LSA|14: Reducing Complexity for Digital Ads With A Balance of Control and Automation

Contributed by: Wesley Young

The “mobile is local” theme continued in this morning’s session with Ginny Sandu, senior product manager, mobile and local advertising for Bing Ads.

Sandu outlined Bing’s strategy as three fold:

  • Eliminate complexity for small businesses: Helping businesses transition from print to digital that removes complexity.
  • Enable local task completion: For most local businesses this means driving calls and walk-ins.
  • Measuring local ROI for SMBs: Providing tools for the SMB to measure the success of their programs.

“We could make things, easier, simpler, and cheaper for small businesses, however when the rubber meets the road, you want to make sure your advertisers are getting the ROI they are looking for,” said Sandu.

Recognizing that complexity is one of the biggest barriers to local businesses achieving ROI from a mobile ad spend, Bing has developed a new product called Bing Ads Express, which is currently in beta.

The Bing Ads Express concept employs a light, simple signup approach, with a pay-per-click model and no keywords to chose.  Despite the simplified approach, business can still target where they want their listing to show, the radius in which the business should appear in ads for users, what the budget should be, and the number of clicks a business can expect to receive.

This product is particularly appealing to partners who have clients with relatively small digital spends.

“If you have a client with a digital spend of a $150, you don’t want to spend four to five hours for them on it every week.  A lot of our partners expressed interest in something where the complexity is reduced.”

Sandu said that the key lesson for Bing has been striking the right balance between control and automation, and that they are taking lessons learned from Bing Ads Express to apply to the entire Bing Ads platform.

“People want automation but they want some bells and whistles that allow them to maintain control.”

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