For years Google’s motto has been ‘mobile first’. Ever since Google’s inception, the search engine giant could hardly wait for the breakthrough of mobile and with it, the inevitable arrival of a huge number of additional users and search queries. So it is not surprising that Google has responded to an increase in mobile and multi device searches by modifying AdWords – one of the search engine’s most important products; while at the same time opening a new chapter in campaign management by introducing a new Enhanced Campaigns product.
As things stand, brands usually plan three separate campaigns for desktop, tablet, and mobile. As a result the keywords they use for a desktop campaign need to be mirrored and its bid prices, texts and links need to be adapted for the other devices.
But now Google has changed Adwords, brands will be able to create symbiotic campaigns for home and mobile use all at once. Strategy management will also become easier. AdWords Enhanced Campaigns includes the following modifications:
- Campaigns will be distributed throughout all channels, including mobile.
- There will be no distinction between desktop and tablet.
- Marketers will be able to make percentage bid-adjustments for three parameters: device type, location, and time of day.
- It will still be possible to have different texts and links across platforms.
- Measurement of new conversion types besides clicks, calls, and app downloads.
- Better site link management.
- No more targeting function for operating systems.
All of this is great, however the question arises as to whether the change might lead to less control and transparency for brands themselves to know specifically where their adverts are being screened. So far advertisers could exploit efficiency advantages from tablet- and mobile campaigns, in the future this will no longer be the case. Since there will not be a distinction between the different devices, it will no longer be possible to reallocate budgets between them based on performance. In the end, the distribution can only be controlled through the bid price.
What does this mean for advertisers and their agencies? First of all, it means that setting up new campaigns and allocating the budget throughout the channels becomes easier. Location and time strategies will become more accessible and are therefore likely to be used. For existing campaigns that are divided into desktop, tablet and mobile, any modification will cause some initial extra work. As a result it will be advisable to get better acquainted with the new system and to increase performance monitoring in order to gain experience using Enhanced Campaigns.
Many experts expect that alongside an alignment of bid prices for mobile and desktop, there will also be a couple of other factors that could lead to higher bid prices. Firstly, rather than setting up specific campaigns for different devices, brands will be buying an “overall campaign delivery” which will lead to more bids on the market and therefore an increased competition. Secondly a greater use of regional and timing strategies is expected, which will lead to higher average CPCs.
All in all, these changes to Adwords are a good deal; especially for Google.