Microsoft readies launch of suite of ad targeting tools

Cannes Lions: Microsoft Advertising is launching a new set of tools this Autumn that allows brands to deliver creative work sequentially across all Microsoft platforms.


The ad tools allow the brand to target a consumer at different points in the day, for example on Outlook during the day or on Xbox in the evening.

An upgrade of the 8.1 software is also planned with the company introducing a digital assistant called Cortana, to rival Apple’s Siri.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Cannes Lions Andy Hart, EMEA vice president of Microsoft Advertising and online, says:

“We believe that technology is there to enable humans to be better. Once you start to build that into their day through services and devices there are opportunities for brand partners to participate in that journey.”

The company also recently announced frequency control solutions for brands that allow advertisers to tell chapters of the brand story by revealing it across multiple devices and services. Brands such as Activision, Emirates Airlines and O2 Telefonica are on board.

Microsoft Advertising will also gain from the data captured across its devices through these ad solutions.

Hart adds: “The signals that we will learn from Cortana, the phone and all the services that the consumer uses will help us identify and predict what people do. Once you start to understand intent, mapping existing behaviour and potential behaviour you can start to deliver effectively.

The company is also gathering data from Skype, Bing apps, MSN and Outlook to start to identify people through its identification system, as consumers have one ID across all devices, whether it’s Outlook or on an Xbox.

Hart says: “We don’t have all the answers, we are going to have to learn. It’s a new set of skills that creatives, media planners and communication planners are going to have to learn too.”