Ask and Microsoft have joined forces to offer small businesses using Microsoft Office Live, keyword advertising access to MSN and Live Search properties, as well as Ask Sponsored Listings from Ask.com.
Office Live adManager beta search advertising service will have the inclusion of the Ask listings. Michael Schultz, U.S. business and marketing lead for Microsoft Office Live says that this is a management system that allows smaller businesses to purchase and manage search engine-based keyword advertising.
Schultz continued, “What’s significant about Ask.com getting together with Microsoft Office Live is we’re actually making it simple and easy for small business to understand and take advantage of search marketing. To be able to do things like contextual targeting opens up another avenue to allow small businesses to get their message out.”
He described that Office Live users will have the capacity to view and manage keyword advertising accounts from their adManager interface within a product that will then give users an option to purchase ads on MSN, Live Search or Ask Sponsored Listings. Marketers will be allowed to go onto the Ask system and purchase and manage pay-per-click as well as contextual advertising campaigns on Ask.com.
Schultz squelched rumors of a joint partnership for competition’s sake by saying, “it’s not a question about bringing in competition, it’s about bringing in value. The Live and MSN properties are going to be able to stand on their own. All we’re doing is bringing in additional capabilities.”