Micorosoft has been pretty quiet about any concrete efforts to integrate LinkedIn and Bing data for advertisers, other than to essentially say, “be patient, it’ll come.” On Monday, Corporate VP of Microsoft Search Advertising Rik van der Kooi gave a little more color to those plans during a speech at Advertising Week in New York City.
Additionally, the company outlined ways in which Microsoft (and Bing Ads) continues to integrate artificial intelligence into its search offerings, including support for conversational search.
When Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016, there was a lot of talk about the marketing potential that could come from intertwining the user information Microsoft has — audience and intent data based on signals such as search history and product and domain preferences — with the audience attribute of LinkedIn’s nearly 500 million users.
On Monday, van der Kooi announced that Microsoft is integrating the LinkedIn Graph with Microsoft’s Audience Intelligence Graph.
What that means practically for advertisers remains to be seen, but as both graphs currently power the ad targeting capabilities of each platform, the natural assumption is that advertisers will be able to harness data from both graphs and use it in campaigns across Bing Ads and LinkedIn.
Bing is starting to integrate brands’ bots right within the search results. Chat Bot Extensions will help businesses surface answers to common questions about their products or services right within the search results pages. This initial test is launching now, and Bing plans to make it more widely available later this year.
Bing Ads is still piloting in-market audience targeting, but announced Monday that the program is broadening and is expected to be available generally soon. There are now more than 70 in-market audiences available to target now in Bing Ads. In early testing, Microsoft claims that advertisers have seen up to 28 percent higher click-through rates and up to 48 percent higher conversion rates.