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Digital Transformation Microsoft Artificial Intelligence

Bing is supercharging search with AI – here’s how marketers can capitalize

By James Murray, International product marketing lead

Microsoft Advertising


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August 23, 2023 | 6 min read

Artificial intelligence (AI) is having a transformative effect on advertising, says James Murray (international product marketing lead, Microsoft Advertising). Here, Murray looks at how Bing's AI integration is supercharging search, and what advertisers can do to reap the benefits.

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is driving a transformational moment for advertising. Right now, ad teams are leveraging new generative AI products and tools to accelerate business goals. And consumers around the globe are exploring the possibility of AI innovations to augment daily tasks, from researching and considering products, to writing poems and creating art.

Now is the time for advertisers to leverage this fast and growing space by keeping AI in the scale and performance media budget line versus placing AI in the “innovation budget” and incorporating this new technology tomorrow. With the immense potential of AI in the world of search and digital advertising, the reality is, generative AI is as big of a moment as the invention of the internet or the start of the cloud.

In fact, AI is projected to be even more transformative than the cloud. According to PwC research, AI will fuel global growth by $15.7tn by 2030, boosting UK GDP by 10%, or about £230n.

The bottom line? We are at an inflection point; AI breakthroughs of today are going to augment how we work and live for many years to come.

The new Bing - built to supercharge search

There are 10 billion search queries a day, but nearly half of them go unanswered. That’s because people are using search to do things it wasn’t originally designed to do. For example, search is great for finding a website, but for more complex questions or tasks too often it falls short.

In February, Microsoft became the first technology organization to integrate generative AI into its search engine, working with Open AI to bring the best of ChatGPT into a new version of Bing. But this is far from Microsoft’s first step into the AI arena. In fact, Microsoft has been making strategic investments in AI research and the cloud for decades. By now bringing AI to search, browsing and chat, and creating one unified experience with Bing, Microsoft is empowering an ecosystem, improving the lives of people, and helping businesses achieve greater success.

With this latest technology, advertisers can access and engage audiences in new, creative, and strategic ways to remain one step ahead of the competition.

The new Bing and consumer behavior - key insights for advertisers

With AI, the way people search and create will never be the same. The reality is AI is now influencing how consumers research products. To succeed in today’s advertising landscape, search ad strategy must evolve to meet this seismic moment. Our relationship with the web will never be the same.

Prior to AI, advertisers could anticipate bidding on a specific set of words to reach their target audience. That’s because with traditional search, people would use just a few keywords to discover a product or brand. In fact, the research shows that 70% of traditional searches are three words or less.

With people now posing longer, more complex, and more open-ended questions in Bing Chat (on average, three times the length of traditional search queries), advertisers face the challenge of targeting ads to a person with a query that’s potentially 2,000 characters long, or more.

As consumers search with more text, AI is able to comprehend the complexity of consumer queries and provide relevant answers. To meet this moment advertisers will be thinking less about what three keywords their target audience might be using and more wholistically about their audience’s needs, thereby deeping their understanding of questions their consumer may be asking and answers they may be seeking.

Interestingly, the research also shows that consumer searches in Bing Chat tend to contain more emotive terms and superlatives, such as “cheapest,” “best,” or “top.” These changes are all signaling that consumers are becoming more conversational with Bing Chat, similar to how they would normally engage in a conversation. Plus, audiences naturally start to engage in longer sessions and use longer search terms.

And the stats back that up. Microsoft’s ad platform now has a greater audience than ever, reaching consumers in 187 markets and 35 languages. In the short term this means investing more in broad match, DSA and RSA to cover the gaps in current keyword campaigns that filter over to chat.

The future is now

Building an advertising strategy with AI at the center is a smart business choice for brands and agencies. Media investment company GroupM foresees AI influencing at least half of an estimated £874bn in global ad revenue by the year’s end. It also predicts a 5.3% growth in the UK ad market next year.

Advertisers can make the most of generative AI by generating ads within Microsoft Advertising’s ad creation workflow. Marketers can choose from multiple AI-generated ad headlines and descriptions categorized by key selling points of a product or service.

Additionally, advertisers can become more productive at work overall by using generative AI within the newly announced Bing Chat for Enterprise and multimodal Visual Search in Chat. Chat for Enterprise lets advertisers level up—from developing SWOT analysis, getting help writing a sales pitch, or comparing competitor advertising strategies. In short, generative AI helps people become even better advertisers.

Unequivocally, the value generative AI technology unlocks for advertisers is tremendous, delivering better campaign outcomes, improved insights, and greater return on time spent.

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Digital Transformation Microsoft Artificial Intelligence

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Microsoft Advertising offers scalable technology solutions, spanning search, native, display, video, and retail media, to reach consumers across all aspects of their...

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