Today, you’ve probably read the news (http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2006/nov06/11-06ConvergenceEMEADay1PR.mspx ) about our plans to integrate our CRM product with Microsoft adCenter.
I’ve received quite a few questions on what adCenter actually is and how it relates to CRM, so I thought I would share some more details about the plans and the thinking.
We all “search” to find what we want… 39.1 million people are like you and I and use Live search to do that every month. When searching you have hopefully also noticed that various sponsored links that come up – those don’t just show up randomly. They are the result of a very deliberate decision by the advertiser on who they want their advertisements to be exposed to and how often they want that to happen. In other words – advertisers can define a clear target audience that they want their adds presented to, based on the words that you and I use to search on. The advertiser typically buy a number of ‘pops’ and once their add has been shown that specific number of times, the contract has been fulfilled.
Microsoft adCenter is in essence an offering that can help drive such campaigns – it includes various guidelines on how to build adds to be displayed in Live search and it provides intelligence on what keywords work well and which ones don’t.
When targeting adds factors such as geography, gender, day and part of week can be considered and as mentioned, tools to generate the keyword list, uploading those keywords, building/saving and export reports, prediction of keyword effectiveness before buying are all included in the adCenter offering.
It is actually a simple 4 step process
- First: you name your campaign, set your targets and define your preferences
- Second: compose your add, provide URLs for your ad, and even customize your ad so you can dynamically insert text
- Third: Use tools to research keywords that could help your campaign and also upload keywords in bulk if you already have campaigns on other search engines.
- Fourth: Set your budget, place bids and submit. You basically decide how much you want to spend on your campaign and any target you may have applied.
Then submit your order.
There is a lot of things to consider when driving marketing – it is e.g. important to know who the app. 40 million people that do Live search every month are… did you know that per a research study from Nielsen:
- Predominantly female (41% are male).
- Between 21-49 years of age.
- Generating a mean household income of $72,000.
- Higher education (50% are college graduates or higher and are significantly more likely to have "Some College/University").
- Information workers (24% have professional, executive/managerial, or technical occupations--Over-indexed in "Exec/Managerial," "Factory Operator," and "Self-employed").
So where does Microsoft Dynamics CRM come into the picture? Well – imagine this as a scenario:
- A Company/user wants to kick of a marketing campaign and goes to the marketing module of CRM and creates a new campaign
- The campaign is categorized as “Internet Marketing” campaign
- Upon creating the campaign the user needs to kick off the campaign / initiate it.
- At that point the adCenter sign-in experience and whole process of acquiring keywords and other factors for the campaign gets defined. The trick is that the user never experience that they are actually leaving their CRM and Outlook experience… they do it directly from the CRM experience with adCenter surfacing directly via a mash up.
- To close the loop on above…. As leads get created via adCenter (when users click on links and identify themselves) these leads will flow full circle back into the CRM systems lead management part where they can then go through further qualification.
Once we then have the bulk of leads in the CRM system I can then imagine:
- Applying data mining logic from SQL Server to provide an automatic rating of leads coming in from adCenter
- Use the above rating to determine how the lead should be handled within the company
- Via our workflow engine we can route the leads with lowest qualification to our telesales team…. And leads with high qualification we can send to our direct sales force for further action.
What we announced today is that we will be building this – you should expect that this will be available during the Summer of 2007.
I hope this provides a good sense for why we are doing this and the value it can bring to marketing efforts.