Quiet Giants: Microsoft

We've all heard of the big boys of digital marketing. Facebook. Google.

Most marketers wouldn't even bother about learning anything outside of those two. After all, they cover most of the internet - from Facebook, Instagram, Google, Youtube and their respective Audience/Display Network (other websites, apps etc)

In this series, we'll take a look at other digital marketing players that we wouldn't normally pay attention to.

Let's get started.

When we take a look at a graph of the Search Engine Market Share (pictured below), you can see Google dominating the entire market.
Similarly, Facebook+Instagram dominates the market while Snapchat and Twitter lags behind...
So why care about others when it is clear that giants such as Google and Facebook dominates the entire market?

Let's take a look at the "popular" social media sites' advertising revenue

Not too bad but it's a drop in the ocean compared to the giants.

Now let's take a look at Bing's advertising revenue...

Wait what?

The "unpopular" Bing earns more from its ads than 3 of the "popular" social media apps out there?

Introducing Microsoft Advertising
Bing ads were rebranded into Microsoft Advertising on 30 April 2020.

Microsoft Advertising is Search Advertising that utilizes a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) model.
Every time your ad is clicked in the PPC model, it sends a visitor to your website and you have to pay the search engine a small fee.

How much you pay usually depends on factors such as how competitive your keyword is and the quality of your ad (quality score).

You create ads and bid on keywords that you think your customers are searching on Bing. You can also target specific demographics or within a location's radius. It also has its version of Audience Network where they're able to advertise on.

Microsoft Advertising has most of the features that Google Ads has with its own Microsoft tweaks. In fact, they even allow advertisers to import data from Google Ad campaigns onto Microsoft Advertising.
Similarly to Google Ads, the ads appear at the top of the search results.
Similarly to Google Ads, the ads also appear at the bottom of the search results.
Unlike Google, Bing also has ads on the side of its page. It may make the page look more cluttered as compared to Google.
Here are more shocking numbers...
Bing Alexa ranking (US): 12th
Bing Alexa ranking (global): 37th
Alexa ranking is a measure of website popularity through estimated traffic and visitor engagement.

(Not in the top 50 in Singapore)

Microsoft Search Network Audience has over 124 million unique searchers every month!

Microsoft Search Network Audience has 36.7% market share of the US desktop search market.

Microsoft Search Network Audience can reach 45.4 million that do not do their search on Google.

What might explain Microsoft Advertising's rise as a quiet giant?
Bing comes as the default search engine on all Windows desktops/laptop. Just by the sheer number of Windows desktop and laptops sold, even a small percentage of those who do not mind Bing as a search engine would be in the millions.

Bing can also help marketers reach customers who do not use Google. This makes it attractive to marketers who aren't seeing a great return on ad spend on other platforms.

Furthermore, with the Linkedin acquisition, Microsoft is carving a space in the online advertising space that the giants are unable to get to.
However, Microsoft Advertising and Bing are still primarily more popular in the US. Due to the lower volume of searchers/audience, it also means that marketers might find it difficult to scale their ads as compared to Facebook and Google.

While most of us might not be Bing users, there are literally millions out there using Bing on a daily basis!

What does this tell us as marketers?

Key takeaway: You are NOT your customer.

You do not have the same behaviour as your potential customers.
You do not have the same fears as your potential customers.
You do not have the same problems as your potential customers.

You are NOT your customer.

We should not assume our customers are always on Facebook, Instagram or Youtube. We should not shy away from other platforms just because we are not users ourselves!

I hope you've learnt something from this article!

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