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Microsoft Acquires Marketing Tech Startup PromoteIQ To Empower Retail Clients

Microsoft maintains its growth and is refining its B2B focus by acquiring vendor marketing technology firm, PromoteIQ.

PromoteIQ’s platform allows retailers to build, launch, and scale vendor marketing programs on their eCommerce website with the goal of generating incremental revenue.

As part of the acquisition, the company will be able to maintain its brand with the company’s founder and CEO, Alex Sherman continuing to lead, in addition to becoming a division within Microsoft Advertising, formerly known as Bing Ads.

PromoteIQ’s big clients such as the American brands Kroger, Kohl’s, Office Depot, and Overstock among thousands of others, will continue to benefit from the PromoteIQ platform along with the added resources and support from Microsoft.

PromoteIQ’s technology strategically complements Microsoft’s current retail advertising offerings…And together, we can enable retailers with a portfolio of technology solutions to modernize their e-commerce platforms and maximize their monetization opportunity,Rik van der Kooi, Vice President of Microsoft Advertising

A Step Forward for Microsoft

Microsoft Advertising provides retailers that compete with Amazon an alternative to the company’s quickly growing advertising business and a way to develop a new revenue stream at a time when in-store is slowing.

PromoteIQ founders Alex Sherman and Peter Schwartz said in a joint statement that the benefits Microsoft Advertising brings to PromoteIQ include “industry-leading AI and machine learning capabilities, as well as a strong global retail market footprint.”

What PromoteIQ Brings to the Table

PromoteIQ’s platform is capable of managing hundreds of brands promoting million of SKUs on-site, and lets vendor-driven product placements live on a webpage next to a retailer’s organic site content. This opens up a potentially significant new arena of inventory for Microsoft and its digital advertising goals.

Microsoft’s ad business is primarily composed of search and network advertising on Bing and LinkedIn, respectively. Adding PromoteIQ to its list of offerings to advertising clients will bolster the company’s commerce and retail capabilities, which will ultimately open up potential new ad sales growth.

The Promote IQ acquisition will help Microsoft court retailers and dig into eCommerce, which is a key growth area in the coming years, according to buyers and analysts.

This move will help empower retailers and brands, while also simultaneously allowing Microsoft and PromoteIQ to gain more benefits as part of the advertising industry. Microsoft is clearly playing in the long game.