David Pann

General Manager, Microsoft Search Advertising
BLOG POSTS

Bing to Power AOL’s Search

Here at Bing Ads, we’re constantly looking for ways to extend our reach and grow volume for our customers.  That’s why today we are excited to announce a new partnership with AOL.  Beginning January 1st, 2016 Bing will become the exclusive provider of search and search advertising services across AOL properties for even greater consumer and marketer reach.

 

Now with 20% market share in U.S., Bing continues to grow organically and through key partnerships. The 10-year deal with AOL is the latest to validate the exceptional quality of our results and marketplace. No longer just a destination search engine, Bing is becoming an integral part of popular first and third party devices and services.

 

The extended reach combined with the controls within Bing Ads will give marketers opportunities to reach even more customers at the right ROI.  We’re excited about our partnership with AOL and will continue to evaluate additional partners to bring new opportunities to our customers.

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Bringing Advertisers More Value through Investments in Bing Ads

As a baseball fan, one of my favorite quotes is, “You owe it to be the best you can be.” This is true not only for the game or in life, but also in business – and everyone here at Bing Ads knows that it’s our responsibility to provide our customers and partners who use our tools and solutions with better insights and greater efficiencies daily. We’re not successful unless our advertisers and their businesses are more successful when using Bing Ads.

With our customers’ success and feedback as our north star, our team has been laser focused on improving specific aspects of the Bing Ads product and tools. We listened to our customers and asked what they needed to reach their business goals. This feedback, combined with other industry driving forces, brought us to where we are today — an improved search advertising platform from every angle — and the industry is taking notice[1]

Customers Spoke

We’ve engaged with customers at dozens of product advisory groups around the world. We've met with countless agencies and advertisers, large and small, to better understand their day-to-day challenges. The team sought and digested feedback via our Bing Ads User Voice forum, social media channels and comments on our blog posts. We have been paying close attention, and here’s what our customers had to say:  

  • Customers wanted Bing Ads to be simpler and faster
  • They wanted insights and data that would give them a sustainable competitive advantage
  • Bing Ads users wanted to have a say in how our product was evolving

 

Our platform priorities on Bing Ads are driven by customers, so we appreciate the direct feedback that we received from around the globe.

We Listened

By listening and then prioritizing the most frequent and critical customer requests, we reshaped Bing Ads from top to bottom.

  • We created a new look and feel that’s more familiar, easier to navigate
  • Nearly everything is faster and more efficient—helping advertisers on Bing Ads get more done
  • A new online insertion orders taking less than an hour
  • Customers can view up to a million keywords in a single view and pages load up to 2x faster making it easier to get stuff done at BingAds.com
  • Bing Ads Editor start-up is also up to 2X faster, while downloading accounts, posting changes and local bulk edits are up to 3X faster
  • Performance data is available 700% faster than before – from 4 hours to 30 minutes of your ad being shown

 

Just as important as making UI and UX improvements, we improved our tools to provide customers with more critical – and actionable – insights:

  • Top Mover automatically locates key drivers contributing to account performance variations
  • Auction Insights reveals key performance stats for our customers and their competitors
  • The new Campaign Planner feature recently launched in the U.S. helps seamlessly identify trends, build forecasts and research industry benchmarks, competitor performance and keyword suggestions

 

These changes are making a big difference for our customers, like Eric Chromick from Parts Express who told us, “You guys have made some really good improvements over the last 6 months. It’s good to see you guys moving in the right direction.”

And the Industry is Taking Note

These days, we’re not only seeing a great response from customers – with comments like, “This is AMAZING!” and “Much quicker and easier to work with, too!” – We’re also hearing from the industry:

 

Investing in the needs of our customers has not only paid off in a better experience and results for advertisers, it’s also driving momentum for our business. Based on the most recent quarterly data from IgnitionOne[2], the Yahoo Bing Network saw its highest share (25%) since Q1 2009, resulting in a 19.3% increase in market share for Q3.

Not surprisingly, mobile devices play a significant role in that growth. According to RKG, smartphones continued to grow at the fastest rate in ad-spend, aided primarily by an increase in clicks[1]. In keeping with this mobile-first trend, IgnitionOne reported Yahoo Bing Network smartphone impressions were up 158%, with tablet impressions gaining an impressive 117%[2]. It’s worth noting that both IgnitionOne and RKG report that mobile devices account for 28 to 33% of overall search-spend. But mobile isn’t the whole story. RKG reported that Yahoo Bing Network has a 19.6% share of all paid clicks; and across all devices, carries the highest desktop share at 20.1%.  Perhaps even more exciting, RKG saw a 24% increase in click volume while CPCs remained flat.

We’re happy with the progress the Yahoo Bing Network is making, but we’re by no means done. We look forward to continue to improve and delivering more value for our advertisers, and doing more for their business.

 David

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1. RKG/October 2014

2. IgnitionOne – September 2014

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Bing Ads Continues to Heat Up with Increased Clicks, New Features and More

Here at Bing Ads, we focus on one thing: delivering more value for you, our advertising customers, and doing so on a global scale. As we enter our new fiscal year, our progress and releases over the last year reflect that focus with even more customer-centric features coming up this summer. Before we jump into what’s coming up, let’s take a look at some of the numbers that reflect the progress we’re making:

Delivering Value, Coupled with Global Scale

  • Our clicks are up by 30% -- nearly a third -- in the past year. Mobile clicks are up 133%, a reflection of both the huge growth in that segment as well as our efforts to help our advertisers target mobile users.
  • Delivering ad formats, like Sitelink and Location Extensions, driving higher click volume for our advertisers across more global markets. Global readiness is part of our release rigor to ensure all advertisers get the most return out of their investment with us.
  • We’ve expanded our coverage to 35 countries, with our launch in Hong Kong and Taiwan last winter, bringing us an expanded footprint on five continents. We have also seen immediate growth in cross border campaigns for English speaking markets and anticipate continued opportunities for advertisers.
  • We’ve delivered more than 100 new features across all markets in the past year with emphasis on mobile, as well as cross-device capabilities like the update of Call Extensions. Our goal is to create consumer experiences that enable advertiser success.
  • We have experienced double digit revenue-per-search growth over the past year, and remain 200% committed to our partnership with Yahoo.
  • Our continued engagements with advertisers globally through product advisory groups, agency meetings and the deeper technology conversations with the tool providers – enable our teams to listen, and deliver, against top requests more efficiently.

 

Delivering Features Advertisers Want

This is a long-term game for Bing Ads.  We continue to listen to you, our customers, and make changes based on your requests. Many of our ad formats are now available in more global markets than before, providing advertisers incremental volume and clicks for their business. We continue to work to simplify your needs, making it easier to do business with us by providing more tools, reports and capabilities to complement your marketing investments.  

And we are not stopping there.  We’re going to keep driving forward to deliver more value from Bing Ads -- here’s a preview of what you can expect from us in the coming months.

  • The ability to manage many more key words within the Bing Ads UI. This has been a top request from advertisers, and we’ve worked hard to make it happen. We’ve recently scaled up to 100,000 keywords, and anticipate the ability to manage 1 million key words by the end of this year.
  • Enabling advertisers with the availability of digitally created and managed insertion orders to help save time and increase efficiencies, especially for agencies who manage a number of accounts.
  • Enhanced ad formats and more precise targeting capabilities. This includes building on our current Sitelink Extensions to offer a richer ad experience, and offering day/time and zip code targeting to help advertisers reach more specific audiences.
  • Improvements in reporting speed. Once taking up to four hours, now advertisers will be able to see performance reports within 30 minutes – and we will continue investments in this area. This reduction in latency helps advertisers via their bidding platforms to make more informed and effective business decisions.

 

Creating New Opportunities with Bing

Just as Bing Ads brings advertisers new opportunities through smarter tools and capabilities, Microsoft is rolling out visionary products that build on Bing as the decision engine. The one you might be the most aware of is Cortana, the new digital assistant that gives the Bing platform a powerful new ally. Bing also has developed a new capability called “interests.” Consumers who tell Bing about their interests will see personalized news, weather, flights, stocks, and more directly on the Bing homepage, making a great search experience even better.

These experiences are possible only due to Bing’s commitment to the open web, as well as partnerships with Foursquare, Yelp, Trip Advisor, OpenTable, Netflix, Facebook, and others. Apple’s recent decision to further incorporate Bing in their product set demonstrates the promise of Bing in the marketplace.

With new, integrated touch points across Bing, Windows and with Cortana, Microsoft is ultimately creating new opportunities for marketers to engage with their target customers, bringing more value for their business.

The Months Ahead

You can see why I’m so pleased with the direction we’re headed. Our last fiscal year resulted in significant progress across the business and on the platform and this coming year will be no different. We will continue to deliver against key advertiser requests, but with even more rigor and focus than ever before. In addition, new opportunities on Bing will provide advertisers more ways to engage, connect and target their customers.

In preparation for the holiday season, and if you haven’t already, we hope you’ll try some of the features we’ve either added, improved or scaled to meet your business needs and keep an eye open for the great changes that are just ahead.

David

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Listening to Customers and Creating a Simpler Bing Ads

The Bing Ads team believes our primary job is to stay focused on our customers and their satisfaction. We strive to make it as easy and efficient as possible for them to run great campaigns on our platform while growing their businesses.

After much analysis and feedback, what we’ve found is that flexibility also means more complexity for many of our customers. The balance between flexibility and complexity is a moving target, but something we always strive to find. As a result, we’ve decided to change how Bing Ads handles device targeting. These changes will make it easier and more efficient for customers to manage their campaigns.

Beginning in September, Bing Ads will combine all tablet volume into our desktop/laptop category. Studies show that consumers search on PCs and tablets in very similar ways, resulting in only a 15-20 percent variance in performance between them. At this time, advertisers who have not taken advantage of tablet targeting will start realizing the benefits of receiving additional traffic. By combining tablets with desktops/laptops and providing bid modifiers, advertisers will see better efficiency and reach more customers, with little or no change to their ad spend for each conversion.

However, we’re going to continue to ensure that our customers retain the ability to better manage their return on ad spend goals. We’ll still provide advertisers the ability to control tablet traffic with bid modifiers that will run from -20 percent to +300 percent on bids. In addition to bid modifiers across tablets/laptops/desktops, Bing Ads will continue to offer a full suite of controls for mobile, such as ‘if mobile’ landing pages, mobile preference and bid modifiers which allow you to finely tune smartphone campaigns.

We know that in today’s search environment, it’s about reaching the right audiences while being able to optimize your return on time spent across ad platforms. In the first-half of 2015, we will take further steps to unify management of device targeting across campaigns by eliminating explicit mobile device targeting and utilize bid modifiers instead. With this update, we’ll have complete compatibility with how ad campaigns are managed within Bing Ads and Google AdWords, simplifying campaign management between platforms. But even then, advertisers who want to limit or eliminate mobile traffic can still do so through bid modifiers.

Stay tuned for updates around these changes, and what to expect this fall. As always, we want to hear from you to continue our discussion about how to make search advertising more effective and in line with your business goals.

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Bing Ads Is Off To a Great Start in 2014

Providing Advertisers Value, Return on Investment and Mobile Innovation

As I wrote in January, 2013 was a year in which we strengthened our platform’s foundation. We delivered over a thousand enhancements and released dozens of new features, many of which you, our advertisers, were specifically asking for. But we won’t stop there. Now that Bing Ads has been fortified, 2014 is a year where our efforts on delivering great results and value to our customers is increased and more laser focused than ever.

Our teams are working hard and their efforts continue to make positive traction, but don’t just take my word for it. According to Ignition One’s most recent Digital Marketing Report, our continued improvement in market share -- up to 22.9 percent of advertiser spend -- is highlighted. This report reinforces and validates what we are seeing first-hand: that the overall growth of the Yahoo Bing Network continues to gain momentum. Compared to last year, Yahoo Bing Network clicks increased by 30 percent and we have plans in place to continue growth in the coming months.

I am pleased to see the Ignition One report highlight our strong growth in tablet and smartphone click volume. For smartphones specifically, they reported that Yahoo Bing Network clicks increased 276 percent year-over-year, reflecting a higher growth rate than Google[1]. In addition, within the tablet space, Ignition One reported a 57 percent increase in Yahoo Bing Network click volume compared to the same quarter last year.

Our progress in the tablet and mobile space is particularly encouraging in light of our new CEO Satya Nadella’s vision for a Mobile First, Cloud First future. We are investing in an intelligent mobile infrastructure by powering Microsoft’s devices and services with Bing, such as Windows Phone 8.1. In addition, partnerships and acquisitions are playing an important role in our ability to diversify and scale, including the acquisition of Nokia in April.  This is just the start for us, as we continue to invest in this space. At Bing Ads, we know mobile will continue to grow and that it is very important to the future success of the Yahoo Bing Network. As usage continues to increase on mobile devices, we’re committed to creating great mobile experiences for consumers and great mobile ad products for advertisers. It’s the power of our diverse ecosystem and cross-platform apps that will grow our mobile traffic to bring incremental value and options to you, our advertisers.

Building off our success

While we’re excited about the growth we’ve experienced, we know there’s more work to be done.  For the remainder of this year, we have three areas of focus for our customers: providing a platform that offers scale, enabling you to do more with data, and making it easier for you to work with us. Specifically:

  • We’re growing. Advertisers need scale, and we are committed to achieving more volume at the right ROI. Today, we’re linking audiences and advertisers across all the screens they use each day, and we’re continuing to drive innovation with new ad formats and annotations that increase engagement: call extensions across all devices, local long ad titles and Product Ads (on PC and mobile), to name a few.
  • Providing better insights. We know the importance of data and insights when trying to manage campaigns effectively and make the right business decisions. We are investing in new tools, such as search and display attribution and cross-channel audience views, to empower you to make better marketing decisions with more data. You are able to access these insights through the Bing Ads Intelligence tool, the platform user interface (UI) or by partnering with your account manager.
  • Keeping it simple. We’ll continue to develop new tools to make it easier and faster to manage campaigns. Your time is valuable and we will ensure that the time and investments you make with us is well spent. Easier access to APIs and faster ways to manage campaigns through our UI and Bing Ads Editor continue to be on our immediate list of deliverables.  Over the last few months, for example, we have made numerous enhancements ranging from the Campaigns Page to Bing Ads Editor to make it more seamless to utilize and faster to perform tasks to meet your business needs.

These three priorities – scale, data and simplicity – will enable us to bring more value to our customers. We listened to hundreds of customers, hearing them loud and clear in regard to what they need and where we can be doing better.  As a result, expect more updates around these priorities and related initiatives in the months to come.

As much as I look forward to sharing more updates and progress on our platform, I anticipate your feedback with the same level of engagement and enthusiasm, so please let us know how we are doing. I’m proud of what we’ve done, and I look forward to continuing to deliver results for you on Bing Ads.



[1] Ignition One Digital Marketing Report, Q1 2014


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Introducing Product Ads – A Great Way to Advertise on Bing Ads

One of the things I like best about my job is being able to introduce you, our advertisers, to new marketing opportunities on Bing Ads.

Starting today, Product Ads is available in the U.S., enabling you to increase qualified clicks by including product details such as rich images, price and description within your ads across Yahoo and Bing. With Product Ads, you can help searchers reach a purchase decision quickly, reducing the number of clicks and time involved. Please take a moment to view our short video to better understand the value of this new feature offering.

This is an example of a Product Ad on Bing:


 


Product Ads was designed to be easy to use; you don’t have to write ad copy and develop keywords for each campaign. Instead, Product Ads builds upon work that you've already done, automatically serving the appropriate image, price, and brand name. Learn more about setting up your campaigns here.

Here at Bing Ads, your feedback is paramount. We’ve been testing Product Ads extensively across more than 140MM offers with hundreds of advertisers over the past several months to ensure we delivered a great experience – for both consumers and advertisers - before expanding our offering, while simultaneously listening to and incorporating feedback.

As always, we’re committed to providing you with competitive, rapid innovation in the search advertising market. I believe our Product Ads are going to be valuable to you, and I encourage you to give this new feature a try – learn more about what Product Ads can do for your business and of course, please share your feedback.

Also worth mentioning, you can count on us to continue the momentum and develop offerings across both PC and mobile. Announced on Monday, we launched Product Ads for Mobile (BETA) because we understand how important mobile has become for you, our advertising partners.

More to come.

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