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Microsoft acquires e-commerce advertising vendor PromoteIQ

The sponsored products platform will be a division of Microsoft Advertising.

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Microsoft has acquired vendor marketing platform PromoteIQ. PromoteIQ is an automated product marketing platform that enables brand manufacturers to run sponsored ads on participating retailers’ e-commerce sites to generate visibility and revenue from those sites. The company offers analytics dashboards both retailers and advertisers to track campaign performance.

Sponsored product ads bought through PromoteIQ appear on retailer’s e-commerce sites. Image: PromoteIQ

The capability is similar to that of HookLogic, which was acquired in 2016 by Criteo. Google experimented with running its product listing ads on retailer sites through a program called AdSense for Shopping, but it hasn’t gone anywhere since launching in 2014. Amazon, and now Walmart, have their own sponsored product ad offerings.

Why we should care

Programs aimed at supporting retail customers is an area of focus for Microsoft, and the PromoteIQ acquisition fits into this effort. Microsoft is looking to pair its AI and machine learning technologies with PromoteIQ’s targeted ad placement capabilities and expects the integrations to be completed later this year. Additionally, it can help Microsoft Advertising address consistent calls from advertisers for more reach.

Microsoft Advertising offers product ads on Bing.com, but its limited reach put its reach behind Google and Amazon. PromoteIQ’s portfolio of clients includes thousands of global brands and retailers.

“PromoteIQ has pioneered the private marketplace approach to digital vendor marketing. PromoteIQ’s technology strategically complements Microsoft’s current retail advertising offerings, and together, we can enable retailers with a portfolio of technology solutions to modernize their e-commerce platforms and maximize their monetization opportunity,” said Rik van der Kooi, corporate vice president of Microsoft Advertising.

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