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The Countdown to Enhanced Campaigns: A Review of the Most Essential Information

countdown-5 [1]

The Enhanced Campaigns deadline is no longer looming in the distant future—5 days from now all online advertisers’ campaigns will be automatically opted into Enhanced Campaigns! As we mentioned before, the Enhanced Campaigns feature is the most significant transformation that AdWords has undergone since its inception.

The changes are designed to accommodate and consolidate ad campaigns operating in a multi-device world.  Instead of managing hundreds of different campaigns to account for different geographic locations, times of day, and types of devices, advertisers can use various bid adjustments all within a single enhanced campaign.

The July 22nd Enhanced Campaigns deadline is quickly approaching. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the ways Enhanced Campaigns will change online advertising, here are the four key changes to anticipate:

  1. Campaigns will run across all devices – mobile ads will require a bid modifier, but all bids will be managed from the same campaign.
  2. Tablet bidding strategies will be aligned with desktop – research consistently reveals that tablet user behavior is quite similar to desktop/laptop behavior, so enhanced campaigns will combine the bid adjustments for tablets and desktops.  This means that ads appearing on desktop will automatically appear on tablets as well.
  3. Mobile bids will be adjusted at the campaign or ad group level by a percentage bid modifier. Bids can be set at the keyword level as usual but the mobile bid adjustment uniformly applies to all the keyword bids in the campaign or ad group depending on the level that you want to set the bid modifier against.  This means that it is no longer possible to designate different bids at the keyword level for mobile.
  4. Mobile bids will be fully controlled by advertisers based on percentage bid adjustments from desktop bids.  Google will not be manipulating any bid levels on the back end, leaving the marketplace in full control of these bids.

These changes will have wide-reaching effects on the way that ad campaigns are run.  Moving forward, advertisers may consider adapting their approaches in the following ways:

  1. Mobile and Tablet Strategy: Whereas in the past marketers have been able to opt out of mobile and tablet distribution, Enhanced Campaigns requires that marketers implement a strategy for both device types. Advertisers will be able to set a -100% bid for mobile devices, but that will not be possible for tablet devices. Those who have not previously conceived a mobile strategy will need to construct a mobile campaign quickly.
  2. Geo-targeting Strategy: Geo-targeting can be managed the same way as before with campaign level targeting. Geo bidding will be managed through bid modifications at the campaign level. Specific area targeting will be focused on behavioral trends, rather than keyword trends. As a result, advertisers will need to rely on previous data about their target audiences’ behavioral trends to construct a geo-targeting strategy.
  3. Bidding Strategy: Industry experts predict that advertisers will pay more per click on mobile devices, at least initially, and 3rd party bid platforms will be required to modify their platforms to synchronize with the new Enhanced Campaigns system.
  4. Budget Management: It is likely that budget segmentation by location or device will become much more complicated and far less transparent. Marketing professionals will likely need to leverage holistic tools that are able to measure cross-channel and cross-device performance to understand relative success of their paid search campaigns.
  5. Keyword and Account Management: Many advertisers delineate device or location targeting by campaign or account, but after the migration to Enhanced Campaigns these advertisers will need to determine a new way to combine segmented campaigns in a manner that preserves quality score and campaign performance.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our Enhanced Campaigns white paper [2].

About Ranil Wiratunga

Ranil Wiratunga+ [8] works in Search Marketing, at The Search Agency as Senior Director, Paid Media - Website: www.thesearchagency.com [9]

Ranil Wiratunga manages a cross-functional team of search account management, project management, development, and performance-driven web strategy experts. He joined TSA’s SEM team in November 2006. He has account management experience in various verticals such as finance, CPG, travel, directory, entertainment, electronics, dating, etc. As an expert in SEM, he holds Google AdWords Professional and Yahoo! Advertising certification. Ranil graduated from Gonzaga University with a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Philosophy.