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Microsoft Announces adCenter Usability, Importing Upgrades

Microsoft on late Friday released an update of its adCenter, and ran down the improvements.

Desktop Import Enhancements: Desktop import capabilities have been enhanced, which Microsoft claims “[makes] it even easier and faster for users to import your campaign data via source files (e.g. Microsoft Excel or .CSV). With this month’s upgrade, adCenter Desktop can now:

  • Map and save column headings of custom spreadsheetimport to the adCenter format. Saved column mappings can be reused for future imports of same files.
  • Auto detect the file source of imported files and maps column headers to the adCenter format.

Desktop Radius Targeting: Microsoft released this feature for the adCenter UI (user interface) already, but has made it available in the adCenter desktop as well. Key features:

  • Users can select “Near a business location” and then set radius targets (up to 100 miles) for one or more locations.
  • Radius targets can be set for business locations for a given campaign or ad group. Users can adjust the selected campaign’s demographic, day and geographical targeting.
  • Business locations are inherited from adCenter. “You will need to add new business locations in adCenter and then sync efore it will be available in the Desktop to select.”

Answer Bar: This feature had previously been released for some markets, now it’s available in all markets (NOTE: this feature is not available to advertisers supported by a Yahoo! Account Manager). Answer Bar is a dynamic assistance tool located on the right hand side of an adCenter interface. Here is a quick rundown of the icons and what they mean.

  • "What’s New" describes the latest feature updates for each release.
  • "About This Page" helps the user understand the primary goals to be achieved on the page the user is on.
  • "Everybody’s Asking" lists the most asked questions about the tasks and goals on the page. Questions expand to display the answers.
  • "How Do I?" provides numbered steps for 1-2 key tasks a user can perform on the page.
  • "Known Issues" lists known problems and troubleshooting solutions for the page. If there are no issues, the icon will not be displayed.
  • "Search Help" gives the user a quick access to all Help topics; applies across adCenter, not just the page the user is visitingcurrently.
  • "Talk to Us (Chat)" gives the user quick access to a live chat with a support representative.

Revised Ad Copy Limitations: To help streamline and simplify the process of importing ads from Google Adwords to adCenter, the minimum number of words required for a text ad has been reduced from six to three. This update will help reduce the number of errors and changes required to import campaigns.

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