Microsoft has renamed its small and medium business (SMB) targeted Microsoft Advertising to Bing. The company hopes the move will boost sales by giving advertisers a cue that they are buying traffic on Microsoft’s search engine. Will it make a difference?
The Search for More Ad Revenue
Microsoft announced that it is rebranding Microsoft Advertising to its search engine moniker, Bing. The company says the shift is designed to simplify the search advertising process for SMB customers. Now when customers access Microsoft’s adCenter, they see a page that looks very much like the Bing search engine.
Google currently leads the paid search market. This isn’t too surprising given that the company name has now become a synonym for the act of performing an Internet search. However, the company doesn’t own the entire market, and there is no guarantee they can retain the position long term.
Microsoft moved ahead of Yahoo in search engine market share to claim the number two spot right behind Google in January. Although this commendable, it doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t drive advertising growth. The entire search market is based on selling businesses access to the millions of users that perform searches each day and the data they generate.
Microsoft used the rebranding as an opportunity to take a few jabs at the current market leader. Referring to data from comScore, Microsoft noted that unique Bing and Yahoo searchers spend 26 percent more than the average search user and 9 percent more than a user on Google. Microsoft also cited that 49 million Bing and Yahoo! search users don’t use Google.
What This Means
Google is continuing to dominate the paid search market. The last quarter of 2011, the company reported the largest year-over-year growth in the entire industry. In contrast, both Yahoo and Microsoft declined. However, search engine providers aren’t players competing for the new capital entering the sector as business shift their marketing dollars to digital campaigns. Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook have also stepped up their efforts woo SMB advertising dollars.