Gary’s up in Redmond for the MSN Strategic Account Summit and weighs in on the new ad platform. In short, he says “this is a big deal.”
I agree completely. What’s fascinating to me is that this isn’t just a self-service paid search ad bidding interface. It’s “the first component of MSN adCenter” which will “give advertisers a one-stop shop from which to plan, execute and adjust their online campaigns.” (Quoting from the press release here.)
And if Steve Ballmer’s remarks in the keynote were any indication, online is just the beginning. Microsoft wants to build the technology to enable the targeting and delivery of ads to a whole bunch of other Internet-enabled platforms. (ClickZ coverage is here.)
Ballmer in the keynote:
The whole way, in some senses, in which you even buy what you consider today to be traditional TV media is absolutely going to change over the course of the next probably two to three years, and the technologies that enable that, both on the consumer end, and on the advertiser end, we’re absolutely, here at Microsoft at least, investing in, and have a leading edge position relative to what’s going on in the market.
So we need to make sure that our dialogue with you is a lot about what’s going on in traditional existing online today, but also talk about how the future of some of these other media will essentially merge with the online type over the course of the next several years. And we look forward to engaging with you in that leading edge dialogue.
Meanwhile, the newly-unveiled paid search platform part of it ain’t so shabby itself (though only the French and Singaporeans get to play with for now) where it comes to data and targeting. Here, Yusuf Mehdi demonstrates the new technology by describing a scenario in which a sporting goods retailer goes to buy for a campaign around March Madness:
We’ve done something that’s pretty unique with our technology. If you come down here below, we’ve actually taken the breadth of information we know about our customers on MSN, through registration data when people sign up for a Hotmail account, or an instant message account, or they customize their homepage. We enrich that data through third-party sources, so that we can overlay wealth index and demographic information, and then we map that to the keywords.
So that when you come down here. you can see that the data now in the keyword for basketball, according to our search queries, and this is data that we actually pulled from our network, believe it or not, it shows that the keyword basketball it tends to be more female than male that is actually searching on that keyword, and you see the demographic range of that age group. Then you see things that are lifestyle-indexed, so for example, we can see for example, a big popular group, the second series leaders, and the description of that marketing target. And then, of course, the wealth index.