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In this week’s PPCChat session, host Julie F Bacchini and guest host John Lee invited experts to express their views on the things they love on Microsoft Advertising, their views on forced automation, do they wish to see any new features being added in MSFTAdvertising and more.

Q1: Are you currently advertising on the Microsoft Advertising network? For all of your accounts or only some? If only some, why those accounts and not others?

We love Microsoft Ads! Great performance and usually lower CPCs than Google. We use it for nearly all our accounts. @beyondthepaid

Most of them. I usually recommend it, since it has a different audience (mostly older, more desktop heavy etc.) and lower competition since a lot of times competitors don’t use it. I usually get a better ROAS but obv. lower volume. @Maiglisreal

Yep, 95% of clients we put into Bing (I refuse to call it Microsoft) @JonKagan

About half of our paid search accounts. Its simply a budget allocation thing for our small business clients. @ynotweb

Not at the moment so keen to hear what other people are seeing. @TheMarketingAnu

Yessss. I wish for more accounts. In general, I see it as a way to invest more in Paid Search when Google is maxed out. But we’re having some interesting success going the other way around with a financial industry client. @ferkungamaboobo

Yes! we love it for our business focused audiences, and for luxury brands. @JuliaVyse

Yes, for most accounts we at least test Microsoft. Some do very well, some don’t get much traction & we revert that budget back to Google. @selley2134

I do currently advertise on the @MSFTAdvertising network on behalf of several clients. Not all client though. Some clients can’t provide enough budget to support an additional channel, which is unfortunate when it is likely to hold value for them. @BrettBodofsky

Most of my clients use Microsoft Ads. I like it for lower CPC/CPA. A few of my clients don’t use it because they have budget limitations and prioritize you-know-who. @FindingAmanda

Yes! Love @MSAdvertising <3 They innovate on a lot of the #GoogleAds features that frustrate me + tend to be cheaper and have better quality conversions. @navahf

Long history of success on Microsoft Ads but not using it currently. Looking forward to revisiting the platform asap! @webjock

Only some accounts – but rolling out to all this year. @Galliguez

Yes, I do have some accounts on Microsoft Ads, but not all. the reasoning usually depends on the business: B2B can do very well, so I like to test it on Microsoft. for others it’s an expansion opportunity after Google Ads. @jennifer_lash

I actually don’t have any active accounts on Microsoft Advertising platform right now. It is a budget issue for all accounts. I have pitched it to all of them. @NeptuneMoon

Brand side now, but yes, we’re deploying Microsoft Ads in every market we serve. @BryceLiggins

No, because we made the audience + keyword targeting too narrow and now they won’t serve. Gotta fix that. Fun times. @PPCHartman

Continued, in the past when most accounts were Google & Microsoft admittedly more management effort went into Google because the bulk of the spend was there. @runnerkik

Most (90%) clients are on MSFT ads, pushing towards 100% as Google continues to remove search terms data. MSFT has become one of our biggest feeders of negative data + ST data, so need it. @DigitalSamIAm

Yes, I try to get all my clients on both – cast the widest net for people who are looking for your business, then optimize by paying what the traffic is worth. @yaelconsulting

Q2: What are the top 1 or 2 things you are loving on Microsoft Advertising?

Low cpcs and linkedin targeting. I have a lot of public sector through my office, so campaigns with lots of targeting that don’t rely on pixels are really important. @JuliaVyse

Transparency and data. LOL. And tie ins to very important demographics and LinkedIn. @ynotweb

Support is much better than Google, low cpcs, search term visibility @selley2134

Second to the LinkedIN targeting! @Galliguez

Available data, of course! And CPCs are always lower than on Google. @NeptuneMoon

Great for older demographics and still lets me segment partner network from O&O @JonKagan

I think the LinkedIn targeting is neat and presents great opportunity! I also like that while they share a lot of similarities to Google Ads there are some distinct differences such as MSAN and all the placements that are unique to @MSFTAdvertising @BrettBodofsky

Their import (for campaigns that don’t need @MSAdvertising specific rules of engagement) and their shopping campaign mechanics. (t) @navahf

I am feeling awesome about Bing Ad’s ability to reach high-end consumers right now bc a client sold a luxury condo this week from a lead they traced back to Bing. @FindingAmanda

I also need to give a huge shoutout to their campaign/ad group setting that let us consolidate campaign structure (and get more bang for our buck). They make it easy to do national/international campaigns focused on personas instead of time zones. @navahf

LinkedIn data is brilliant (and looking forward to seeing more of it integrated into MSFT Ads); MSFT’s targeting layering + options (more robust at the ad group level) is quite handy @DigitalSamIAm

Support, lower cpcs, usually higher conversion rates, seems like there’s also been more frequent updates for ad extensions and ad features @jennifer_lash

Q3: What are the top 1 or 2 things you are loving on any ad platform?

Its all about the data and targeting options. @navahf

There is not a lot to love these days… @NeptuneMoon

I’m digging lead form extensions in Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads. (I said this last chat but it’s still true). @FindingAmanda

I just reckon any platofrm that gives us more data and isn’t automating everything will be the one having the edge. So in terms of search query data, ad creation, campaign daily spend and ad copy creation. @TheMarketingAnu

Website call tracking, and vendors paying for my lunch to stop asking questions they can’t answer @JonKagan

Audiences being cross-platform! I love the connectivity of understanding your ideal customer and being able to target, personalize creative, and prospect based on ad platform/first-party audiences. Management apps are cool too ^_^ @navahf

I’ve been really digging video campaigns as of recent. There is a lot of different things you can test there and that excites me. I also love that there is always more to learn when it comes to ad platforms/digital marketing in general. @BrettBodofsky

I like the interface set up for Google. I used to exclusively use the editor & spend a lot of time in spreadsheets. Today, it takes longer but I’m forced to use a more creative personal touch in my ad copy VS a spreadsheet full of concatenation formulas @runnerkik

I rediscovered power of GAds Editor. Run basic checks on ALL accounts at once, and export ready-to-use data views API & scripts too much for me. Contractor quotes over $10K Account->Export ->Export current view->Thank you. MSFT only allows 1 acct at a time. @yaelconsulting

Q4: As the definition and application of automation continues to evolve, what is your point of view on “forced automation” – e.g. automated ad copy recommendations, the shift to Enhanced Manual CPC, etc.?

My opinion on forced automation.. @FindingAmanda

Automation is fine; forced automation is not. Automation often does not work for B2B due to different buying cycles, customer types, etc. Don’t force us into it. @beyondthepaid

Call it what it is, a money grab. AI leads to overspending but not necessarily better performance. @JonKagan

I am automatically opposed to anything that is forced. I want to be a partner in automation, where I can utilize its benefits and have them help performance but also have a real way to help guide it. That part is missing for the most part right now. @NeptuneMoon

Forced automation is the worst! It takes away the control and eliminates our ability to test its performance. @BryceLiggins

Look, I understand automation can be helpful– but I have the same view of it in Paid Search as I do SEO. If you rely on automation, how will you ever surpass your competition? When I company sells the exact SAME product to you and your competitors, you all LOSE. @ynotweb

I’m okay with automation, but no one likes to be forced into anything…especially when it feels like such a black box as to how it actually works, and when it’s new enough that it’s still learning. all that feels like it does is throw performance in a blender. @jennifer_lash

Strongly against. If they let me test automation I will. But as soon as the platform starts forcing it, Im like trying to get a cat in a bathtub. @selley2134

I’d be more for it, if transparency was still the norm. Where I struggle is more spend missing search term data , seeing bids/budgets spike without a good reason, and conversion tracking becoming optional. @navahf

My stance is that I’m not at all fond of “forced automation” unless you can prove with data that my account is now doing better as a result. Automated ad copy just doesn’t seem viable for most of my clients at this time due to the quality of the recommendations. @BrettBodofsky

twitter.com/NeptuneMoon/st… @TheMarketingAnu

On the flipside, I’ve been continually impressed with similar audiences/lookalike audiences (especially when based on first-party data). So long as automation allows human guardrails (negative keywords, pinned creative, etc.) we’re looking at a net positive. @navahf

As we’ve discussed previously… automated is more acceptable with more transparency. If we aren’t controlling the dials… it would be nice to know what they are. Less black box… @Galliguez

Let’s also be real here too – a lot of the automated components and suggested components are almost universally awful, which does not help my attitude toward being marched toward forced adoption of the automation. @NeptuneMoon

Anytime I hear the word “forced” I get scared & while some of the automatic suggestions have been OK it’s about a 15% OK versus 100% & we like our clients getting way more than OK we want to nail that emotional/benefit sweet spot in our accounts shooting for GREAT . @runnerkik

Ish. I’m curious about the issue of “this data is too complex to analyze as a human” How do we better communicate to analysts and clients that “this variation is within error bounds – either you need more data or bigger changes?” @ferkungamaboobo

The push to take out advertisers’ control, will lead to out of control advertising… The essence of data-driven advertising is the ability to act on the data. @yaelconsulting

Q5: If you could make changes to the ad platforms, what would YOU choose to automate?

I like the idea of something like responsive search ads, which feels like a good combo of vast platform data access and my specific knowledge in what to put in ads. Would love to see more data about performance and combos so I could improve my inputs more. @NeptuneMoon

I also would like to see more about how the automation “thinks” in general. The technology is still so young, to build trust in it (if you care about that at all) there could be more data available to see how conclusions were reached. Again, to help guide/augment. @NeptuneMoon

Website pixel setup and conversion creation, but even in my head, I dont know how that would look @JonKagan

I have used scripts in the past to do negative keyword mining – basically if it doesn’t contain “x” then add as negative. That would be a helpful tool esp w/ match type changes. @selley2134

My favorite automations are rule based using IF statements with And/OR conditions and a large library of metrics/dimensions to work with. This way I’m still in control but accounts are always optimized @BryceLiggins

Something that would be cool to automate is to add recommended audiences in OBSERVATION. I’m always happy to target audiences as long as they perform, and adding them to observation automatically would be a time saver. @beyondthepaid

Automatic reporting emails (that we could customize), auto translation services (I’d test that to expedite market penetration), and keeping bid management automated with human controls. @navahf

Related… I think of negative KW generation from unrelated search spikes (for me in the healthcare space). I would also love to see more collision control between campaigns / accounts. @Galliguez

Q6: What would you like to see happen with Microsoft Advertising? Features added? Functionality changed?

More LinkedIn targeting features! @timothyjjensen

Search query visibility and kw Match types original intent Much of GAds power is Search. Advertisers decide how much to to pay per query, but hiding query visibility is pretty bad. Q) How to monetize bad search queries without upsetting advertisers? A) Hide them. @yaelconsulting

Biggest thing is transparency into the Audience ads. Would go a long way into providing trust in that network. @ferkungamaboobo

I’d like more diagnostics for new customers. The first 30 days are the toughest to prove the value of the network and I often have to rely on charisma to keep clients engaged during the ramp up period. Any thing to help with that would be awesome! @navahf

I’m going to say it – make match types meaningful again. @NeptuneMoon

I swear I ask them once a month for this: Website call tracking, video ads, and quit telling me to place a recommendation in a forum so people can vote on it…also stop changing your damn name. @JonKagan

Id love to continued releases of new extensions like the filter extension and action extension. I’m always looking for new things to test into and explore. More ways to quickly highlight and uncover trends. Something similar to Google Ads Explanations too. @BrettBodofsky

I have ptsd from an liberal matching experience on the platform…we are spending less money so maybe I could spend less time babysitting. If there were tighter guardrails I’d easily expand clients in that direction as it is I’m babysitting Google. @runnerkik

Off ad platform recommendation – More dedicated reps at lower spends. I’d spend more over time – no doubt… but I have issues @Galliguez

Q7: What questions do you have for @John_A_Lee about Microsoft Advertising?

What’s your favorite video and board game @John_A_Lee (making it work ^_^) @navahf

Based on time spent playing, @SeaOfThieves is my #1 video game right now. And board game… Lords of Waterdeep is my personal favorite. @John_A_Lee

@John_A_Lee Is there anything the pipeline that you can publicly disclose that not everyone already knows? @BrettBodofsky

Not today, not in this forum, no… @John_A_Lee

@John_A_Lee – if you’re allowed to say, what’s in the automation pipeline for @MSFTAdvertising? @TheMarketingAnu

@John_A_Lee In all seriousness, really interested in what you see as @MSAdvertising myths vs innovation areas. We sometimes get complacent in how we think about ad networks and it would be helpful to get your perspective on that. @navahf

Anything you can share with us about how LinkedIn and Microsoft Advertising are planning to integrate more this year? @NeptuneMoon

If only they would tell me. I’ll keep asking. @John_A_Lee

Also @John_A_Lee – Where can people find the content Microsoft Ads is publishing? @NeptuneMoon

Blog: about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/blog, Insights (tons of great data with context): about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/insights And all the webinars and videos: about.ads.microsoft.com/en-us/resource… @John_A_Lee

Yes @John_A_Lee in 7 years I have literally had more than 12 agency reps. Just changed over on me again. Hard to build a relationship with them. Is there a way to stop doing that? Also, publish requirements for agency partnership tiers? @JonKagan

Agency partner tiers – I’ll get back to you Jon. Re: agency reps, I will surface this. Common feedback, but as long as it is a pain point – continue to provide it, please! @John_A_Lee

Q8: We publish a lot of content at Microsoft Advertising, covering a lot of topics. Are we hitting the mark? If not, what would you like to hear from us?

The content I wish to see from @MSFTAdvertising is anything pertaining to updates, what’s next, best practices and strategies. @BrettBodofsky

I genuinely love the trends reports you guys do – I do think there’d be value in a “hidden gems” round of content (if you’re not already doing it), to help new and old @MSAdvertising practitioners alike get value out of the platform. @navahf

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