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Overall the ad management interface is clean and basic. Very easy to use and understand after a minute of bumping around. I am reminded of the AW system in that of the design, interface, and usability.
Right off hand a neat aspect of the system is that it allows you to create and manage multiple accounts (w? diff CC's) under one basic username. That makes it easy for managing multiple accounts, similar to how the G MCC.
The metrics given back via the MSN keyword tool are really cool. You can view demand for each KW/KP, but then also break each of those into charts containing traffic trends (time), gender trends (M/F), and geographic stats (LA, San Diego, Paris, etc). Additionally, you are given similar terms/phrases if you choose to see them.
The Price Estimation tool allows you to gauge how much you will be paying for your position. However you have to bust out your calculator and do some math to figure out the number of clicks as they don't give you that metric.
Reports are very easy to generate and view. They are actually very dynamic (for a new PPC system). They allow you to create reports on all types of data including dates, performance, targeting, and the neatest of all - by time ranges (AM/PM style!).
Because the system is still in Beta, I can only run ads and retrieve data based on 2 small geographic locations. I am talking to MSN and hope to be able to beta test more locations very soon - including the US!
More coming soon...
MSN adCenter allows you to submit base bids for keywords or phrases you associated with your ads. This base bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay if any Search user searches for one of your keywords and clicks your ad. You can also increase your bid in order to reach specific audience targets, which help increase the chance your ad will show to a user who fits your "buyer profile" (more on this soon). These additional targeting bids are added to the base bid on all keywords by the amount you specify when shown to the particular target you specify.
Targeted bidding in the Ads Targeting tab of your order allows to add amounts to your base bid to increase the possibility that your ad will show to Search users who fit your "buyer profile".
Targeted bidding can include the following:
-Users in a specific geographic location
-Users searching on specific days of the week or during a specific part of the day
-Users of a specific gender or age
Again, the targeted bidding is about the coolest thing ever!
When the program is launched, the only methods of payment will be VISA, MATERCARD, and AMEX. No bank transfer etc..
*However, more payment methods will be added as feedback is given..
You are billed each time your campaign generates S$75 in advertising costs. This is called your credit threshold. Over time, as payments are received successfully, the credit threshold will be increased and your credit card will be charged after S$150, S$750, S$1,500, and S$4,000 of advertising costs.
Age - CPC
More to come...
There is a glitch when I go to setup what MSN calls an "ORDER" (in the AW system they call this an AdGroup). This glitch makes it so that I cannot extend my reach into other geographic regions apart from my original campaigns settings.
Not sure if this is an error or just producing no results based on the limited reach of the beta account, but, when you use the "Keyword Research Tool" you are given an option to search for either KW/KP or Website. Now, when you search for a specific website (demand) you get no results. Even for obvious sites that you can see huge demand for by selecting to view by KW.
The price estimation tool just needs help. :-/ (sry msn). This tool is not intuative (maybe I am spoiled from the rest of the system) and does not give back all of the data an advertiser would like to see.
More to come...
Just some general info:
Due to the large variety of ways one can target ads and prices, the entire issue of 'I can't see my ad' will become interesting. I can see opening many MS passports, each with different data, to see ad positioning and competition.
I am interested to see how their ROI is in comparison to AdWords and YSM, and what kind of market reach they have in terms of impressions. Now I am just waiting to start testing it live... those of you that know me know I love to test things ;)
They will be taking beta testers of AdCenter from here when they do go beta:
-Working with their support staff to fix a technical glitch
-Testing ROI across a very broad range of campaigns (currently in Y, A, & G).
-Expanding into new regions(!)
More review information will be posted as soon as I can get get some time to write it up. Also, after I work with support more I will post a review of that as well and how it compares to the other major players support.
Overall, this system is simply cool. It is so easy to use (similar to AW) and so intuative. Nice, clean, and simple. While there are a few glitches, I have to give them credit for their first launch being light years a head of YSM interface. Yes, that's light years. The AdCenter is just a pleasure to use. :o)
Again, more shortly..