Microsoft Begins the Assault on the Advertising Community

Seeking Alpha eviscerates Microsoft’s announcement of Engagement Mapping in three quick paragraphs:

Say a consumer sees an ad for a product in a video ad one day, and then clicks on a text ad to visit the retailer’s site the next day, and then eventually sees a banner ad that leads to a purchase. All of the monetary credit tends to go to the text link that was clicked on, says John Chandler, principal analyst for Microsoft’s Atlas ad serving division.

“Under our (Engagement Mapping) model, those will share the credit,” for example, with 40 percent each going to the video ad and the text ad and 20 percent going to the banner, he says.

And you arrived at those percentages how? Oh, don’t you worry your pretty little head about it… we just feed all the data into our big black “Engagement Mapping” box, crank this handle right here, and it spits out the answer. Remember, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic — just tell that to the brand manager writing the eight or nine figure check.

So after ten years of buying and selling media according to the specific terms of insertion orders (IOs) and audited tracking methodologies, we are supposed to hand over the entire business model of online marketing to a black box methodology created by a company with an enormous conflict of interest in their ownership of a major performance ad network. Let’s hope no one is stupid enough to fall for this.

Full disclosure: I work for a competitor of Microsoft. These are my own views, not those of my employer.