Google launched ‘Enhanced Campaigns’, an evolution of AdWords that allows advertisers to manage their campaigns by location, time of day and device. The media world has become more fragmented and Google correctly believes that the changes it will be rolling out to all advertisers will deliver better results. The new ‘Enhanced Campaign’ embraces and supports what we at Mindshare call Adaptive Marketing - a flexible, fast approach in which marketers respond quickly to their environment to align consumer and brand goals and maximize return on brand equity. The new interface achieves this through an enhanced ability to rapidly optimize activity and investment via key variables and across devices.
There are two core benefits to the new tool. First, advertisers can now rapidly increase or decrease bids against more specific criteria against a wider inventory all to better meet key KPI’s. For example, a retailer can bid 25% more for people searching from a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. In addition to the bid price, the messaging, including promotions and even pricing, can be instantly adapted.
Second, to help advertisers better understand the performance of campaigns, as well as connect with the three key elements that the ‘Enhanced’ campaigns focus on, Google is also improving reporting. Recently new metrics such as ‘click-to-call’ and ‘download an app’ have become available to advertisers. However, it has not been easy to accurately track and measure; the new format changes that and now advertisers will be able to see the full value of their campaigns and the multiple touch points in a multi-device world.
Understanding your data and the trends and patterns within it are going to become more crucial to get the best performance from your AdWords investment. Similar to financial investment, a portfolio strategy is going to become more common as this approach will best capture the opportunities the new platform will allow. Advertisers need to prepare now to avoid any future chaos, particularly in July when the change is mandatorily rolled out to all AdWords clients. Without proper preparation clients may see an increase in cost-per-clicks and a much wider fluctuation in clicks and average positions as the market learns and adapt to new bidding strategies and pricing.
These changes will take advertisers some time to test and play with in order to understand their potential. Like most cautious investors we recommend that advertisers expect the market to overreact to the announcement and be prepared for wider fluctuations than they have seen in the past. It is our sincere belief that starting now with a good testing strategy and solid use of the new reporting capabilities advertisers can be back to – if not surpassing – their current results by the fourth quarter of this year.