Burning Question: Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns


Last week, Google announced enhancements to AdWords as  “a first step to help you more simply and smartly manage your ad campaigns in today’s multi-device world.” As you might expect, folks around the industry are reacting:

“Though Google is billing AdWords as an “upgrade,” this is a major shift for advertisers that effectively strips away control over where their campaigns run. While there’s no doubt that consumers are spending more and more of their time on mobile, the advertising industry simply hasn’t reached a point where it makes sense to treat these channels as one and the same. Marketers have different goals and strategies for desktop and mobile and should be able to tailor their campaigns accordingly.” — Tom Foran, GM, Mobile at Outbrain.

“Many features are excellent additions to AdWords functionality; the bid boosting, sitelink management, and new reporting features will help advertisers evolve their view of paid search more inline with that of an omni-channel strategy. However, while the new bid boosting features and the ability to ‘stack’ multiple bid modification strategies are powerful, these drastic changes are also a potential pitfall for advertisers or agencies who don’t take the time to learn how to use these settings.  While easy to set up, they can quickly become complicated, as multiple bid modifications can be stacked within each campaign.  This adds significant complexity and room for error for those managing the campaigns. As advertisers migrate to the new functionalities, we recommend taking a step back to re-evaluate digital strategies across all devices, learn the new features, and strategically apply them to their campaigns. … iProspect has prepared a POV which includes more detail on what we consider to be the benefits and concerns of the new features in Enhanced Campaigns.” — SEO expert Jeremy Hull of iProspect.

“[The change] will fundamentally alter how mobile PPC works. … {It] kills the former ‘best practice’ of creating separate campaigns for desktop and mobile. Going forward, advertisers will be able to target different devices within the same campaigns. Overall I think the change is positive for SMBs and will enable them to realize the potential ROI in mobile PPC. For more information on the new features, the bid adjustment factor, upgrade paths and more, visit my post on Enhanced Campaigns at the WordStream blog.” — Larry Kim, Founder & CTO of Wordstream, one of 3 outside companies that worked with Google on this project over the last few months.

“Bid technology will need to be adapted to handle multiple parameters affecting bids. Previous best practices focused on segmenting keywords/match types specific to devices and bid CPCs separately. Our understanding is that CPCs will be set for one keyword/match type and can be ‘boosted’ anywhere at the campaign level. While implementation is not completely transparent yet, The Search Agency believes that algorithmic bid optimization based on conversion history will require more advanced signals to properly inform performance-based bidding. Bid technology will need to adapt to integrate device indicators into the data scheme and produce CPC bid boost adjustments instead of a separate CPC. Search campaigns will no longer be able to be segmented by device after the transition. Therefore, The Search Agency anticipates evolving account structure best practices, which are the FOUNDATION for driving search performance. Technology and tool providers will also need to adjust data schemes to extract performance by creative targeting settings on their backend. Additionally, creative teams will have to evolve best practices for advanced targeting and performance measurement using new data points not previously available.” — Keith Wilson, Vice President, Marketing Strategy, The Search Agency.

“Google’s decision validates the explosive growth that we’re seeing in mobile as a search and sales channel. Brands need to understand that moving forward is not about smartphones OR desktop OR tablets. It’s about understanding how these different devices all work together to support a single purchase decision and setting consumer expectations and experiences accordingly. That means marketing across devices, not by device. It’s critical to build cohesive strategies that are consumer-centric, not device-centric. As recognized leaders in cross-device marketing, we’ve been driving significant sales revenue for our clients from each of these devices since day one. We’ve also been capturing data to help us understand how consumers use devices differently so that we can drive the right experiences within and across devices.” — Cass Baker, EVP at Leapfrog Online, a digital marketing agency that’s one of Google’s preferred partners.

“By lumping the higher performing tablet traffic in with desktop traffic, RPS (revenue per search) will increase for Google as CPCs increase on the combined desktop and tablet traffic.  This, presumably, will address Google’s mobile monetization gap as an increasing share of searches is coming from tablets and smartphones. The downside for advertisers is they may see lower ROI overall as these CPCs creep up. Adobe will certainly be watching this closely for our advertisers as this change rolls out in the coming months. As soon as the update is live, we will address it on both the technical and managed service sides of our ad business. All Adobe clients leveraging our ad solution for paid search optimization will be kept up to date on all of the nuances of this change from Google. Despite the change Google has introduced, one thing is clear: tablets aren’t mobile.  It’s a new world and we look forward to helping our advertisers navigate it.” — Bill Mungovan, Director of Product Strategy, Advertising Solutions, Adobe.

“Kenshoo has long advised our advertiser and agency partners to dive in head-first with mobile and prepare for the inevitable heightened competition and costs that will come as more and more advertisers embrace the offering. Google’s announcement will further accelerate mobile advertising adoption, making it more important than ever for marketers to leverage Kenshoo’s tools for automated campaign management and advanced portfolio bid optimization.” — Will Martin-Gill, general manager of Kenshoo Search.



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