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MSN AdCenter Announcement Reported By WSJ

Andy Beal
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-16

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I've been speaking to journalists about the new MSN adCenter and they all tell me that they are under embargo until Wednesday. Well, someone over at the WSJ didn't get that memo.

They went ahead and posted their story Tuesday night.

The article reveals - so I'll comment - details of the demographic data that MSN adCenter advertisers will have access to. As an SEM, I can tell you that the graphs make for a nice visual display and will certainly help advertisers to achieve better targeting of their adverts, although don't confuse that with the ability to actively select which demographic your can show your ad to.

Mark Boslet at Dow Jones has some other opinions and speculations.

There are still a lot of cool details that will come out over the coming weeks. We'll keep you posted!

From WSJ:

Microsoft Tests Software Link Of Web Searches to Advertisers

March 16, 2005

The new software allows advertisers to link advertisements to relevant search results. Microsoft charges advertisers a fee each time users click on the ads. Called MSN adCenter, the software eventually will also allow advertisers to access detailed data on MSN users, such as age, gender and "lifestyle" characteristics, helping them to tailor their marketing efforts.

For now, the new functions Microsoft is testing appear to be more advanced than those offered by its lead competitors. Today most services charge fees based on the number of "clicks" on a specific advertisement but provide little information about people who searched on a specific term.

An advertiser linked to "NCAA basketball," for instance, on MSN adCenter could view graphs showing that mostly males age 16 to 60 searched for the term. Such information can be used by Microsoft to tailor its fees based on the audience and move online advertisers from "buying keywords to buying an audience," Microsoft Vice President Yusuf Mehdi said.

Microsoft said it will give advertisers only aggregate data, not the identities of individual searchers.

...Already, Microsoft plans to replace search ads provided by Yahoo with its own ads in France. Microsoft executives won't comment on their plans to roll out the service in other markets.

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About the Author:
Considered one of the worlds most respected interactive and search engine marketing experts, Andy has worked with many Fortune 1000 companies such as Motorola, CitiFinancial, Lowes, Alaska Air, DeWALT, NBC and Experian.

You can read his internet marketing blog at Marketing Pilgrim and reach him at andy.beal@gmail.com.

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