In an effort to simplify organic and paid online marketing campaign management, Microsoft has released Microsoft Digital Marketing Center. The platform is currently in beta and is now accepting new participants. With Digital Marketing Center small businesses will be able to manage their paid ad campaigns and organic content across Facebook, Instagram, Bing, Google, and Twitter. While still in the pilot stage (Street Digital Media has applied to test out the product, but we are waiting on a response from Microsoft for access), the launch is interesting in three main facets.
Microsoft looks to compete with Google Ads' Smart Campaigns. Google's Smart Campaigns are over-simplified ways for small business owners to advertise their business via paid search without having robust knowledge of Google Ads. The setup is incredibly simple and streamlined, but Smart Campaigns leave a lot of room for increased performance, attention to detail, and targeting capabilities. With Google and Microsoft making digital advertising more easily accessible for those not as digital marketing savvy, it allows more small businesses to get in the digital marketing game that typically wouldn't- aka more revenue for Microsoft and Google.
With the COVID pandemic, many businesses have been forced to adjust by making their businesses, services, and products more easily accessible online. By simplifying digital marketing campaign management for all, Microsoft further encourages the push to online accessibility for SMBs and their clients. The future is surely digital.
It will be worth keeping a close eye on how this product evolves out of beta. Will Microsoft continue to steer it towards one-off small business owners or will marketing agencies have access to manage multiple property campaigns within one account? If the latter, campaign management would be streamlined in a very welcome and free way. By bringing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google into the confines of a Microsoft product, Microsoft takes an interesting stance in cooperating with its tech competition. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer? By consolidating these channels into one platform and assuming all integrations function properly, Microsoft will solve a lot of headaches for digital marketers who are forced to work within a number of ad manager platforms.