Marketers using Bing Ads can now learn what customers are thinking at each stage of their online journey through a new strategic partnership between Microsoft and Intent Lab. Intent Lab is a joint research unit of Performics and the Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications that studies the motivations behind consumer purchasing behaviors.

Why it matters

Over much of the past decade, Bing has been working to build up its artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Its attention to AI has given Bing Ads what David Pann, general manager of global search business at Microsoft, described as a “right to innovate” in a keynote discussion at SMX East last month. This partnership is another example of Bing Ads moving beyond strictly following Google’s lead in the paid search space.

“Search is a behavioral insights machine,” Bing Market Research Manager Kelli Kemery said in a blog post Thursday. This partnership uses AI to surface deeper insights about search and the customer journey. The Intent Lab’s Intent Scoring Algorithm shows what customers are thinking at each stage of journey.

“The words used in search queries can reveal the mindset and intent of the consumer, and this information can then be used to get in sync with consumers in their search and decision-making process,” said Kemery.

More about the news

  • The initial insights focus on the relationship between words used in users’ search queries and those used in ads. For example, “When consumers use search terms like ‘how’ or ‘what’ — which are considered abstract — they are more likely to click on an ad written using similar abstract language.”
  • About a year ago, Bing Ads introduced several AI-powered intelligent search products and earlier this month, it unveiled a new AI tool that lets marketers set and track performance targets on campaign groupings in a new dashboard.
  • The company is offering a webcast on December 6 to learn more.

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