October 03, 2013 - 1 comment.

Do Google's Enhanced Campaigns allow marketers to be in the right place at the right time?

Eyup! My name’s Jamie and I’ve been working in PPC for just under four years now. I’ve experienced working both agency and client side, so I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of weird and wonderful PPC campaigns – from small ones such as a dog walker’s dating website (for single dog walkers in Rhyl) through to international projects for the likes of Mini, BMW and Ikea, with advertising budgets in their millions.

I’ve always been a proud Yorkshire lad, but working in PPC has given me the chance to spread my wings and work in other locations too. I started off in Leeds, where I first learned the PPC ropes. I was asked by a client to take care of their PPC in-house, and the next thing you know I was jet-setting off down south to Brighton!

Life by the sea was amazing but I really wanted to gain as much experience in an agency environment as possible, so I decided to move to that London place. Inevitably, I made my way back to God’s Own Country when I felt I’d gained enough experience in a large digital media agency (also, I couldn’t justify spending £6 on a pint in the capital)… which brought me to Bloom!

I knew as soon as I decided to move back to Leeds that I wanted to work at Bloom.  I knew it would be a great place to work and progress, working with a great list of clients, with an office full of great people – all with heads full of even greater ideas! Great!

I was thrust straight into action when I landed at Bloom and I joined at a time when a massive change was about to take place – one that would change the world of PPC forever… Enhanced Campaigns!

In early 2013 Google announced that it would be automatically migrating all existing ‘Legacy’ campaigns over to the new Enhanced Campaigns by 22nd July. The PPC blogs and forums went wild. Search gurus from around the globe were teaming up to help each other establish best practices to excel in this new world of Enhanced Campaigns.

Basically, Enhanced Campaigns is a system that Google has designed to simplify your PPC ad management in a multi-device, constantly switched on, location-changing world. It wants advertisers to be able to connect with its audience in the right place, on the right device, at the right time.

Sounds alright to me, that. But there were changes that we’d all have to get used to, and not everyone was happy about it.

Many questions were being asked, and we were all demanding answers. “How will Enhanced Campaigns affect my analytics?” “What if I want a mobile-only campaign?” “Why does Google always have to change everything?!”

Back in the old Legacy days, if you wanted to target a specific device like a desktop, mobile or tablet, it was easy. You’d just create a device-specific campaign. Simple. With Enhanced Campaigns you can’t do this. There is no option to disable desktop or tablet. You can no longer have a mobile-only campaign!

This will have had a negative effect on many advertisers, and this change in features is what shocked me most about the new Enhanced Campaigns.

Why would Google force advertisers to show ads on desktop and tablet if it didn’t benefit their business? This change will no doubt increase revenue for Google, but it may decrease ROI for a large number of advertisers.

I thought their motto was “Don’t Be Evil”?!

However, I believe the reason they’ve done this is because they want to take the first steps forward in measuring multi-channel attribution. Basically, multiple devices (tablets and smartphones) contribute to conversions on other devices. Tracking this will give advertisers a brilliant insight into the conversion cycle and enable them to effectively manage their campaigns in a more granular way.

It’s an exciting change for those of us who work with multiple clients! However, I still can’t help but feel for the small companies and sole traders who are now just expected to spend unnecessary money and adapt to this multi-device world as quickly as Google expects them to.

Don’t get me wrong, Enhanced Campaigns has some great features, and here at Bloom these will have many benefits for our list of clients – especially the ‘paid & organic’ report in AdWords, which gives us more of an understanding of how our PPC and SEO campaigns are working together. After all, we are an integrated agency!

All in all I think that, yes, Enhanced Campaigns does allow you to be reached in the right place and at the right time. But it also allows you to be reached by people you don’t want to be reached by.