Last week, Microsoft announced the preview of its Microsoft Advertising interface redesign. The new update aims to make creating campaigns and viewing campaign results easier and more user-friendly.
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This redesign comes a year after the Google AdWords "experience" redesign campaign became thede facto interface for Adwords. And, like its competitor's redesign, this new facelift brings along a few fancy new functionalities.
Leading with momentum
When Microsoftchanged the name of Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising in April, it led with the statement "Momentum is a powerful thing." Microsoft wanted to make it clear that it wasn't just rebranding the name — it was changing the experience.
That momentum brought a slew of new updates to Microsoft Advertising in thefirst half of 2019 — including AI-powered insertions, better campaign tools, new integrations, and a beefed-up selection of metrics.
Microsoft is more than willing to be the other basket you shove some of your eggs into.
In line with this thinking, Microsoft's new redesign is obviously Google-inspired. Not only does this new update mimic many of the interfaces already available in post-2018 AdWords, but Microsoft is unbelievably upfront about it.
In theofficial update announcement, Microsoft said, "you may find that the redesigned Microsoft Advertising feels familiar to other Microsoft products as well as other advertising platforms."
Meet the Microsoft Advertising redesign
The redesign applies very modern interface principles (i.e., bold menus, subtle colors, and minimal clutter) to the Microsoft Advertising UI.
For starters, designers added a new global menu bar to the top of every page. The menu bar lets you switch accounts, preview campaigns, import AdWords campaigns, and access other heavily-used functions. Of course, this new global menu pushes the previous "main menu" to the far left — which is now a little less clunky to click through.
An Accounts tab was also added — replacing the previous Accounts & Billing tab — which lets you manage all of your account settings in one pane. Currently, the Accounts tab has four subpages (i.e. Management, Notifications, Performance, and Requests.)
Finally, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Ads is now a member of Microsoft Fluent — which is a "design language" that spans across multiple Microsoft entities. It's easiest to think of Fluent as the blueprint for modern Microsoft product design.
Microsoft products that are part of the Fluent family all have a similar feel, with unified font archetypes, a certain amount of spacing between each element, and a particular color scheme. This makes all of these products feel modern, sleek, and very Microsoft-y.
Of course, let's address the elephant in the room again. Yes! This looks a lot like AdWords. And it's supposed to. Microsoft is fully aware that it isn't the marketing world's #1 choice. But, by making Microsoft Advertising similar to the AdWords interface, it's reducing marketing frictions for those that are trying to run campaigns across both platforms.
But, for the time being, Google AdWords is still likely your go-to hub for search campaigns. Microsoft is making it easier for you to use BOTH AdWords and Microsoft Advertising by making the look and feel of both systems similar. This isn't about using one or the other; it's about diversifying your ad portfolio.
Overall, that's a smart strategy by Microsoft. So far, Google's advertising growth has slowed this year. And that's in part thanks to Microsoft — who now has6.5% search advertising share (behind Amazon and Google.)
Where can marketers check out the new interface?
To access the new redesign, you can either contact your Microsoft Advertising account manager or fill out a surveyhere. Once you do, Microsoft will unlock the new interface in your account within 7 – 14 days. Currently, you'll still have access to both interfaces (old and new) once you make the switch.
As of this moment, everyone is invited to fill out the survey and check out the redesign for themselves. And, we highly recommend that you do. If this is anything like the AdWords update, you'll be forced to immerse yourself in it sooner or later.