Google has announced that Enhanced Campaigns are the future at Adwords HQ. If you're not familiar with Enhanced Campaigns here are the highlights:
1. No more device targeting. Do your campaigns convert amazingly on tablets but terrible on mobile? Sorry, now you have to combine them and your overall costs will increase while conversion rates will suffer.
Adwords has provided the option to set a bid modifier for mobile devices but that functionality only exists at the campaign level. Lumping mobile bidding together with desktop/tablet keyword bidding is like handing a red solo cup to someone on a nearly-sunk yacht. It's not going to move the needle.
In May of 2011 (less than 2 years ago) Google was very proud to announce that targeting by device was coming. http://googlemobileads.blogspot.com/2011/05/introducing-new-ways-to-reach-your.html
Just 2 months later the device targeting was available to all: http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-tablet-targeting-options-now.html
Adwords reps seemed to be pitching device targeting any time they had a chance to talk to an Internet Marketer. We saw that there was value and that there was potential in device-specific bidding. Many of us had already found that one or more devices performed quite differently than the rest. We separated out our campaigns. We saw improvements! We utilized the new data we were given and changed our strategies. Bidding was adjusted. Devices that consistently converted well were given more budget, more aggressive bidding. ROI and CPA improved and we were very excited to have more data and that we could take action on that data. Often Adwords releases a report or makes data available but then fails to create a method for advertisers to harness that information and improve their campaigns. Device targeting was different and was a recognized win for everyone.
We wrote new ads catering to the devices users searched for. "Checkout from Your Mobile Device!" became an effective call to action for campaigns targeting mobile devices. We learned that tablet users often are more likely to make purchases from their tablet and ecommerce adapted by catering to that behavior.
Did Google simply look at their revenue and decide that these changes would improve their numbers? Otherwise, why continue to remove features and functionality that have been valuable tools for advertisers for years?
Last year Google decided to change their ad rotation policy and remove the option for advertisers to rotate their ads evenly. It was an unpopular move and it hurt many advertisers. Testing ad copy, promotions and landing pages requires the ability to manipulate all aspects of a test or the results can be irreparably skewed. By taking away the ad rotation option it hindered our ability to run tests and improve our campaigns.
Advertisers came together and signed a petition against Adwords asking for one simple thing: the power to choose. Google ultimately heard our voice and gave us the option to choose our ad rotation settings.
Enhanced Campaigns might be a benefit to some advertisers. Some might see improvements. Google wants everyone to believe that this is the most likely scenario for all advertisers. The truth is for many it could be much worse. For those of us who worry about that truth, we want the ability to select how we target. Google releases features frequently that don't apply to some advertisers but does not force them to use them. Why is this feature so much different?
Give us the choice. Maybe some will decide to embrace Enhanced Campaigns because it fits their goals and objectives. Perhaps over time we'll all adopt it on our own. Then we might start to tell everyone else about it (like we did regarding device targeting). Isn't that better than forcing us to adopt it while we kick and scream the whole way?
As it stands this looks like another decision made without taking into consideration the advertisers who keep Google in business. We give our advertising dollars to Google and trust that they're going to improve their platform in a way that allows us to continue to advertise indefinitely. No single entity is putting that future in jeopardy more than Google is right now.
Support this petition because you advertise on Google Adwords and have seen tremendous results by having the option to separate campaigns by device. Show Google that what we want is simply the option to choose our fate.
Join the PPC community on Twitter w/ the hashtag #ppcchat and give me your feedback, thoughts, and opinions at Twitter.com/iNeils
Neil Sorenson started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,264 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.