As Media Platforms Consolidate, Advertisers Benefit
Mergers and Acquisitions Are on the Rise
Mergers and acquisitions are heavily influencing online advertising platforms. For example, “the value of global advertising merger and acquisition deals reached an all-time high of $2.51 trillion, a 64% increase over the same period last year,” according to Media Radar’s June 2018 report.
That consolidation trend has continued in 2019. In January, Microsoft and Verizon Media announced that all Yahoo Search traffic is exclusively served by Bing Ads, starting March 15th.
With mergers and acquisitions on the rise, advertisers are left wondering what will happen to their ad campaigns. The good news for them is that the effects will most likely be positive.
Consolidation Means Simplicity for Advertisers
The Verizon Media and Microsoft partnership means Bing will now give brands one platform to manage all search campaigns across Yahoo, AOL, Bing and their network partners on mobile, tablet and desktop. Instead of switching back and forth across Bing, Yahoo and AOL, advertisers can manage their ad campaigns directly from the Bing Network interface. The deal also affects native ads, as Microsoft introduces ad placements on MSN and includes traffic currently acquired from Oath Ad Platforms, previously called Gemini.
With fewer platforms to manage, companies can promote more ads across platforms; they get the benefit of advertising to a variety of audiences, without duplicating their effort as previously required. Such consolidation offers advertising agencies and the day-to-day practitioners managing campaigns across these platforms a significant advantage. Marketers can spend more time focusing on optimizing and strategizing campaigns, instead of integrating data from a variety of sources.
Marketers Can Access More Data as Audiences Increase
The Microsoft and Verizon Media deal means advertisers will get access to a deeper well of first-party data sets. Currently, Bing collects data regarding an audience’s searches and their location. Publications syndicated through Verizon Media, including TechCrunch and HuffPost, collect data about what an audience is reading. Therefore, advertisers who were previously only on Bing will now also see ad placement on MSN, an exclusive platform only available to Microsoft and Verizon Media clients.
As a result of the partnership, advertisers will also have more access to data and can leverage deeper insights to anticipate the wants and needs of their audience, ultimately leading to more successful ad campaigns. Even better, advertisements running on syndicated networks generally have a lower cost per click (CPC), which helps ensure a better return on advertising spend (ROAS).
Companies Should Optimize Ad Placement Following this Announcement
In the wake of the partnership announcement, the best digital marketing strategy is for companies to advertise across all of the platforms available. Brands have an opportunity to capture a variety of audiences and users by advertising on both Bing and Google for search engine marketing and retargeting programs.
The consolidation offers advertisers deeper data insights by covering more ground, enabling them to get a deeper understanding of their audience and strategize accordingly. As the partnership takes effect, retailers should monitor their traffic and budget levels in March and April to ensure they are taking full advantage of the more substantial inventory now available to them.
If possible, companies should additionally find ways to unify content on their own. While it is beneficial to collect data across Bing’s syndicated platforms, companies must consider how that data relates to advertising occurring on platforms outside of Bing’s network.
When it Comes to Platform Consolidation, This Is Only the Beginning
As the advertising industry continues to look for convenience and efficiency, consolidation will only increase. The combined data collected from search engines and media is increasingly valuable for advertisers trying to boost their ROAS with personalized advertising. Advertisers must leverage this data in a way that personalizes the ad experience for audiences while anticipating their wants and needs.
For advertisers, there is a lot to be gained from the Microsoft and Verizon Media partnership. Going forward, brands will be able to take advantage of the consolidated interface, the larger audience and the increased wealth of data, giving them a better chance at seeing the highest ROAS possible for their ad campaigns.