Our contacts at Google made us aware last week of an impending development. And the news broke earlier today: a major update that, in their words, is designed to simplify campaign management across multiple devices and to increase adoption rates of mobile advertising (as well as Google market share) among small and medium sized businesses.
Currently for our clients running AdWords, we determine the need for - and then manage - separate dedicated mobile campaigns. This practice gives us the ability to customize and optimize campaigns by device type. But now, according to Google, “With enhanced campaigns, PPC managers will be able to set different bids and show different ads based on a user's device type, location and time of day - all within one campaign." The key difference here is the reference to “within one campaign."
Here's an example from the AdWords blog:
A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for [coffee] or [breakfast] on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.
At this point, we're letting you know because the news was prominent in the advertising media today. As with most big Google changes, it's too soon to know what the real practical impact is. It feels like in some ways Google has taken away something while improving something else.
Enhanced campaigns will roll out to advertisers as an option over the next few weeks. If we take no action Google plans to “upgrade” all campaigns in June.
We will be given access to the new tools as part of our relationship with Google, and we will be determining how to react to this change over the upcoming weeks to ensure we're driving cost efficient leads to your properties. We'll keep you updated via your Client Performance Managers (CPMs) and this blog.