AdCenter Wants To Convert Your Business

    December 13, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The new Microsoft suggests that entering their content network via AdCenter would be an excellent way to promote one’s business, even if it means being a complementary option with other advertising choices.

AdCenter Wants To Convert Your Business
Microsoft AdCenter Doing Well

It’s a stark contrast to the old Microsoft we came to know through the start of the 21st Century. When it came to a technology solution, Microsoft promoted itself over other companies.

That thinking has departed in some ways, a refreshing break with a monolithic past that can’t exist in a world of choices, and especially coming into a market, in our case self-service online advertising, where the dominant players Google and Yahoo have been especially strong.

James Colborn, group manager for AdCenter marketing, recently got back from SES Chicago. He chatted with WebProNews today about the Microsoft option, one that small- to medium-sized businesses may not have come to know yet.

Over 30,000 advertising clients have signed up for AdCenter, a number that Colborn said is ahead of their target schedule. Many of them complement efforts on other ad networks by participating in Microsoft’s.

MSN and its affiliated sites draw 465 million visitors each month. To reach them, AdCenter provides the route to the Microsoft Network, and it’s the only way to get in front of that audience.

The audience provides a compelling reason to participate in Microsoft’s service. Since AdCenter is relatively new, Colborn noted, cost-per-click is slightly cheaper now. Quality traffic has been appealing to ad clients; results vary among verticals, but Colborn said the range of conversion rates has been 20 to 50 percent higher, sometimes greater, than the norm.

Travel and consumer electronics have been performing well as verticals, and business-to-business has been noteworthy. B2B is very important as it can be much more profitable and consistent over time than the business to consumer market that may be more sensitive to economic swings.

For those entering the AdCenter world, Colborn said the ability to target by demographics, and to finetune bids based on them, would be an asset to demographically-sensitive businesses. If the likely market for a product would be young and female, those bids can be set higher to gain that group’s attention in relevant places.

AdCenter also blogs to support its documentation and how-to walkthroughs with the service. The blog helps AdCenter’s support people demonstrate important concepts when working with it.

AdCenter’s information provided to ad clients provides a better understanding of these demographics, according to Colborn, and being able to bid accordingly should be a significant asset.

“It’s a very efficient way to maximize ad dollars while gaining access to Microsoft’s network,” Colborn said. Those audience insights will be beneficial, and even if AdCenter would be complementary to other campaigns, the lower CPC and conversion rates they tout today should merit a look by potential SMB advertisers.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.