Earlier this week Google announced enhancements to AdWords as a “first step to help you more simply and smartly manage your advertising campaign in today’s multi-device world.”
So what has changed?
- Tablet and desktop will be merged, meaning that a multi-device strategy will be no longer possible
- Bidding at keyword level for mobile searches will not be possible – bid changes will now be applied as a % across the campaigns
- Day parting based on device and location will be available
What’s Google’s motivation?
Enhanced campaigns have been developed to enable cross device and location strategy adoption to be more accessible for advertisers. To be able to manage activity based on the device and the location, the best practice approach has been to create separate accounts by device and category. Google’s challenge has been that the adoption of this has been slow mainly due to the increased workload from a campaign setup and on-going management perspective. These factors, along the increased adoption of mobile and tablet worldwide, mean this new development by Google makes activating these campaigns more accessible.
What will be the potential impact for retailers?
The impact could be significant, especially for retailers that have already adopted a multi-device and location strategy, this can be perceived as a backward step for retailers. For many of Summit’s retail clients, adoption of mobile and tablet specific campaigns has already been enabled through our proprietary technology, to ensure that bespoke creative, landing page and bidding strategies can be implemented.
The results of this have shown that many of the Key Performance Metrics such as cost per clicks, conversion rates, average order values, offer returns on investment differed by device and category, consequently meaning a separate bidding strategy per device is more favourable. In summary for retailers who already have a multi device strategy, this change could lead to less efficient campaigns or a reduction in sales share.
For retailers who have not adopted the multi-device strategy yet, this could have a positive impact as it gives the advertiser an easier entrance point to adopting a mobile strategy. The question would still remain on how efficient and effective these campaigns are.
One area which may be beneficial for multichannel retailers is the location based bidding strategy, which will allow retailers to set bid prices to be aligned with store product levels and online to store conversion rates.
Is this an issue for UK retailers?
Yes – this is a worldwide rollout of a new product for Google. In the short term advertisers will have the option to opt in to enhanced campaigns. From the middle of 2013 usage will be mandatory, meaning that separate desktop and tablet campaigns will no longer run.
Keeping you informed
We have been selected as one of only a few agencies in the U.K. to be involved in the beta test. We will be working closely with Google to test the new functionality with one of our retail clients and are using the results from this test to inform the best approach. I will be writing regular blogs to keep you updated on our findings.