Stephen Sirich

General Manager, Marketing Microsoft Search Advertising
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Customer Focus at the Core of Bing Ads 2015 Momentum

As the search advertising industry continues to evolve, the need to stay focused on delivering results at a quality, rapid pace has never been more evident. This is true whether you are an advertiser, ad agency, technology provider or platform.

While this may not be news, if you look closely, the center of this industry’s ecosystem is not just technology, but people. Here at Bing Ads, we remain consistently focused on customer feedback and on delivering an improved search advertising platform that makes it easier than ever for businesses to find the right audience.

Last year, we saw steady progress across the Bing Ads platform. We worked hard to demonstrate more agility and rigor in delivering on customer requests, while keeping CPCs stable. It became easier for our advertisers to zero in on their customers, and volume increased. In 2015 we will continue on that path, placing our customers at the center and remaining laser-focused on providing the experiences and controls that allow our customers to meet their advertising goals while returning value for the time they spend on our platform.   

Listening to customers, delivering what they need

Looking back at 2014, the Bing Ads teams fully embraced the concept that an improved platform means more satisfied customers. By listening closely to the people who were working on search campaigns on a daily basis and by prioritizing their top requests, we reshaped Bing Ads from top to bottom – primarily based on your business needs and feedback.

In 2014, we delivered:

  • Accessible data that is 700% faster – from 4 hours to less than an hour.
  • An interface that is now more intuitive and up to 2 times faster, making it easier to get back to business.
  • An improved Bing Ads Editor that is up to 2 to 3 times faster across various functionalities.
  • The ability to understand key performance stats, insights and competitive landscape with Auction Insights.

 

In 2015, you can expect to see continued investments in:

  • Platform speed and efficiencies, including additional inline campaign management capabilities and streamlined data accessibility.
  • Enhanced targeting capabilities leveraging more audience based signals to target potential consumers.
  • Enriching consumer engagement by augmenting search experiences, including application and other visual extensions.
  • Richer campaign insights, with updates to tools like Auction Insights and Opportunities Tab.
  • Ad formats that drive volume and enhance listings for a more mobile and experiential world.

 

Our customer-centric approach is not changing and we plan to continue on this trajectory of agile release cycles, making Bing Ads the platform that search marketers are asking for.

Effectively connecting customers to the right audiences  

We know that connecting you to the right audiences, at the right time, is critical. Microsoft continues to invest in Bing as the intelligent fabric between products and services, enabling customers to reach people in their digital lives, at work, at home and on the go. Cortana, Windows and XBOX, along with our strategic partnership with Apple and Amazon, are key examples. While Bing Ads continues to innovate to deliver customers more opportunities – we do so without increasing prices relative to both Google and the industry.

As we have shared in this forum over the last 18 months, Bing Ads and the Yahoo Bing Network continue to deliver results. Industry reports continue to indicate positive growth, and it is our goal to maintain that momentum into this year. Here’s what the industry said about Bing Ads last quarter results (Q4 CY2014):

  • Paid search spending rose 31% year-over-year, while Google paid search spending increased 19% year-over-year1. Bing Ads spending is outpacing the market and is an indicator of a healthy return on investment.
  • For the sixth consecutive quarter, CPC rose less than 5%, coming in 3% higher year-over-year. Ad clicks increased 27%, the highest rate in the last year.
  • Yahoo Bing Network increased their share of SEM ad spend in the United States to 32%, a trend seen over the last five quarters.2

 

We don’t stop at just investing in the Yahoo Bing Network’s marketplace. Both Microsoft and Yahoo continue forging and deepening key partnerships to bring you more value:

  • Bing Ads mobile volume has benefitted from recent deals to provide mobile search ads to eBay beginning in late Q2 2014.1
  • Yahoo became the default search option for Firefox in December 2014, and will increase paid search share over time.1

 

Moreover, we understand that delivering quality, relevant audiences means more purchases, more engagement and more return on your investment. Quarter over quarter, the Yahoo Bing Network continues to deliver an audience that has a higher propensity to spend online, with searchers who spend 26% more than the average Internet searcher in the U.S.

Mobile  

Customers often tell us that more search volume and scalability is critical to growing their business. While mobile continues to be an area of rapid and steady growth, we are pleased to report that the Yahoo Bing Network’s search and click volumes from smart phone users have more than doubled year-over-year. Click volumes have generally outpaced growth in search volume – demonstrating the high degree of consumer engagement and relevance of mobile ads on the Yahoo Bing Network.

In 2014, Bing Ads released new extensions, mobile product ads and Universal Event Tracking to enable the best mobile return on investment. We anticipate more growth and opportunity in mobile, and will continue to be laser-focused on where and how we invest in new ad products and targeting capabilities to ensure your mobile investments realize their fullest potential.

2015: Search as a platform and experience

As we begin 2015, the team at Bing Ads looks forward to working hand-in-hand with you, our customers. Your continued partnership will help ensure that we are building the online search advertising platform of the future, one that ultimately provides advertisers with the best experience and return on investment in the industry.

Steve

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1 RKG, Digital Marketing Report, Q4 2014

2 Adobe, Global Digital Advertising Report, Q4 2014

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The Yahoo Bing Network: No Contest for Mobile Advertising Spend

The biggest shopping season of the year is upon us, and with it, the annual “what’s the right marketing mix?” debate amongst advertisers. Mobile advertising – which, according to Gartner, is estimated to hit $42 billion in spend by 2017 – is increasingly coming out on top.

But getting the most out of your mobile ad spend isn’t just about advertising with the biggest player. Savvy advertisers are taking advantage of the Yahoo Bing Network’s growing mobile search volume and the Bing Ads platform, which is consistently evolving -- and improving -- to get the best return on their mobile advertising investment.

The Yahoo Bing Network Delivers Real Results

Scale is a critical factor in meeting your mobile marketing objectives. The Yahoo Bing Network’s search and click volumes from smart phone users have more than doubled year-over-year. Click volumes have generally outpaced growth in search volume – demonstrating the high degree of consumer engagement and relevance of mobile ads on the Yahoo Bing Network.

Taking a deeper look at year-over-year click growth in key verticals such as Retail, Technology and Telecommunications, Financial Services, and Autos, the Yahoo Bing Network delivered big year-over-year gains in Q3, 2014. Tech and Telco was the big winner, with nearly 300% year-over-year growth, while Retail, Autos, and Financial Services all doubled (or more!) in click volume.

The Yahoo Bing Network: Listening to Customers, Improving where it Matters

At Bing Ads, we know that mobile devices are an important part of consumers’ lives. The Yahoo Bing Network is working hard to provide advertisers with the best mobile advertising ROI while building query share across all devices. Moving forward, advertisers can expect to see more value for their businesses as we continue to invest in increasing share. Here’s how:

  • Targeting Improvements: Even more precise targeting options, including zip code, radius and geo location targeting have recently been added, with even more on the way. 
  • App Extensions: New app extensions, which are now being piloted for a planned Q1 2015 launch, will make it easy for searchers to discover and download your app to Android, iOS or Windows Phone devices. These extensions will automatically be targeted to a specific user’s OS and device combination.
  • Mobile Product Ads: With consumers increasingly using mobile search to find product information as part of their shopping process, mobile product ads have become a growing trend, and will be launching on mobile devices in the near future.
  • Universal Event Tracking: This new feature allows you to track conversions across your customers’ devices. UET provides a simple yet powerful way to define and track goals (performance/conversions) and then associate the success of these goals with your advertising campaigns across accounts, ad campaigns, and devices.

 

Yahoo Bing Network or Gemini?

Recently, some advertisers have expressed confusion about Yahoo’s Gemini mobile search offering in relation to the Yahoo Bing Network offering. Here are a few reminders to ensure no misunderstanding as you consider opportunities and execute your planning:

    • Gemini ads are not part of the Yahoo Bing Network. Gemini is a separate offering, focused on mobile and native “stream” ads. As such, advertisers are unable to access Gemini data from their Bing Ads campaign reports, and should plan to manage their Gemini campaigns separately from the rest of their Yahoo Bing Network campaigns.
    • Mobile search ads and campaigns created in Gemini are not eligible to be shown on Bing, Microsoft or affiliate properties on the Yahoo Bing Network.
    • Gemini ads are not available for PC searches.  And for mobile and tablet searches, Gemini ads are served only on Yahoo’s mobile site -- and only on a small percentage of smart phone and tablet traffic.

 

Additionally, the Yahoo Bing Network enjoys the full support of the major bid management platforms. For more information, please visit our FAQ page.

Yahoo Bing Network Makes the Choice Simple

Bing Ads remains the platform for purchasing mobile search ads on Bing and its network of partner sites. Bing Ads delivers search ads on the highest performing mobile search placements for the majority of web searches across the Yahoo Bing Network, including Yahoo’s affiliate sites.

As the marketing mix debate rages on, one thing is clear: Mobile advertising this holiday season has never been easier or more effective, thanks to the Yahoo Bing Network. And you can count on Bing Ads to help you optimize this fast-growing platform with enhancements and support to ensure your success – during the holidays and all year long.

Let’s ring in some mobile cheer this season!

Steve Sirich

GM, Advertising and Consumer Monetization Group (ACM)

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Bing Ads Summer Release Highlights: Improvements in Performance, Speed and Efficiency

This summer has been a great one at Bing Ads. Our global teams have been working hard to deliver improved performance, increased efficiency and better value – all of the things you have asked for. Our goal is to ensure a seamless experience in managing your ad campaigns on the Yahoo Bing Network.  

In case you’ve missed any of the releases from this summer, here's a quick summary of the highlights (note: section titles can be clicked on for more information on each new feature or update).

Keyword Normalization

All Markets | Available in UI, BAE, API

Previously, Bing Ads did not allow users to submit variants of a keyword with extraneous characters (e.g.: bike shed vs. bike-shed). In response to the many requests received, we created a tool to determine how keywords are normalized before being uploaded to Bing Ads. Otherwise known as keyword normalization, customers can now use keywords with extraneous characters, including those that differ by an accent mark (i.e.: café and cafe).

Auto-Tagging

All Markets | Available in UI, API

To save advertisers time from manually setting up UTM tags, we released auto-tagging. Use this feature to automatically tag destination URLs and seamlessly track your paid search campaign performance in the analytics program of your choice. Visit this Help article or watch this video to learn more.

 

Bid Landscape at the Keyword and Ad Group Level

All Markets | Available in: UI, API

Bid Landscape, a birds-eye view that offers more bidding power with less guesswork! This feature shows how different estimated bids would have impacted impressions and clicks over the previous seven days. You have the option of replacing your current keyword bid with one of the estimated bids, or entering a custom bid. Visit this Help article to learn more.

 

Inline Bid Suggestions and Keyword Status Insight

All Markets | Available in UI

Want to know how much you would have to bid for an ad to show up on the front page, mainline, or land the top position? Released in July, inline bid suggestions are shown in the Campaigns grid, and reduce the guesswork and time spent on your bidding strategy.

Improved Targeting (Phase I)

All Markets

For the first phase of targeting updates, we increased radius limits to 1 - 500 miles or 1 - 800 km, in increments of 1 mi/km, and added more user control for targeting settings.  Stay tuned for much more, which are right around the corner.  Learn how to target customers in Bing Ads here.

Online Insertion Orders

All Markets | Available in: UI, API

In July we announced the new online workflow for customers using insertion orders, creating a faster and easier billing process. Visit this Help article or watch this video to learn more.

 

New and Improved Web Interface

All Markets | Available in UI

We gave the UI a significant makeover this summer, simplifying navigation and revamping your favorite pages, including opportunities and change history—for an overall experience that feels like home. See Welcome to the new Bing Ads for a detailed list of changes.

 

New and Improved Opportunities Page

US | Available in: UI, API

The new Opportunities page shows how budget and keyword changes can impact your campaigns.  Here, you’ll find personalized optimization opportunities, their estimated impact to clicks and impressions, and a recommended course of action. Visit this Help article or watch this video to learn more.

 

Top Movers Report

US | Available in UI

The Top Movers Report is a bold new diagnostics and optimization resource located conveniently in the UI. Here you can check for major variations to clicks and spend, determine which campaigns and/or ad groups are seeing the biggest changes, their possible causes, and potential actions you can take. Visit this Help article or watch this video to learn more.

 

 

Bing Ads Editor 10.5

All Markets

Bing Ads Editor (you can download the latest version here) is your desktop solution for large and multi-campaign management. This version sports a host of new and enhanced features designed in response to customer feedback, including a shared negative keyword library, 15-minute ad scheduling, and ZIP code targeting. We also refined the advanced sync, import and export functions to make optimizing performance across all your campaigns faster and easier. For an overview of what’s new, see this video.

Auction Insights

US | Available for: BAI (UI & API coming soon)

Wonder what your competition is doing and how you
compare? Don’t be left wondering, use the new Auction Insights report in BAI to see how your performance stacks up! Visit this Help article to learn more.

 

View and Bulk Edit Up to 1 Million Keywords

All Markets | Available in UI

Accounts in the Web UI now show up to 1 million keywords, 500,000 ads and 250,000 ad groups, with the ability to update them at the same time using the bulk edit function. You can use the bulk edit function to increase bids to an estimated first- or top of- page bid, OR increase/decrease bids by a specific percentage or monetary value, as well as preview your changes instantly. Visit this Help article or watch this video to learn more.

 

Stay Tuned

Your feedback has shaped everything from the interface to the latest features. We appreciate your support and input – and most importantly, your partnership. We are excited about this summer’s releases, we hope you are too – and we definitely look forward to delivering more in the coming months. Thank you for your feedback, and let’s keep the conversation going.  We’re listening.

Best,

Steve

Questions? Comments? Leave them below or ping us on Twitter.

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Bing Ads is Getting a New Look and More

As I shared in my July 10 blog post, this is a great summer at Bing Ads. We’ve been listening carefully to our customers, and this video highlights our latest round of new and upcoming features in response to what we’ve heard.

A few key updates include:

Auto-tagging. We know it takes time and effort to manually tag the destination URLs for your ads. Now, Bing Ads handles it for you, providing more accurate reporting, and reducing time spent on managing campaigns.

Online insertion orders. We believe this feature will make life simpler. No need to fax or email insertion orders – you can do it online through Bing Ads or the Bing Ads API. This will offer ease in your ability to track budgets and manage account payments.

A new performance indicator. We know that sometimes you wonder why one ad is doing great while another isn’t. Coming soon, our new Top Mover feature is a diagnostic tool that quickly analyzes ad performance, allowing you make better campaign decisions

Improved UI. Starting next week, you will start to see Bing Ads in a different way. With simpler navigation and a new look, Bing Ads will become easier to use and enable you to save time by improving work flow. Here is a sneak peek:

 

Our teams have been working hard, and there are many more updates to come this summer. Don’t forget to view our video (above) and be sure to check out bingads.com/listening or follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information.

Our goal is to continue to deliver improvements on your top requests, so we look forward to hearing your feedback – I hope you are having a great summer.

Steve

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Summer is Only the Beginning at Bing Ads

As David Pann shared yesterday, Bing Ads has continued to make solid progress over the past year. We focused on the fundamentals. As a result, we were able to deliver more clicks, more markets and more results-bearing features for advertisers, like Call and Location Extensions.

But, just like your business never stops for a break – neither do we. This summer, our teams are working harder than ever to deliver against what advertisers are asking for. I couldn’t be more excited for what we have in store for you over the next three months.

Listening to Advertisers

As someone who has been at Microsoft for 15 years and worked across various divisions of the company – one of my favorite aspects of being in the search business is our commitment to listening to (and acting upon) advertiser feedback. Our engagement model doesn’t just stop with a phone call or a monthly meeting with your account manager. Bing Ads has engineering and product leads meeting with advertisers on an ongoing basis globally.

Real-time input from product advisory groups, as well as pilots and engineering focus groups, shape our roadmap – from ideation to prioritization. We have an iterative and continuous planning cycle so advertiser feedback is critical, as it keeps us both focused and accountable.

Summer is Just Getting Started

In the coming weeks, you will be seeing a number of updates on how we are offering renewed solutions that will make it easier to manage your Bing Ads campaigns.  Here is what you can expect in July:

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In addition, I’m happy to announce the launch of a centralized destination where you can find out the latest releases and updates throughout the summer: www.bingads.com/listening.

I encourage you to bookmark this page and look for other updates here on the Bing Ads Blog, our Facebook page and on Twitter.

Expect More from Bing Ads

Here at Bing Ads, we do all we can to offer you, our advertisers, the tools, insights and controls to help your business succeed. We are moving fast and you can expect more from us as a result.

We will continue to deliver against key requests, but with even more advertiser focus and frequency than ever before. Keep the feedback coming and make sure you check out the new updates and experiences we are delivering this summer on Bing Ads.

Steve

 

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Bing Ads Adding Support Services: 24/7 Live Chat Support and Industry Insights Portal

Here at Bing Ads, we do all we can to offer you, our advertisers, the tools, insights and controls to help your business succeed. Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared numerous updates, including Broad Match opportunities, the introduction of Product Ads and the ability to view up to 50,000 keywords within the Bing Ads web user interface. But offering product improvements isn’t all our advertisers need, sometimes they need a helping hand.

That is why I’m happy to announce two new Bing Ads support services that we believe will help all our advertisers be more successful: 24/7 live chat support and a comprehensive Insights Portal.

Live Chat Support All Day, Everyday

Starting today, we will provide live chat support in English for customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether you have a billing question, want to improve campaign performance, or need help adding Sitelink Extensions to get more clicks, Bing Ads is ready to help all day, every day.

To access Bing’s Live Chat follow these three simple steps:

  1. Click on “Contact Us”
  2. Select your topic
  3. Click on the ”Chat now” button

         

*Page appearance may vary per region.

24/7 live chat is now available in all our English-language markets. That means 93% of all Bing Ads customers can get support anytime you need it, no matter where you sit around the world: Select the link below for your country and let us start helping you today.

  Australia

  Ireland

  Singapore

  Canada

  Malaysia

  Sweden

  Denmark

  Netherlands

  Thailand

  Finland

  New Zealand

  United States

  India

  Norway

  United Kingdom

  Indonesia

  Philippines 

  Vietnam

 

When you use Bing Ads, not only do we want you to be successful and reach your customers simply and seamlessly, but we also want you to have a great experience when using the Bing Ads platform. We know that you have an abundance of choices in today’s digital world. You deserve to have an exceptional customer experience whenever you use Bing Ads and we are committed to bring it to you!

Bing Ads Industry Insights Portal

Bing Ads is constantly looking for ways to enable customers and the development of rich, educational content. To better help us do that, today we are launching the Bing Ads Industry Insights Portal in the United States, which will deliver our advertisers insights to help them explore, learn and execute stronger digital and search strategies.

For our agency customers, the Industry Insights Portal provides a one-stop shop to support your business, with industry-targeted sales and client engagement opportunities. But the beauty of Industry Insights extends to all our customers who can visit the site to discover the latest Bing Ads research and learn about key seasonal opportunities through our new seasonal content. We’ll arm you with all information needed to successfully take advantage of these opportunities.

Let’s use World Cup as an example. We’ll answer the following for you:

  1. Who’s watching soccer? 
  2. What types of things are people searching for during the World Cup and when are they searching?
  1. Which industries are expected to see increased spending?
  2. And most importantly, how can you most effectively reach these consumers using search advertising and Bing Ads?

For more information, check out the the full World Cup Insights blog post.

Now, agencies, executives, marketers and small businesses alike can leverage Industry Insights to increase proficiency, knowledge and take away best practices to drive campaign success. 

We’re confident that you, our customers, will find added value from the two offerings above and we hope it will help you be more successful when you advertise on Bing Ads.

Thank you for your business and we encourage you to share your experiences with Bing Ads Live Chat and our Industry Insights Portal.

We want to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment below!

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