Scaaary-Cool News From Bing Ads Next

Last week, I attended the second annual Bing Ads Next conference at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, WA. Like last year’s event, it provided a look into what’s on the horizon for Bing Ads.

It was a great conference filled with knowledge-sharing and networking. I love the fact that Bing is listening to us – and they’ve really stepped up the pace at which they release new features. Think back to last year at this time, and all the issues you probably had: using the online UI and Editor, dealing with weird errors and login troubles, and other challenges. It seems like Bing Ads released a record number of updates this year, to the point at which they’re pretty close to Google in terms of features, and are ahead of them in others.

For a recap of some of the cool stuff that was announced last week, check out this post on Universal Event Tracking and this one on customer focus.

I love hearing about the latest and greatest when it comes to search engine marketing. One of the best speakers of the one-day event was Stefan Weitz, Director of Search at Microsoft. He did a demo of new Bing technology that can anticipate and predict a searcher’s actions without query input, based on the context of their interaction. Microsoft uses reactive processing to incorporate the knowledge that’s already out there, such as flight schedules and traffic reports, and combine it with what they know about you as a user. They can then offer suggestions tailored to you as an individual – going beyond the 10 blue links ranked by a single algorithm.

Stefan showed other cool technology, such as Cortana and its natural language learning abilities, which make it more like talking to another person instead of a search engine. In the example he demoed, he searched for “barbecue,” and the system showed Korean BBQ restaurants nearby. Think about that for a minute: “barbecue” is a vague term that could mean lots of things: a barbecue grill, pulled pork, a party you’re attending, or the Korean variety. Because Cortana knew Stefan’s preferences, it showed Korean restaurants. Pretty nifty.

He also showed us the predictive capabilities of Bing. Bing Predicts looks at things like elections and NFL game predictions and provides odds, of sorts. Bing predictions go beyond exit and phone polls – this is actual forecasting based on millions of bits of data. Here’s an example:

bing predicts election results

Here’s another one for the NFL:

bing predicts nfl results
Wow. Here’s more information on how it works.

There’s no doubt: this is super cool. It’s also scary to me.

Think about the election predictions for a minute. In the screen shot above, it shows that Gary Peters is going to win the Michigan Senate race in a landslide. (Remember, this is based on data Bing has, including who’s talking about the candidates, how much they’ve spent on advertising, sentiment, news articles, and other factors.)

Now, let me tell you a little bit about this Senate race.

These two are vying for a spot that’s been held by Carl Levin for the past 35 years. I don’t remember a time when Carl Levin wasn’t in office. This is huge for the state of Michigan and for the US Senate. We need as many people in the state to come out and vote as possible.

And yet, if I were thinking about voting for Terri Lynn Land, and I saw this, would I bother to go vote, seeing that she has no chance? Would I be tempted to just sit at home and watch the Bing Predicts data instead of watching TV coverage of the election? Would I decide my vote doesn’t matter?

I personally won’t decide any of these things, but I fear others will.

And what about the NFL example? Will people go out and put their money on the Bengals in Vegas because Bing Predicts gives them a 76% chance of winning? Is that easy money for me? Should I quit my job and just start using Bing Predicts to place bets?

Again, I wouldn’t do any of those things – but others might.

Don’t get me wrong – this stuff is incredible. Just 10 years ago, who would have dreamed of search going this direction? We are getting very close to being able to say, Star Trek-like, “Computer, report!” and getting back actual, meaningful info. (I’d love to do that for my weekly and monthly PPC reports!) We can get our email on a watch. It’s awesome.

And yet, what are the social implications of all this? I’m a bit scared that our elections might be predicted by a search engine.

What about you? Is this cool, and I need to just tell everyone to get off my lawn? Or are you just a little concerned about the machines predicting everything? Share in the comments!

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Bing Ads Device Targeting: Never Say Never

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the news that came out of Bing Ads on Wednesday: they’re making some changes to device targeting to, well, be more like Google. The changes don’t go into effect until September, so advertisers have time to plan. There will be an initial phase that combines desktop and tablets, and then a second phase that eliminates separate campaigns for devices altogether, moving instead to the bid modifier model that Google has – except, Bing will have a tablet modifier.

Here’s what campaign structure will look like when all is said and done, and how Bing Ads device targeting compares to Google:

bing campaigns

Needless to say, the news has not been well-received by the PPC community. Personally, I appreciate the fact that Bing is giving us a lot of notice about the changes – more than Google gave us for Enhanced Campaigns. And I love the fact that they’ll be including a tablet modifier – something we have repeatedly requested of Google, to no avail.

But what is so disappointing about the announcement is that it basically negates the bold statements made by Bing Ads in the past. Just last year, Bing Ads wrote a manifesto saying “We Believe In Advertiser Choice.” They made the point in multiple speaking engagements; I remember a Bing Ads team member at SMX Advanced last year saying they would continue to offer advertisers control over devices – and the room erupted in applause.

This was really a differentiator for Bing Ads. For advertisers with a discrete mobile budget, Bing Ads was their only choice. For advertisers who needed to control tablet spend, Bing Ads was their only choice. Come September, those choices will start to go away.

I guess all good things must come to an end. In PPC, things are constantly changing – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. But it’s a little frustrating to see Bing Ads do an about face on something they repeatedly said they’d never do. Never say never, I guess.

I had the privilege of being on an “advanced notice” call about the changes that took place prior to the announcement. Several other industry leaders were also on the call. The feedback on the call was universally negative. Several people brought up concerns about the model, especially the fact that the tablet modifier starts at -20%. Why not -100% or at least -50%?

Bing claims that their research shows that the average advertiser sees results 20% worse on tablets. I’m sure that’s true. But how many of us are average advertisers? As the saying goes, averages lie – especially in this case.

So why did they do it? While I don’t know the real reason, I think it comes down to efficiency. Enhanced campaigns threw us all for a loop last year, Bing Ads included. They did a miraculous job of maintaining the ability to import Google campaigns in the face of Enhanced Campaigns.

But I believe it’s costing them. The fact that things aren’t exactly the same as Google causes issues with campaign imports. They realize that for people to really embrace Bing, they need to have as much parity as possible with Google. I’d be willing to bet that the lack of parity is costing them big, both in lost advertiser dollars and in development costs trying to maintain a system that doesn’t match Google’s exactly.

So did Bing Ads make the right decision? Only time will tell. I still love many things about Bing: better results in many cases than Google, lower CPCs, amazing reps and community managers who truly care about the PPC community, and many tools that are better than Google, including a tablet modifier. Who knows – maybe this will spur Google to offer a modifier as well!

What do you think about the announcement? Does it really mess up your campaigns, or doesn’t it matter? Do you like the way it was handled? Share in the comments!

 

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What’s Up With Bing Ads in 2013?

One of the most-viewed posts on this blog is one I wrote in September 2012 called What’s Up With Bing Ads? In that post, I commented on their constant rebranding, interface and editor issues, and support challenges. That post is consistently in the top 10 most-viewed posts on my blog.

Let’s fast forward 13 months and see what’s changed. I just got back from Bing Ads Next, an exclusive event held at Microsoft’s Redmond, WA campus. About 20 of the biggest names in PPC were there, and we spent a day seeing Bing Ads’ version of the future of search.

The highlights of the event have already been covered elsewhere, so I won’t rehash them here.  Instead, let’s review what’s changed with Bing Ads over the past year or so.

Online UI and Editor improvements.

In my 2012 post, I complained about issues with the online UI: it timed out too fast and, despite its overhaul, was still clunky to navigate.

In my opinion, most of the interface issues have since been fixed. It no longer times out after 15 minutes – I’ve been able to stay logged in most of the workday. The import function from Google seems to work well (more on this in a minute). The reporting interface is very fast, and in some ways is better than Google’s.

All that said, there are still niggling things missing from the Bing Ads online UI. During the Bing Ads Next feedback session, Matt Van Wagner said what we were all thinking: Why doesn’t the online UI show conversion rate? It’s 2013, for crying out loud – this is a must-have metric and why it’s not available in Bing Ads can only be a gross oversight.

I won’t even get into the login and account creation issues. The Bing Ads team has heard the PPC community loud and clear on this one. Let’s hope there’s a fix in place before this becomes mandatory in 2014.

Let’s talk about Bing Ads Editor for a second. I use Editor all the time, and it’s improved a lot over the past year, too. The import from Google function is nearly flawless. Editor stayed on par with Google’s move to Enhanced Campaigns – and I can only imagine what a curve ball that was to the Bing Ads development team. The fact that they were able to offer the same features as Google, with the same timing, is a Herculean feat of engineering.

But Bing Ads Editor continues to have silly bugs in it, too. The most recent one is that changes you’ve posted still show bolded in Editor, as if they didn’t post. And, only some of them show up this way. So it’s not clear whether all of your changes posted or not – you’ll have to go look them up in the online UI to be sure.

Bing Ads Support.

Here’s where Bing Ads really shines – far outshines Google and their joke that passes as support. When was the last time Google invited a bunch of PPC influencers to the GooglePlex to talk about Adwords? Anyone? Bueller?

My Bing Ads rep was at all the social functions held during Bing Ads Next. He’s a true partner in helping us succeed, and is knowledgeable and responsive. The weird support issues that I outlined in my 2012 post have, thankfully, gone away. Bing Ads Next attendees universally praised Bing Ads support, both their assigned reps and those who man the Bing Ads Twitter account.

So What’s Really Next for Bing Ads?

Only time will tell. I liked a lot of the new things we saw at the event. I love the fact that Bing Ads is listening to us.

But one comment I heard this week is that there was a little too much talking and not enough listening at the event. Bing, if you’ve brought in what amounts to the best minds and biggest influencers in search, ask them questions! Spend twice as much time listening as you do talking! Learn from them! Don’t lecture them about stuff that they already know. Show them more new concepts and ask them what they think!

Amid rumors that Yahoo wants out of the Bing Ads deal, I don’t think any of us truly knows what’s next for Bing Ads. At its core, Microsoft is a software developer, not a search innovator. Their pace is too slow and their products too bloated to keep up with Google. But I love that they’re trying. With advertiser support that’s far superior to Google, and with better ROI nearly across the board, I still think they have a chance.

What do you think? Is Bing Ads going in the right direction, or are they doomed? Share in the comments!

 

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Bing Ads Is Like A Second Language

No matter how many languages you speak, chances are you only have one native tongue. Even children who are raised bilingual probably have one language they prefer speaking.  For those who learned a second language later in life, communication and understanding can be challenging at times. You can speak and understand the second language, and as you use it you get more fluent, but it’s still easier to speak your first language. You’ll probably get tripped up on idioms and idiosyncrasies in the second language, too.

Bing Ads feels like a second language to many PPC’ers, with its own idioms and idiosyncrasies. Here are a few that can be hard to understand.

Different Targeting Methods

I actually like the fact that you can set targeting at the ad group level in Bing Ads. It’s precisely the kind of control that we PPC’ers like. But like a favorite expression in a second language, it’s hard to remember exactly how to put the pieces together.

Also, sometimes targeting doesn’t import nicely from Adwords. And let’s face it – most of us create campaigns in Adwords and then import them to Bing. Adwords is our first language, so we draft everything there and then hit the “translate” button (in this case, the “Import from Google” button).

Different Negative Keyword Matching

Well, negative keyword matching isn’t really different in Bing Ads. We just have fewer options. Bing only has negative phrase match and negative exact match. There is no negative broad match. Since Bing’s traffic is usually more qualified, having fewer negative match options is ok; but we’re just used to having another way to “say” it, if you will.

Those Pesky Parameters

Parameters in Bing Ads remind me of that weird “S” in German that looks like a “B.” (I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t even know what that’s called. I took Spanish in school.)

Parameters are actually really cool and allow advertisers to do things that you can’t do in Google. But they’re so unfamiliar to most PPC’ers that they don’t get used. I’d guess that English speakers writing in German forget to use that funny S, too.

Technical Issues

Nothing is more frustrating than technical problems. Just ask the zillions of people who tried to download iOS7 this week.

Adwords has their share of technical problems, for sure. (Red bar of death, anyone?) But when Bing Ads has them, the community goes crazy.

I’ve seen many examples of people having trouble downloading the new Bing Ads Editor. It’s weird, because I downloaded it earlier this week and haven’t had any trouble with it. Nonetheless, Bing doesn’t get any slack here. In a way, it’s unfair to Bing. It reminds me of a speaker who’s using a second language, complaining that others didn’t understand him. But it’s still frustrating when a new feature or release is announced and then doesn’t work.

But Bing Ads is a language worth learning.

Remember those old Avis ads, where they crowed about being #2 and trying harder? That’s Bing. They know they have a long way to go before they catch Google, and they’re working like crazy to not only catch up, but offer additional value.

First of all, the newly-released Bing Ads Editor is much more like Adwords Editor. They took out all the “foreign language” and it looks and feels more familiar. It’s faster and smoother to use.

Bing hasn’t made the dreadful switch to Enhanced Campaigns, and they’ve promised not to. I can’t tell you how happy I am about that.

And Bing Ads still offers mobile-only campaigns, as well as targeting for different mobile operating systems.

I firmly believe that Bing is a language worth learning and speaking.

What about you? Are you learning to speak Bing Ads? Or is your first language, Adwords, your best friend? Share in the comments!

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3 PPC Wishes – Fulfilled?

google_bing_logosHere we are in 2013, and wow, did 2012 go fast. It seems like yesterday that I was writing my inaugural 2012 blog post on my 2007 PPC Wish List.

Every year in PPC is full of changes and innovations – some needed, some expected, and some surprising. This year was no different. Plenty of posts have catalogued everything that happened, so I won’t bore you with that here.

Instead, let’s see how the search engines did with my 2007 PPC wishes.

Wish 1: More traffic and search leadership from MSN/Bing.

While I can’t go so far as to say Bing hit a home run in 2012, they did hit a long triple. They renamed themselves as Bing Ads, reworked their online UI and desktop editor, and essentially made themselves more like Google. They went a long way towards greater search leadership with these innovations. They also continued to provide the great community outreach and customer support that they’ve been known for. And their PPC search team was ever-present at search conferences, something we’ve seen less and less from Google.

This is all well and good, but what about traffic? If you’d asked me that question in June, I’d have told you they were still languishing in the basement. But by the end of the summer, Bing had reached an all-time high of 25% share. We saw similar increases in our clients’ traffic from Bing Ads, and thankfully the traffic quality, for the most part, remained as good as it’s always been.

Wish 1: Fulfilled!

Wish 2: Better Adwords query matching.

In my 2012 post, I lamented the awful query matching on Google. Throughout the year, Google did make strides in this area, most notably by adding the option for “near match” for exact and phrase match keywords.

In reality, though, this was just Google’s way of changing a default setting (near match is a default) and sponging from newbie PPC advertisers. I know few veteran PPC’ers who choose to have near match enabled – if we want near match, we’ll use modified broad.

Furthermore, judging from my search query reports, even when you do opt out of near match, you’ll still get “close variants” that aren’t closely related at all. It’s frustrating.

Add to that the continued annoyance of “session based broad match”, and Google has completely failed on this.

I’m actually working on a blog post that will further delve into the miasma that is Google keyword matching. Stay tuned for that in future weeks.

Wish 2: Unfulfilled.

Wish 3: More accurate PPC traffic estimates.

On this wish, both Google and Bing made significant positive changes.  Google completely revamped their keyword tool, offering several new options.  My favorite is the “Ad Group Creator,” which groups keyword suggestions by theme. While some have complained about the suggestions made by the tool, I like them – it saves time slogging through thousands of keywords trying to weed out the irrelevant terms. You’ll still need to slog through, but it’s much faster to eliminate entire buckets of keywords than to pick them out one by one.

Google’s traffic estimation tool also has improved geotargeting capabilities, and from what I can tell, they’re fairly accurate. This is huge for advertisers who want to expand into new markets, or who only serve certain cities, states, or regions.

While the Google improvements were good, Bing’s were awesome. I’m not talking about their online keyword tool, either. I’m talking about Bing Ads Intelligence.

I’ve written before about the tool, and am finishing up another post about it. For now, suffice it to say that Bing Ads Intelligence is now my go-to keyword research tool. It’s faster, easier, and more accurate than Google’s, and it offers features that Google does not.

Wish 3: Fulfilled!

Wow, that’s 2 out of 3 PPC wishes. I’d say 2012 was a pretty good year!

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Bing Opportunities Tab Beats Google

Sometimes we PPC managers just need quick ideas for new keywords and bids. We don’t want to spend a lot of time doing keyword research and calculating keyword-level ROI. We just need to ramp things up in a hurry.

Google has had an Opportunities Tab for a while now. It’s ok – not great, but ok. Not to be outdone, Bing Ads also added an Opportunities section – and they’ve done Google one better.

Bing Opportunities are in both the online interface and the Desktop Editor.

I’ve often wished that Google had an Opportunities section in Adwords Editor. Using Editor is so much faster than poking around in the online UI, so we’re there anyway – why not show us keyword & bid suggestions? But alas, it’s not there.

Bing, however, has Opportunities in both places: the online UI:

And in Bing Editor:

Since Bing’s online UI is even slower and more painful than Google’s, I rarely log in except to check stats. For real PPC work, I’m in the Desktop tool. It’s great to have Bing Opportunities right there.

Keyword Suggestions are More Relevant

Just this week, I was working on keyword expansions for a client. This client recently launched a new product line, so we’ve been actively adding new keywords for a while now. The client is in the B2B space, so we invest pretty heavily in Bing because their CPC is about 40% lower than Google’s. But that’s another post.

As I was updating bids in Bing Desktop, I noticed a green bar at the top:

I will say here that I loathe the red “error” bar in Desktop, mostly because it flags stuff that’s not even errors and/or that’s unfixable. But that’s another post.

Anyway, the green bar got my attention, so I clicked “View.”

The optimizations were new keywords. Curious, I downloaded the list.

It consisted of 100 keyword suggestions for the client’s new product line.  The suggestions actually looked relevant and promising, unlike most of the recent Google Opportunities I’d looked at. So I began reviewing them in detail.

Out of the 100 keywords, 30 were relevant to the campaign for which they were suggested. Not bad. Only 5 keywords were totally irrelevant to the client; the rest were applicable to other campaigns (just not the one they were suggested for).

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten 30 relevant keywords from the Google Opportunities tab. On a good day I might get 3 or 4. So, I decided to hop on over there and see what they were suggesting for this client and campaign.

Google actually returned fewer total keywords: only 80 were suggested. But yikes, those keywords! Only 2 out of the 80 keywords were relevant to the campaign. Ouch.

That’s not the worst of it. Out of the 80 keywords, 42 of them were irrelevant to the client. Let me say that again. More than half the keywords that Google said were “opportunities” were totally irrelevant!  Worse than that, the majority of them were very broad, very high-volume consumer-focused keywords.  The only opportunity here is the opportunity to line Google’s pocketbook.

So Who’s More Relevant?

Here’s a visual showing the breakdown of the relevance of the keyword opportunities for the 2 engines.

So whose Opportunities do you plan to take advantage of next time?

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Bing Ads – The Latest

Lately there’s been a lot going on with Bing Ads.  As I’ve said before, one of my favorite things about Bing Ads is their responsiveness to the community.  After my last post about them, one of their community reps actually reached out to me personally, and we had a great conversation about recent changes to social media policy within Bing.  And, in case you haven’t noticed, they’ve started responding to tweets directed their way. Thank you, Bing Ads! The community really appreciates it!

This week, the PPC community love went even further, as Bing Ads participated in a PPC Chat interview.  Can you imagine Google doing that? Or Facebook? Yeah, me neither.

Anyway, the chat was informative – as always, there are several new things on the horizon for Bing Ads.  I’m sure some will prove highly useful, and some not – but that’s ok.  It’s the innovation we want.

One thing I really appreciated about the chat was the honesty that the Bing Ads reps showed.  For example, one of the questions asked of them was (I’m paraphrasing here) “it seems like many of your new innovations have been copies of things Google has done already.”  The response was (paraphrasing again), “well, we keep hearing that people want us to be like Google, and we want to give our users what they want.”  I love it! Instead of feeding us some corporate PR BS, they told it to us straight.

Take a look at the streamcap, if you missed it on Tuesday.  It’s worth a read.

That was the good stuff. Now for the not so good stuff.

After a nice run with the latest incarnation of Bing Desktop, I ran into a brick wall yesterday.  I had gotten all excited and decided to build out a bunch of new campaigns in Bing by importing some Google campaigns.  But alas, it wasn’t in the cards.  I started getting all kinds of “duplicate ad” errors again, even on ads that weren’t duplicates.  I’d had this issue with ads with the same title, so I was prepared for that.  But yesterday, I started getting errors with ads that were completely different!  I have no idea why that happened, but it was annoying.

I was finally able to fix the issue by deleting the ads that Bing told me were duplicates, and then re-typing them by hand. Not cool.  And so, I didn’t get to upload as many campaigns as I had wanted to.

This is really the crux of the issue.  It’s like we can’t spend money on Bing if we try.  In this case, our client is looking for additional traffic & exposure, and I was hoping to use Bing for some of that – but no dice.

On the plus side, the Bing Ads folks on Twitter were helpful and responsive when I complained about the trouble I was having.  I’m crossing my fingers in hopes that the issue can be fixed soon. I’ll keep you updated!

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What’s Up With Bing Ads?

Frequent readers of this blog, along with my friends on Twitter, know that I have a love/hate relationship with Bing Ads, formerly known as Microsoft adCenter.  I’ve heaped ample praise on them at times – recently, in fact.  I’ve also been quick to applaud their community reps’ involvement on Twitter.

But as many of my online PPC friends can tell you, there are plenty of frustrations with them, too.

In fact, one of the things I kind of hate is that they can’t settle on a name for their product!  They went from Microsoft Search Featured Sites, which I participated in during another lifetime, to MSN Search, to adCenter, and now to Bing Ads.  To read more about the latest incarnation, check out this Search Engine Watch article.

During each incarnation, Google Adwords has been Google Adwords – no rebrand needed.

So why can’t Microsoft make up their mind on a brand?  It’s a mystery to me.

Let’s talk about the new Bing Ads for a minute.  It’s getting a lot of press, even meriting a writeup in Forbes, of all things (although their article is pretty lame).

The new Bing Ads has several improvements, earning praise from me:

  • Both the interface and the new Bing Ads Editor have a clean, easy-to-use feel.  With every relaunch, Bing gets closer to Google Adwords, which is what many of us have asked for all along!  Tabs, features, and common tasks are all where you’d expect them to be in the new release.  That’s great, and it saves time.
  • Bing is finally moving towards using “normal” keyword-level destination URLs, instead of those confusing Param1 parameters!  Actually, the parameters were one feature that Microsoft has had for a long time that Google lacks – but it was so confusing that few advertisers took advantage of it.  Now, it’ll be easier to understand.
  • “Import from Google Adwords” functionality built right into the interface.  Imports were already easy with the Desktop tool, but now you can import from the online UI, too!

Bing Import from Adwords

These improvements are welcome, to be sure.  But of course, with the good comes the bad:

  • The online UI times out too fast.  I’ve noticed it timing out in as little as 30 minutes, whereas in the old UI, I could stay logged in nearly all day without it timing out.  Also, there’s a bug in the new UI that logs you out if you click on the “Home” tab.  More on this in a few.
  • Both the online UI and the Desktop/Editor tool are still slow, especially on first load.  The Editor tool takes probably 20 seconds to open the first time, although once it’s open, tasks load quickly.  Still, it’s frustrating to sit there and wait 20 seconds just to look at one keyword, or budget, or bid.
  • The Editor tool, while improved over previous versions, still has weird error messages and quirks.  Copying an ad still returns an error.  And making changes to said ad without tabbing to another field results in the loss of all the changes you just made.  Not good.

Now for a rant.  Brace yourselves.

What the heck has happened to Bing Ads support?!?  As I mentioned earlier, great support was one of the huge positives about using the old adCenter.  They were active on Twitter, they responded quickly, and they generally seemed to care.

Since the release of Bing Ads, things have changed.  Take a look at their Twitter feed now:

Bing Ads Twitter

It’s all just the party line – more like a typical corporate “content pushing” Twitter account than an interactive, “we care about our customers and are here to support them” Twitter account.

In fact, I tweeted to them about the Home link issue I mentioned earlier, and the response I got was “Sorry, we can’t troubleshoot via Twitter – please contact support.” Boo!

I didn’t contact support.  And I’ll tell you why.

About 6 weeks ago, I had several problems with the old Desktop tool:  issues with spreadsheet imports, duplicate ad errors, and other problems.  I contacted support, and they were very responsive.

Too responsive, in fact.

The interaction began with the rep asking me to send screen shots of the errors I was seeing.  OK, I can understand that – once.

But it didn’t stop there.  Not only did the rep ask me to take additional screen shots of nearly every action I was taking in Desktop, they also wanted me to:

  • Uninstall and reinstall Desktop (an hour-long process, at least)
  • Remove and re-add all of our clients
  • Run an error diagnostic process and send them the resultant export file

I mean, come on.  Really?  I appreciate their efforts in fixing the issues, but I felt like I was the technician here.  Why should I have to create umpteen screen shots and run diagnostics?  Maybe this would make sense if I was the only person with this issue, but I can’t imagine that’s even possible, given all the comments I’ve heard on Twitter about Desktop frustrations.

But wait, there’s more. It gets worse.

Not only did I have to do all this work, the adCenter/Bing rep called or emailed me every day.  Every. Day.  Wanting to know if I’d made those screen shots yet. Or if I’d uninstalled and reinstalled.

Seriously?

I don’t hear from my boss this often.  It was like a crazy work assignment.  A work assignment just so I could use a tool that’s supposed to – yes indeed – help me DO MY WORK.

Why, Bing Ads?!?

Why did a simple call to support have to turn into a huge assignment for me?  All I was trying to do was add a few ad groups to Bing Ads – ad groups which have since spent maybe $3 total.  Was that really worth the hours of effort on my part?  Is $3 really worth daily calls and emails from the tech person at Bing Ads?

I know I’m not alone here.  I’ve heard from people who’ve given up on Bing Ads entirely because it’s just not worth all the effort it takes to spend $3.

The frustrating part is, I do like Bing Ads.  We get good results for our clients that use Bing Ads.  I meant everything I said in that SEW post.  I really like their community reps, too – I genuinely do.  But this experience has soured me on Bing Ads again.

What about you?  Do you have a love/hate relationship with Bing Ads?  Or do you just love them or just hate them? How can they improve?  Share in the comments!

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