Google launches Enhanced Campaigns

Google has unveiled its new Enhanced Campaigns format for Adwords, which is set to revolutionise the way accounts are managed, to a mixed reaction from the search advertising community.

As with all Adwords developments, Google have placed the emphasis very much on user experience, claiming that users should be reached by relevant targeted ads regardless of which device they are using. They have also acknowledged that the lines are continuing to blur between devices, with the continued rise of Tablet usage and new devices such as Mini Tablets entering the market, and in turn Google have opted to blur the lines of their device targeting for campaigns.

Enhanced CampaignsThey have also cited research which claims that 90% of multi device users move sequentially between screens to complete a task, hence stressing the importance of full device coverage from advertisers.

The benefits to advertisers and agencies from Enhanced Campaigns will be the increased ease of campaign management that they allow – no longer will separate campaigns/accounts need to be created for separate devices, with all devices now being managed through single campaigns.

To some these developments may seem a step back with advertisers in recent years have become more sophisticated in adopting tailored approaches to each device by setting up device dedicated campaigns with tailored bidding strategies, bid scheduling and ad copy.

To an extent, this level of sophistication will still be possible under Enhanced Campaigns, where it will be possible to upweight or downweight bids for Mobile activity between -100% and 300% (although this will be at campaign level only). Advertisers will also be able to opt ads into Mobile coverage only at the tick of a box.

As well as upweighting/downweighting for Mobile devices it will be possible to tweak bids based on location, eg. bidding more for users within half a mile of an advertiser’s store, or downweighting bids during hours when the store is closed.

Perhaps the most controversial development with Enhanced Campaigns is the inability to separate Desktop and Tablet devices in campaign settings. Google claims that user behaviour on these devices is similar enough to warrant not separating them out. This does contradict other case studies which show Tablet use soaring in the evening and that consumers often use Tablets while watching multi-tasking, watching TV etc.

For Click to Download activity it will still be possible to determine which devices ads are served on eg. Android, to ensure the right users are reached, via the medium of a new ‘Digital Content’ ad type. Google Display campaigns will also still be allowed to select which devices they appear on.

With Enhanced Campaigns also come other developments such as more sophisticated Site Links – where advertisers are able to apply links at ad group level, have access to more detailed reporting metrics, and are able to schedule Site Link coverage.

Although Enhanced Campaigns have now been launched they are not yet being enforced, with advertisers being given the option to migrate their campaigns between now and summer, when all existing campaigns will automatically be opted in. This gives advertisers the time and opportunity to migrate existing campaigns without any issues. Google have also released a White Paper to agencies to help guide this migration process.

Google have also launched a new section of their website which explains all the new features in detail:

http://www.google.com/adwords/enhancedcampaigns/