Google’s mandatory rollout of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns began this week as a trickle rather than the bang many had expected. After warning AdWords advertisers for months that the deadline for transitioning campaigns to enhanced was July 22, 2013, Google announced that day that the migration would, like most product launches, take several weeks. This also meant that Monday was much less dramatic than anticipated.
The verdict is still out on how enhanced campaigns will affect advertiser costs. Many have predicted enhanced campaigns will increase CPCs as more advertisers add mobile targeting to their campaigns and tablet targeting is now tied to desktop.
Google reported a 6 percent drop in CPC in its latest quarterly earnings statement and reports from search marketing agencies Covario and RKG have concluded that enhanced campaigns have yet to have an impact on CPCs. However, The Search Agency, has seen tablet CPCs rise above desktop for the first time last quarter and concludes that enhanced campaigns has played a roll in the increase. By the nature of the varying client sets and strategies captured in these reports, it’s not surprising there are discrepancies, however each illustrates the continued rise in mobile ad spend that the IAB and eMarketer capture in their reports.
The real pushback heard from advertisers this first week continued to be over the diminished control over device targeting. In rebuilding the AdWords platform for a multi-device, “constantly connected world,” Google ended up substantially limiting device targeting. Advertisers are no longer able to run smartphone- or tablet-only campaigns or exclude tablet targeting. The mobile bid adjustments of enhanced campaigns also make it much more challenging to set mobile budgets. It certainly ups the ante for attribution modeling.
The response is not all negative. Many advertisers have welcomed new features including mobile product listing ads, ad group level sitelinks and individual sitelink reporting, free click-to-call conversion tracking, and extension scheduling. And others have praised the simplified campaign structure for enabling more businesses to establish mobile search strategies and execute location targeting. Google published more of its own case studies in a blog post announcing the roll-out this week. The post featured positive results seen by Pizza Hut, Autobytel and Miller’s Bakery. Billy Ferriolo, Senior Vice President, Consumer Acquisition and Product Development for Autobytel told Google that implementing enhanced campaigns cut the number of campaigns they manage by 30 percent, saying, “We are getting the right conversions at the right price, while marketing efforts are more focused on user experience rather than managing the account.”
Google also introduced bid adjustment reporting in Google Analytics this week. The integration gives marketers insights into the ROI impact of their bid modifications.
Microsoft announced that it will support enhanced campaigns in Bing Ads this fall, but will continue to support device targeting. We have a roundup of articles on our sister site, Search Engine Land, to help marketers navigate the new “enhanced” landscape.