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Microsoft: Programmatic buying will make media buy more creative

More engaging and intensive advertising experiences will come with programmatic buying, according to Adam Anger, Microsoft’s GM of advertising and online in the Asia Pacific.

“Forms of advertising will be more diverse in the future. The industry is moving more towards programmatic buying, with standard ad units purchased programmatically, and this trend will continue,” Anger said.

“This frees up human resources for media buy to be more creative and produce more deeply engaging and intensive experiences.”

Native advertising will not be rolled out at the time of the new MSN.com launch later this year, with advertising solutions focusing on regular display banner advertising, content integration partnerships and sponsorships.

But Anger says interactive experiences like the new MSN.com’s productivity tools sets the stage for engaging marketing campaigns. Productivity tools include generating shopping lists after reading recipes on MSN.com and booking hotels.

Earlier this month, Microsoft unveiled the preview of the upcoming revamped MSN.com for Asia.

The website’s launch will take place before the end of this year globally except for the mainland Chinese market.

At the time of the launch, the revamped PC and mobile-friendly website will be comprised of ten verticals, such as sports, money and lifestyle.

For mobile, the verticals will be spun off as individual apps synchronized with user preferences across all channels – mobile, tablet and PC. However, there will be no integrated MSN.com app.

The spin-off apps for Windows phones will be launched along with the new website, with iOS and Android apps to follow shortly after.

“An example of this engaging type of advertising is to target readers who browse news about cars on our auto channel. There’s a clear user intent. A car manufacturer can provide readers with the option of typing in where they are and book a test-drive. It would take the form of task completion,” Anger said.

While the traditional pay per click and impression would be part of the new MSN.com’s advertising payment schemes, new forms of payments are yet to be introduced for experience-based campaigns.

Anger said, “Brands need to look at measuring engagement differently because it’s not the same as simply bringing traffic to your website.”

Another form of engagement is the user’s ability to personalise and organise news content on the platform, which is a way to keep users frequenting it.

The power of organising content is not to be underestimated. When Facebook first unveiled its Timeline feature, friends’ profiles suddenly seemed richer simply because of the way the same user information was organised.

“The fact that the site is personalised means greater access to information,” Anger said.

But the top “Stripe” section of the new MSN.com above News will not be personalisable at the time of the launch.

The revamped site will aggregate content from over 1,000 content brands, curated by a team of staff based in each market for the local audience.

“It’s a strategic decision of ours not to be in the editorial business,” Adam Anger, Microsoft’s GM of advertising and online in the Asia Pacific, said.

“We are a technology company and we wanted to focus on curating editorial content and the delivery of productivity experiences.”

He declined to comment on whether MSN.com would be optimised for wearables such as Apple Watch in the future.

Users will be able to set their preferences for what type of news they want to read on MSN.com with on-the-spot buttons rather than through a back-end dashboard.

The revamped MSN.com for Hong Kong will be in Chinese only, whereas the Singapore version will be available in English and Chinese.

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