Mix06 session on the Microsoft adCenter. Basically it is an adwords ‘clone’ with some extra features, once again the onus is MS to play catch up with other platforms.
The best quote was ‘advertising is a software problem’ and this is clearly the way MS are approaching it. The adCenter has a fairly useable API, and some plus features such as demographic context to refine ad bids. Also they are storing time series data to allow some insight into peak usage and refine bids accordingly. The example provided was for wedding gowns, which peak in the summer for purchases as most wedding are at the end of the summer, but the peak time for search terms was jan/feb, so a better ad bid strategy can be developed once you understand the seasonality of the search terms.
the problem with the demographic stuff, which demoed well, is that they really only have demo data on MS passport users.
MS Research has about 50 developers working on future green field r+d, this will
bring things like multistage campaigns etc to the search ad space.
the pilot for adCenter is at http://advertising.msn.com/msn-adcenter/signup
and the promocode to get on for free is ‘Redmond’
the contact for the API is email@example.com.