Enhanced campaigns: Google shifts to mobile with “biggest change to AdWords”



In the third quarter of 2012, Google’s average cost per click, the price that advertisers have to pay every time someone clicks an ad, dropped an alarming 15 %. In the fourth quarters, Google managed to stop the bleeding a bit with a drop of ‘only’ 6 percent.

But the damage was clear: the shift to mobile was putting pressure on the cost-per-click, and investors didn’t like it one bit – it seemed like Google had no answer to mobile, and Google’s stock dipped 8 percent in October. Some analysts went as far as saying that Google might start a slide into oblivion, and that there was a danger that the company wouldn’t be around anymore in 5 years.

So it was clear something had to be done.

Yesterday, Google announced that it made changes to the way advertisers buy sponsored links in search results. A new way of booking AdWords called ‘enhanced campaigns’ allows advertisers to buy ads across all platforms (PC, phones, tablets) from a single dashboard.

According to Google, the new dashboard should make it possible for advertisers to incorporate signals like location, time, and capabilities of the device people are using:

For example, a pizza restaurant probably wants to show one ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 1pm on their PC at work (perhaps a link to an online order form or menu), and a different ad to someone searching for “pizza” at 8pm on a smartphone a half-mile from the restaurant (perhaps a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator).

Signals like location, time of day, and the capabilities of the device people are using have become increasingly important in showing them the right ad.

With enhanced campaigns, instead of having to cobble together and compare several separate campaigns, reports and ad extensions to do this, the pizza restaurant can easily manage all of this in one single place. Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns. (source: Google blog)

So Google is making it easier to buy ads on mobile, and throwing in some new capabilities for advertisers who want to use location based technologies and making it possible to diversify ads. You can see ‘enhanced campaigns’ at work here:

A marketer told the FT that the move was “the biggest single change to the structure of AdWords in 10 years”, and that he expected enhanced campaigns to create “significant upwards pressure” on the cost-per-click of a mobile ad. We’ll see in the next quarterly results if he was right.

[photo: Hadi M, Picasa]

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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