The Great Debate Over Enhanced Campaigns at SMX West

Kye Mou
March 13, 2013
Enhanced Campaigns Meme

In the two days spent speaking and exhibiting at SMX West this week, it was clear that Google enhanced campaigns are at the top of every search marketer’s mind. With the mid-year migration deadline around the corner, marketers were keen to ask the important questions. Throughout our time in the Expo Hall and during two of our speaking opportunities, Marin engaged in several candid discussions regarding enhanced campaigns and what Google’s recent change to AdWords means for search marketers. Here’s what we heard.

Everyone’s On the First Page

Many search marketers were unaware of enhanced campaigns when it was first announced in early February. Without the formal beta process that Google typically leverages—a process used for major features like Product Listing Ads, remarketing, Dynamic Search Ads, etc.—enhanced campaigns was unleashed upon the search world in one fell swoop. Some search marketers we spoke to are struggling to understand what it means for their day-to-day campaign management and optimization tactics.

Think Everybody. Think!

Success in the age of enhanced campaigns hinges on the ability to establish “enhanced” best practices. Though the testing of enhanced campaigns appears to be limited so far, it hasn't stopped search marketers from making assumptions and applying their expertise towards new tactics and strategies. Below are two of the “best practices” we overheard at SMX West:

  • Specify device within ad creative: To engage users on specific devices, specify the device of choice within the ad creative. Including device-specific tokens like “mobile” remains a best practice, but these become even more critical for search marketers to include in their ad creative for increasing relevance. For advertisers who only want to engage tablet or smartphone users, use the tokens “tablet” or “iPhone” for example. This may reduce the number of desktop clicks on ads intended for tablet users or miscellaneous smartphone clicks on ads intended for iPhone users.
  • Separate campaigns by location target: Continue splitting out campaigns by location targets. This enables search marketers to continue tracking conversions and revenue by geography and calculate bids based on segmented performance. Furthermore, generate ad creative that leverage geo-specific identifiers. For example, within a campaign that’s targeting San Francisco, use the keyword “San Francisco” within ad creative to increase relevance and user engagement.

Geo-Targeted Paid Search Ad - SF

Enhancing the Enhanced Campaign

When enhanced campaigns were first announced, many mobile app and gaming companies expressed a desire to target campaigns to a specific mobile device or device operating system (i.e. iPhone, HTC, iOS, Android). After speaking with a few marketers who attended the session on enhanced campaigns, it appears that Google will allow advertisers to target specific mobile devices and device operating systems for the display network with enhanced campaigns. Given market feedback it wouldn't be surprising to see Google begin tweaking enhanced campaign features to provide marketers with these additional controls.

The Clock Is Ticking

Marin Software supports enhanced campaigns now. Establishing new best practices before the upcoming migration deadline is important. Conferences and expos like SMX West provide an invaluable look into what search marketers are thinking and what they require to be successful in the age of enhanced campaigns. Marin will be exhibiting at SES NY later this month and we look forward to another great forum for discussing enhanced campaigns. We hope to see you there!

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