Imagine you are a simple businessman, who has his own website and you want to bring more traffic on your site. As you are familiar with Microsoft software for decades now, naturally you'll want to check out their online advertising system.
Here are some basic guidelines to make the experience less painful:
First pitfall - Don't even consider using Safari or any other browser except IE and Mozilla, adCenter website does not support other browsers. Their help center states that also Mac and Virtual machines are not supported.
Before he found out that all Mac browsers are banned, Alec, our creative director, spent several hours trying to get Microsoft adCenter to work with all of the browsers under Mac OS, including spoofing the user-agent. Futile, he assures me. You can't even view the System requirements page!
What is Microsoft thinking here? I know they are PC centric, but making potential advertisers lives miserable by not allowing them access via their preferred platform? No wonder Microsoft's Live.com is in last place among the big three search engines.
After installing Mozilla or using IE you log in into setup pages. Using Medium security settings (one of the defaults) on IE will cause Second pitfall - Their site will popup a security warning on your IE, telling you that some parts of the web-page are not secure. Well if you are cautious person you'll probably shut down your browser and never use their service again. If not you have two choices, both bad:
- Lower your security settings
- Click Yes each time you access a page, which will be more than a little annoying.
If you are not very technical, you'll probably need help with setting up ads in adCenter. If you try to do it on your own you'll probably end up spending many hours and you'll call for help in the end.
As a Mac user if you want to use Microsoft adCenter, you will need a copy of VirtualBox (our preferred virtual machine software at Foliovision, due to the absence of painful licensing routines - we do own Parallels have tested VMware but don't use them) or alternative virtual machine software, as well as a copy of Windows XP or 2000. Be careful with Windows 2000 - you may run into limitations there as well.
Even for professional Google AdWords campaign managers, Microsoft adCenter setup is very unpleasant in comparison to the smooth and user-friendly setup of Google's AdWords.
But once you do get onto adCenter and set up some ads, your chances of a successful campaign (low-volume of course, as there just isn't much traffic there) go way up.
First, it's so annoying to run a Microsoft adCenter campaign that most people can't be bothered for the volume of traffic involved. The time investment is just so much more efficient in Google AdWords.
Second, the sort of people so clued out as to use Microsoft Search / Live.com for their searches are likely to be either highly inexperienced internet users or totally straight dweebs who believe in Microsoft.
In either case, they are a public who are more likely to part with their money more quickly, as they lack the savvy or will to shop around more aggressively. I.e. good potential clients.
Our live testing on client campaigns supports this view. Microsoft Live campaigns are delivering a sale for 1/3 the cost of the same sale on Google AdWords.
So even Mac Users have grounds to swallow their distaste and start their virtual machines.