To Simplify Multi-Device Ads, Google Offers 'Adwords Enhanced Campaigns'

3 minute read
Barry Levine avatar

With so many devices being used by connected consumers, advertisers have their hands full in trying to key their messages to multiple platforms. To help simplify things, Google has announced its Adwords Enhanced Campaigns. 

Reaching someone who might be using their smartphone a block away from your store, the company said, might best require an ad that is tailored to the user’s location and contains a click-to-call phone number, while an ad to the same user at home on a desktop computer might link to a full screen menu with an online order form.

One Campaign

The company said on its website that 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.”

from Google Adwords.png

from Google's Adwords Enhanced Campaigns Web site

A key feature in the new approach is the ability to manage ad bids across devices, locations, time of day and other factors from a single campaign. As an example, the company envisioned a breakfast café that is advertising for nearby potential customers searching on a smartphone for “coffee” or “breakfast.” With three entries, Google said, the advertising café can now bid 25 percent higher for searchers who are half a mile away, 20 percent lower for post-11am searches, and 50 percent higher for smartphone-based searches -- all of which can apply to all ads and all keywords.

Learning Opportunities

Similarly, Enhanced Campaigns can show the desired ad text, site link, app or extension across devices, such as a single campaign that provides ads with click-to-call and location awareness for smartphone users, as well as an ad with a link to an e-commerce website for personal computer users.

Removed Control?

With the new initiative, Google will also count phone calls that result from a click-to-call ad, or an app download from an ad, as a sales conversion in the AdWords reports, so advertisers can now compare them to other conversion metrics. Enhanced Campaigns will be rolling out as an option over a few weeks, with an upgrade to all campaigns by the middle of this year.

Some of the initial feedback from Adwords-watchers raises the issue if, in its effort to simplify things, Google may have removed some controls. For example, Adobe’s Bill Mungovan writes this week on that company’s Digital Marketing Blog that “advertisers can no longer target tablet users individually” in Enhanced Campaigns.

He pointed out that “tablet users will be lumped in with desktop users, while smartphone users can be targeted differently.” Mungovan added that this could well mean Google’s CPC rates for tablets, which are currently lower than for desktops, could increase as “CPCs increase on the combined desktop and tablet traffic.