It is no secret that the world of search is a moving target that’s constantly growing and undergoing change. In the spirit of shaking things up, in addition to changing their name from Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising, Microsoft and Verizon Media have struck a deal to strengthen their search partnership. Marketers now have the opportunity to run paid search campaigns across the Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL search networks exclusively through the newly donned Microsoft Ads Platform.
Continuing to grow the volume of high-quality clicks and conversions that clients receive through Microsoft Ads has always been a top priority for Microsoft. Examples of their strategic partnerships are illustrated by their acquisition of LinkedIn in 2016 and voice search partnership with Amazon’s Alexa assistant in 2017. This latest partnership enriches the Microsoft network by adding an estimated 10% to 15% increase in overall clicks for search advertisers targeting the United States.
Marketers now have the opportunity to run paid search campaigns across the Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL search networks.
What About Verizon, Then?
What does this mean for users of Verizon Media’s Oath Platform? Well, I’m glad you asked. It was a great few years, but as of April 1, Oath Ad Platforms paid search traffic has stopped completely and 100% of the Oath Search Network traffic is now being served by the Microsoft Ads network.
Oath users will be tasked with migrating their campaigns from legacy Oath accounts to their Microsoft Ads account. This process can take time, as some features will require significant setup, especially for those who do not have a Microsoft Ads Manager account set up already. It will be worth it in the long run, though, as marketers will now manage one consolidated account that has access to the Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL search networks.
What Do Pharma Marketers Need to Do?
Search marketers already using Microsoft Ads don’t have too much to worry about during the transition phase as far as setup or setting changes go.
That said, Microsoft Ads users should prepare for additional traffic and increased inventory. All search marketers involved with a Microsoft Ads account should keep a close eye on budgets with the increased market share, as CPCs may increase with new advertisers launching on Microsoft Ads.
Pharma marketers who have not launched campaigns on Bing should consider dipping their toes into the water now, at this opportune moment. By carving out a portion of their search budget to test Microsoft Ads, marketers can compare the Microsoft campaign performance to their current campaign mix in order to determine success. Microsoft Ads has exclusive access to search inventory that Google does not reach, so running on Microsoft Ads will help ensure that advertisers are not missing out on any potential HCPs or patients predominately leveraging Bing for their search needs. If budgets are limited, we suggest migrating over the top performing campaigns as a means to start gauging initial search performance.
Microsoft Ads has exclusive access to search inventory that Google does not reach.
We’ll continue to research the opportunities created with this newly forged partnership, so stay tuned for more updates. If you want to learn more about how the Microsoft-Verizon partnership can work for your brand, reach out to your account team!
Charlie Drewyer is a paid search media supervisor in the New York office.