New Branding: Microsoft’s Latest Play for Marketing Attention

Microsoft is working hard to unite their diverse crew of acquired start-ups and advertising outlets. While Bing is responsible for a humble 2.78% of the world’s search traffic (4.38% if you consider their partner properties like Yahoo/DuckDuckGo), that is still an enormous chunk of opportunity that complements their inventory of non-search ad opportunities. 

If you haven’t paid attention to Microsoft’s various acquisitions over the last year or so, you’re not alone – and the breadth of them might surprise you. Microsoft’s branding update will serve as a stepping-stone toward brand unity and consistency between their product offerings. New names include:

  • PromoteIQ will be renamed Microsoft Retail Media.
  • Xandr’s various offerings will become Microsoft Monetize, Microsoft Invest, and Microsoft Curate.

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Why is Microsoft's Brand Change Important?

Why is it important? Microsoft Advertising is doing everything possible – including being a first mover on generative AI, with ChatGPT – to become a viable Google alternative. Integrating branding, combined with an emphasis on the quality of their platform offerings, is intended to make them a “must-have” traffic source for any paid campaigns.

The Microsoft tradition of acquisition is nothing new; one of their first huge search partnerships, with Yahoo, dates all the way back to 2009. They've since added countless more partnerships like DuckDuckGo and LinkedIn. It’s hard to imagine a digital marketing product Microsoft hasn’t tried to court and bring under their umbrella. 

Boasting so many options and services, Microsoft Ads is making no bones about courting more marketers. From shopping, to obscure search partners and geos, they’re covering a lot of bases. Keep an eye out for reports on the efficacy of the platforms and quarterly reports on market share – if you’re willing to bet on the underdog, there may be some merit in diversifying spend from Google.



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