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Google keeps us on our toes!

Over a year ago Google announced the rollout of a number of “enhancements” including a major AdWords product release that addresses the need to manage campaigns across different devices. We will therefore now be able to target consumers based on device, location, and time of day through a single campaign.

What does this mean? To understand the implications of Google’s enhanced campaigns, let’s review the benefits and concerns.

BENEFITS
Mobile preferred creative: Search marketers will now be able to create mobile preferred ad creative that are delivered to users based on their device or when they’re searching.

Consolidated bid management: 
Search marketers can now leverage bid adjustments to manage bids across devices, locations, time of day, and more from within a single campaign.

Enhanced ad extensions management: 
Search marketers can now assign ad extensions at the ad group level and display ads across devices with the appropriate ad creative, sitelink, app, or extension, without having to manage multiple campaigns for every combination of device, location, and time of day. Furthermore, ad extensions can now be scheduled to turn on and off, such as during times when phone operators are unavailable.

Advanced sitelinks management:
Search marketers can now report on the performance metrics for individual ad sitelinks and monitor their approval status.
New conversion types: Search marketers will now have the ability to track and report on calls and app downloads, enabling the optimization of campaigns based on these conversion types.

CONCERNS

Device specific budgets: 
In combing all devices into a single campaign, budgets will also be combined, eliminating the ability for us to set separate, device-optimized budgets across desktop-, tablet-, and mobile-only campaigns.

Mobile-only campaigns: Without the ability to opt out of desktop/tablet device targeting, search marketers will no longer be able to leverage mobile-only campaigns. This will significantly impact advertisers, like mobile app and gaming companies, who only wish to advertise on mobile devices.
Tablet specific optimization strategies: With tablet device targeting now combined with desktop, we will no longer be able to deploy specific tablet strategies.

Bidding on mobile keywords: Since mobile bids are boosted by a percentage of desktop/tablet bids at the campaign level, therefore we can no longer calculate individual mobile keyword bids based on performance. Furthermore, bidding to a preferred position for specific mobile keywords to combat the limited SERP real estate on mobile devices is no longer possible.

Bid multipliers: The requirement to layer bid multipliers based on device, location, and time of day introduces significant complexities for calculating optimal keyword bids. Furthermore, since bid adjustments are applied at the campaign level, separate time of day multipliers can’t be set for separate locations. For example: +20% for Auckland on Saturday and minus 50% for Wellington on Sunday.

Targeting mobile operating systems: We can no longer target campaigns to a specific mobile device or device operating system (i.e. iPhone, HTC, iOS, Android).
By mid-2013, we expect all campaigns to have been transitioned to enhanced campaigns, and for those New Zealand and Australian businesses that are paying attention to these new ‘rules’, the flow to increased sales/engagement will be obvious.


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