get additional reach. I mean, more impressions, more clicks, more conversions. Great. You can do that. So what does that mean? Well, you’ve got your campaign and all those settings, your budgets, your bids, etc, great, don’t need to change those. You’ve got your keywords. And that’s actually where the targeting is happening here. Yes, all of those other things. So if you have audiences in play, and market, etc, those are part of the consideration. But here, we’re actually looking at your keywords within your ad groups to make a contextual match. So we don’t call it contextual matching. For those of us that have been in this industry for a while. Again, that’s how Google Display started was a contextual match. And that’s effectively what this is. It can control from a bid perspective, right? Your participation here with a bid modifier specific to audience ads? And of course, it’s a native ad, right? So the image is a part of the equation. And how do we make that connection? Well, we have an image extension. When you have image extensions, those images are chosen and married with your response, a text ad, or your spend a text ad to create a fully fledged, native ad to serve. And then of course, all of those reporting elements that you know and love are going to be there to support that, including publisher website data, understanding what what domains, what sites did your ads serve on. So again, it’s a brilliant way to say hey, I need to just push the button, go need additional traffic, activate that that’s extending a search campaign, you can do the same thing with shopping. So when you have your Merchant Center set up, you get your feet in play, running shopping campaigns, it’s the exact same process, just turn this thing on. Right. And at that point, then just like we do with search, we’re going to look at that product feed and say, okay, what’s in the product, title, description, all of those other you know, meta elements within your feed, to then contextually match to to an end user, throughout the Microsoft audience network, and then ultimately serving a product image with text, right, based on the product feed itself. So it’s a powerful way to immediately gain traction and additional,
Unknown Speaker 17:52
hopefully, conversions right, from your shopping activity. Now, let’s move on to the control side of the house. So hey, you know what? That search extension business, that’s fine. But I really want to amp this up and get get my true native advertising on? Well, great. When you create a campaign, let’s say you’re doing this from scratch, right? You’re going through the campaign creation wizard, whether you choose you know, visits to my website, or you can choose conversions on the website, or you choose the shopping side, right, so sell products from my catalog. Both of those pathways will result in Hey, great. I’m gonna choose audience ads. So this is your native only pathway to create a campaign. So what is powering all of this? And what are the tools for success? Well, it starts with understanding your opportunity. And so if the audience network planner is there for you to plugins, okay, here’s my remarketing audience, or here’s a, you know, list of a dozen in market audiences, whatever that may look like, plug that in, put in a daily budget, put in a bid. And we’re going to kick back, okay, here is your potential opportunity. And, you know, this is a great way to just understand ready to do some budget planning. And you can take it to that next step and say, Okay, this looks great. What’s next, just click the Big Blue Button, and go ahead and add that into your account. Start creating your campaign from there. Of course, all of those targeting elements. This is again, this would be a good takeaway, right? A good screenshot for everybody to say, Okay, what are the specific criteria that I can plug in, whether it’s the gender piece, you know, looking at the age brackets, right? device, all of those elements. And so, when we think about this, mix and match, pick and choose right across all of those elements, it’s a very large palette to choose from. In your targeting, we look at our product feed side again, similar Audience only but my product feed. That’s great. That’s wonderful. That’s kind of that first, first step. But the magic really happens, at least in this humble guy’s opinion, when you’re marrying that product feed with dynamic remarketing. And so that does require, like it does with any other platform, right Facebook, Google, etc, some minor tweaks to the tracking pixel to make sure that you’re pulling in that add to cart, abandoned cart, all of that good information that effectively powers dynamic remarketing. Some considerations, though, and this is the type of advice that’s applicable, regardless of what channel or what had modality you’re, you’re targeting. And that is be thoughtful, and specific with your targeting. And that, make sure you’re not going too narrow. And so when you’re creating a campaign, you’re putting all this information together, we’re going to provide you a quick snapshot to say, hey, this targeting criteria that you plugged in is really broad, right? It’s gonna, you’re gonna get a lot of eyeballs getting a lot of impressions, but just know that going in. But we’re also going to show you, Hey, this is really narrow, this was really tight. And there may be instances where that’s okay. And that’s exactly what you need. And the understand being potentially less activity going forward with your campaign. So just be mindful of that. And, of course, the and, or, and so when we initially launched the Microsoft audience network, we didn’t have this in place, but it, thankfully, is very much a place today. And so that is the ability to say, Okay, I need, you know, age and in market audience, I need this age bracket and this age bracket and this, right, this market or this market, right. And so, that’s where you can really take basic targeting, and and amp it up to into that complex, complex range, right. And this includes even the LinkedIn side of the house. So I need, they work at this company, or this company, they work at Microsoft, or they work at Facebook. Yep. And again, Jason could not do. So again, the and order logic, I would say, though, like that’s an area where do do testing experiment, and pursuant to that last slide, try it out, see where that puts you in terms of is this going to be too narrow, really think through that before, before letting it go, and then potentially getting frustrated?
Unknown Speaker 22:38
As we think about campaign structures, so again, this is a for example, only, in you know, think about, okay? catch all, you’re likely not going to do a run up site, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that. But maybe you do want to target, you know, a dozen maybe more in market audiences that are kind of on the fringe. So whatever that might look like for you. That’s that would be what I would consider a catch all that’s down there at the bottom, you got a lower bid, put that in there, plug it in and learn from it. Right, that could be a way to experiment and say, Okay, what, what targeting criteria maybe do I want to promote into its own unique campaign? And then you’re going to move on from there, as you move through the swath here of targeting down to what’s the most granular what’s the most specific based on those behavioral signals that I’m seeing and gathering from all of my tracking? So you think through that, have a plan go in go in knowing this and, you know, we recommend isolating targeting at a campaign level and why is that? Well, you know, remarketing in market LinkedIn profile targeting, when you isolate at the campaign level, that’s going to allow you to control the budget level as well as bids, right? So bids are important. Yes. But in this case, it’s to say, okay, hey, you know, I want to prioritize LinkedIn may be higher than in market, or vice versa. When you keep it at that campaign level, that gives you the opportunity to budget gate, as it were, from a targeting perspective. Now, because this is native advertising, the images matter. And so I’m gonna spend a couple of minutes talking about image choice, and how you want to come into that I’m gonna start with just a single image. And, you know, again, thank thanks to Facebook for kind of institutionalizing that 1200 by 628 size. That’s all you need, you know, come in with that rectangle, and you’re good to go. We will automatically crop that into the multitude of sizes we will potentially need. However, when you’re working with, say, a design team, or another entity that’s going to be working on images for you. Right, it’s kind of common sense, right? It’s a plan ahead to get ahead of that. We all know that takes time. But you know, let’s assume you’re already running display ads. on Google, or you’re already doing work on Facebook or some other native platform, you aren’t have creative, write that just bring that over. That’s a no brainer. And we’ll talk about Google important here in just a second. But if you’re already doing that activity, I mean, that’s an easy, easy, low hanging fruit when. But there’s a lot of advertisers that struggle with images. And you know, when I was still client side, or agency side, rather, we’d run into this Oct, it’s like, Look, we want to go gung ho on display, we want to go gung ho on Facebook, like, Yeah, and I, I don’t have any images. Great. Okay. Well, thankfully, we were coming to the table with a solution to that. And so we partnered with Shutterstock. And you have access to something like 300 million plus images that you can source without any extra costs and say, Okay, I need to use that image for this ad, this campaign, boom, boom, that is brilliant. And it is truly as easy as this. So you’re just going to click, I want stock, I’m going to do a search. No, I want a yellow roller bag, assuming I can spell yellow. Boom, comes back with some search results. Great. You know what, that’s the image I want. And it is seriously that fast. Boom, it’s already cropped, I can go in and I could custom edit each of those sizes. If I needed to, I can scan through, what is this actually going to look like in the potential placements across the audience network. Great, that’s good with me, I’m done. It’s that easy. So again, if you’re coming into this thing, I’m concerned, I don’t have the images, don’t sweat it. Now, Google important, we have Google important for just about everything at this point, audiences, campaigns, etc. But that includes audience network campaigns. And so if you’re already running a GDN campaign, and you’re interested in getting started with the Microsoft audience network, import that sucker over. And so that’s going to bring campaign structure budgets, bids, it’s going to bring in targeting, and it’s also going to bring in that responsive display ad, including the image. So again, no brainer from an efficiency need to get started standpoint, choosing images, a couple of really important things to call out, you know, there’s, again, this is another good takeaway. But a couple things to call out, is, you know, if it’s a product focused on the product, the big statement of the day, otherwise, you’ll choose lifestyle photos,
Unknown Speaker 27:29
you don’t want anything with a logo or text on it. Why? Well, because we’re creating an ad experience. It’s a responsive ad experience, where we’re overlaying text over that image. And so you know, again, I know that Facebook, it’s still a 20% text, we’re telling you 0%, text, no text, that’s no bueno. Make sure that it’s bright, inviting, why is that? You’re competing with a very, you know, a big visual for a right other content, other hands in these different environments. And so you need an image that is attractive, but it’s colorful, right? You want to be intentionally, but pleasantly distracting. It’s an art form, right? As is all advertising. is we think about the creative strategies. The my second kind of big dusting of the day is we writing for native throw a lot of what you think about for search out the window, some of the core basics remain the same calls to action, yes, you know, focusing on benefits, and you know, all of those things, but you need that copy to stand out for the same reasons you want your image to be distracting, you want your copy, right to really stand out and get somebody to be like, Oh, no, I was reading that. Now. I want to read this. And I want to click this. And so be intentionally fun, make big, bold, bright statements. You want people to look and click, and of course, timing is everything. So be promotional. tying to seasonality, and make sure that you’re refreshing and leveraging new images as appropriate to keep momentum going. same attitude all been using for years. This is not a set it and forget it activity,
Unknown Speaker 29:19
Unknown Speaker 29:22
And why is that? So user fatigue is real. Again, whether it’s Facebook, its display, you name it. Ad fatigue is a real real thing. And so make sure that you are prepared to get in rotate out images, your ad copy, you know, being really mindful of what’s happening on that front to keep the momentum moving. If for anybody that has been doing work in the display space or the native space prior you maybe you’re doing some programmatic work, the DMP you’re familiar with one to one impression tracking? No You think, double click right? Stein even called Double click at this point dating me a little bit but you know, impression tracking is a big deal in in this segment of the industry. And so again, this is another area where when we initially launched the audience network, we didn’t have this in place. And we heard you, you know, our customers loud and clear, this is something that you wanted in order for it to be native advertising, you know, at that level, you needed that one to one impression tracking place. So it is there it is good to go. Again, Larry, that with URL tracking and whatever else you need, so just making sure that I call that out, because we’ve cut cut some grief early on for not having the one to one impression tracking. You know, certainly not the least important. This is probably the most important piece. And that is going back to that level of transparency that I mentioned early on. So right there in your dimensions for reporting is publisher website. And that is how you’re going to go in and say, okay, where have my ads been showing? What sites are working for me? Where am I driving actual conversions in addition to my clicks and impressions, and from here making those decisions, so Okay, what’s working, what’s not, if something’s not working? Straight up, tell you don’t leave it. Plug it in as an exclusion. This is your single biggest lever to pull in cleaning up performance and saying, Okay, this went from being a man okay to Wow, this was really performing well for me. So again, that LL Bean example I showed earlier that ag case study, those clients did not achieve success without going through this activity and cleaning up their performance. key takeaways for today, natives a huge opportunity. Cool, great. Tap him, Sam, both expanding search campaigns, but also growing in your own isolated audience ads campaigns, you can easily import GDN and images, right? I can’t stress that enough. Training really simplifies the process. If you don’t have images, don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered with Shutterstock. And of course, monitoring your placement performance, exclude poor performance sites. And with that, I am ready for another swig of coffee.
Unknown Speaker 32:24
Well, you have earned it my friend. Thanks a lot, john. That was exceptional. exceptionally good. Um, got some questions here. One of them is, well, one one came from several different people, which is not surprising at all, given the international makeup of the audience. But what are the approximate rollout plans for making this available outside the US?
Unknown Speaker 32:54
Yep. Great question. So for the US, like I said, fully live globally available. If you are targeting to cross borders, let’s say you’re in Italy, or Australia, or wherever, and you’re targeting United States, that should be available to as well. For the Canadian market, Australian market, we’re in believe it is an open beta, meaning that if you’re working with an account team, you can raise your hand saying, Hey, we want to participate. We do have further plans for sorry, UK. So Canada, UK, Australia, open open beta. And then other countries within EMEA specifically. So I mentioned like Italy. And I apologize, I can’t remember off the top of my head. But we do have pilots either in motion, or we’ll be rolling out through the course of 2021. So we again, I hear you loud and clear global audience. We’re a global brand. And we’re working to bring this to the global audience. Excellent.
Unknown Speaker 33:59
Let’s see. I think you mentioned this, but her sheet did not catch it. Oh, can one create a Microsoft ads? Audience ads campaign separately from other campaigns are separate from so
Unknown Speaker 34:23
yeah. And again. So assuming that you’re in, you know, either in the United States or targeting the United States, there would be no create campaign. Once you’re into the the wizard and you choose who visits my website or your retailer, you’re doing that the product feed side choosing that angle. It’s going to give you a pop up it says Do you want this to be a search campaign? Or do you want this to be an audience ads campaign and that’s choose audience ads and that will be a standalone Microsoft audience network up?
Unknown Speaker 34:53
That’s simple. Nice. Okay, another question from lennier are you able to exclude Microsoft Publisher sites?
Unknown Speaker 35:06
So there’s been some changes on this? I mean, the short answer is yes. I don’t think all of them can be but I’m pretty confident like the outlook outlook for web placement can. Not sure about MSN that’s kind of the, you know, it’s kind of a tentpole placement for the entire network. However, there’s been we’ve heard a lot of feedback on that front. But that’s a good follow up from me, actually. So I’ll circle back on that and try to provide a better, better, more complete answer.
Unknown Speaker 35:39
Gotcha. Hey, I’m gonna let you go, john, because I know you’ve got to get ready for another big meeting. But thank you very much for joining us. This is great, great material and great presentation.
Unknown Speaker 35:52
Excellent. Thank you, everybody. And yeah, I’m gonna do my best to be back for the panel session.
Unknown Speaker 35:57
Excellent. Yeah, we’ve got a couple more questions that we’ll save for that.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai