Microsoft has been in the news lately. The tech company has expanded its Microsoft Digital Marketing Center, which provides small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with a central site on which they can manage, online, both advertising campaigns and organic content. Read on to learn more about the Microsoft Digital Marketing Center and what it might offer your brand.
What is the Microsoft Digital Marketing Center?
The Microsoft Digital Marketing Center is a product from the company’s experimental project lab, Microsoft Garage. When it came onto the scene in October 2019, it empowered SMBs to use one interface to manage digital campaigns across multiple networks, from Microsoft to Google and Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In late June 2020, Microsoft announced a major expansion of the product, with additional features such as:
- Social management inbox, which serves as a central hub for managing likes, direct messages, and replies on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Image ad suggestion, which allows brands to easily create their own effective image ads by choosing from suggested ads.
- Improved tools for ads, such as a field for an extra headline. The benefit? Advertisers can include more information in their ads and subsequently enhance location targeting.
- The ability to appeal disapproved ads from Bing and Facebook.
- A new home page experience that combines social and ad metrics into one user-friendly dashboard view.
- Twitter support, which is now enabled.
Who is the target audience?
SMBs are the target market. SMBs have captured even more attention during the COVID-19 pandemic. As McKinsey points out, SMBs face an even tougher road to economic recovery. They need all the help they can get.
Who are Microsoft Digital Marketing Center’s competitors?
Microsoft Digital Marketing Center is competing with platforms such as:
- HubSpot, which is already positioned as a one-stop shop for SMBs. Though Microsoft Digital Marketing Center doesn’t have all the CRM features of a HubSpot, it brings its own advantages to the table. (It’s currently free, for one thing.)
- Google, to some degree. As Search Engine Land explains, “Similar to Google Smart campaigns, which aim to simplify campaign set up and management for SMBs, Digital Marketing Center uses Microsoft AI to power ad keyword and audience targeting and bidding.”
But Digital Marketing Center gives customers more autonomy. Advertisers can build their own ads. They can also use automated ad copy or modify auto-suggestions.
Why did Microsoft launch this product?
Microsoft probably launched Digital Marketing Center to gain a toehold with the market of small-to-medium-sized businesses, which have more aggressively embraced digital advertising to acquire customers amid the spread of COVID-19. And as noted above, they are not alone in their efforts to win the hearts of this group.
What should I do next?
If you are interested in trialing the Digital Marketing Center, start here. The beta is open to U.S. businesses only at this point.
Is there a “gotcha”?
As with many free products, be aware that you get what you pay for. Digital Marketing Center is totally self-service: you’ll be on your own in managing this tool. In short, it invites self-sufficiency! Also, just because it’s free now doesn’t mean the features will remain free.
Contact True Interactive
Do you want to learn more about the Digital Marketing Center and what it might offer your business? Contact us. We can help.