After an unsuccessful attempt to acquire InMobi two years ago, Microsoft has instead entered in a strategic partnership with the global ad platform, in order to get a head start in mobile marketing space.
The partnership will require InMobi to gradually move to Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud provider.
“Today, companies are seeking new ways to engage customers, with connected and personalized experiences. The combination of Microsoft Azure with InMobi’s marketing platforms will deliver new intelligent customer experiences and business insights to organizations around the world,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft said.
Microsoft has been trying to get a foothold in mobile advertising space for long. Mostly, the company has been far behind InMobi, Google, and Facebook. Microsoft wasn’t very successful in leveraging its internet browser or its Bing search engine for advertising either.
But the gradual shift in enterprises, from desktop to mobile for search queries, has opened a new avenue for Microsoft. According several studies, mobile search has already surpassed desktops in volume. InMobi’s ad network spanning across 200 countries will instantly create a market for Microsoft in mobile advertising.
“InMobi is building one of the most advanced enterprise platforms for marketers, and we’re extremely excited to partner with Microsoft as we dive into the next frontier of connected devices,” said Naveen Tewari, founder and CEO, InMobi.
The two companies are also looking at combining InMobi’s Advertising and Marketing Cloud capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics 365, on the back of Azure infrastructure, including AI, machine learning, and analytics. The companies will also work in close cooperation on the go-to-market approach, offering these integrated advertising and marketing solutions to Microsoft’s global enterprise client base.
The InMobi Marketing Cloud will be sequentially launched market-wise worldwide over the next six months, the companies said in a statement. According market research firm eMarketer, mobile will account for more than half of overall digital ad spending, which is expected to be at USD 2.8 billion.