Bing Ads Custom Audiences: Worth The Effort For Some

Bing Ads recently rolled out custom audiences across all advertisers is most markets after nearly 2 years in beta. According to Bing:

Custom Audiences can help you anticipate your customers’ needs and reach them with the right message. You can bid more aggressively for those high-value customers, whether you’re helping them complete a purchase or you’re upselling or cross-selling. The more you know about your customers, the better you can target — and more precise targeting can help you achieve a greater return on ad spend (ROAS). Our pilot participants saw up to 18 percent higher click-through rates (CTR).1 The sky is the limit for how you can manage your own customers’ activity, purchases and behavior via CRM tools.

Bing took a different approach than Google Ads Customer Match significantly limiting the number of advertisers that can utilize their custom audiences. Where in Google Ads you can upload a list directly into your account, with Bing Ads you can only integrate through a DMP partner. Currently, there are direct integrations with Adobe Audience Manager, LiveRamp and Oracle BlueKai. What if you don’t now work with one of these three data providers? Well, you can’t use Bing Ads Custom Audiences unless you choose to start working with one of the DMP’s.

Why Would Bing Ads Take This Approach?

Forcing you to work with one of Bing’s DMP partners likely removes at least 75% of their advertisers from being able to use their custom audiences. The vast majority of changes Bing has made to their search advertising program in recent years has been to simplify the process to increase the number of direct advertisers that are on Bing.

The hot topic in the past year has been around data privacy. Facebook especially has been under a microscope when it comes to this subject. Unfortunately, this has caused them to make many changes to their platform to continue to be a trusted platform for their customers. With so much focus being on Facebook, Google and Bing have been escaping much of the scrutiny… for now. Bing most likely is approaching custom audiences in this way to avoid any data privacy questioning. Google and Facebook allow you to upload a list of contact information that in reality, you can get from anywhere. There is no verification that it’s actually your data to use. We can make a reasonable assumption that eventually Facebook and Google will have to tighten up their custom audience program to be more secure like Bing Ads is.

Custom Audiences Across Bing Ads & Google Ads Isn’t For Most Advertisers

Facebook has done an impressive job making advertising towards custom audiences work well for large and small audiences. Google and Bing custom audiences are mostly designed for businesses with tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of customers. Where Facebook can easily matchup 90%+ of your customer profiles and the only requirement for those customers to see your ads is they need to be on Facebook or Instagram, that covers a much larger pool of people. Google and Bing have much lower match up rates when you target a specific customer list. Not only that, once there is a match up, that person has to search for a keyword you are actively bidding on.

With Bing having a much smaller part of the search market than Google, you need an even larger customer base to capture those actively searching on Bing.

What Are The Next Steps?

If you’re currently working with one of the DMP’s mentioned above there are instructions for setting up the custom audiences in Bing Ads here. If you’re not now working with one of those DMP’s most likely it isn’t worth your time and effort to enter into this program. If you would to check it out the links above will take you to each of the partner DMP’s to get more information on the program.

Otherwise, feel free to send us a message for more information.