Posted February 6, 2013 6:38 pm by with 2 comments

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AdWords has just pulled the wraps off their new Enhanced Campaign program and it’s pretty special if you can figure it all out.

The basic premise is this: people searching the same keyword have different needs depending on the time of day, location and the device they’re using.

The example they use is takeout pizza.

new adwords

This young couple has just moved into their new home so they don’t have the kitchen set up and they don’t know the area. The man uses his PC at home (apparently they do have wireless hooked up) to search for pizza delivery. He gets an ad for Saratoga pizza with a direct link to order online.

The woman is out buying furniture and decides to buy a pizza while she’s out and about. She searches pizza on her smartphone, also gets Saratoga, but her ad has a call button and directions.

adwords two

They could have saved themselves $10.00 if she’d used that smartphone to call him before she stopped at the pizza shop, but hey. . . two pizzas. . . how cute.

Enhanced Campaigns also allows you to adjust your bids and budget based on location, time or device.

Example: A breakfast cafe wants to reach people nearby searching for “coffee” or “breakfast” on a smartphone. Using bid adjustments, with three simple entries, they can bid 25% higher for people searching a half-mile away, 20% lower for searches after 11am, and 50% higher for searches on smartphones. These bid adjustments can apply to all ads and all keywords in one single campaign.

This is really brilliant. It puts your AdWord dollars to use in the best possible way. It’s great for offline locations but I can see it for online, too. For example, if someone is looking for a mystery novel at midnight from their smartphone, I’d show them an ad for an ebook over directions to a local bookstore. As a marketer, I’d be willing to bid a little higher for that late-night, mobile customer.

AdWords is also pumping up the volume on stats. The new settings will count app downloads and phone calls that come in through a campaign as a conversion.

The one odd side (I’m not sure it’s bad enough to be called a downside) to this new program is that it lumps tablets in with desktops instead of with mobile. I get that many people use tablets at home instead of their desktop but it’s a different experience, and as such, it deserves its own category. Tablets encourage laid back browsing. It encourages app and ebook downloads and streaming entertainment. It’s touch vs mouse and that’s gotta make a difference in how you advertise — maybe not now but soon. If AdWords really wants to make ads more relevant, then they need to treat the desktop, tablet and smartphone as three different animals.

I think this new concept is a giant leap in the right direction. Instead of a one-size-fits-all display ad, Enhanced Campaigns lets you hone in on what a customer actual wants when they search. Do they want dinner a half hour from now or food for a party they’re having next week? Is this research or are they ready to buy? Given the way we all speed through life, presenting the best possible ad with the shortest distance between customer and conversion means more dollars in your pocket, and that is the primary goal after all.

Here’s a short video explaining how the program works:

What do you think of the new Enhanced Campaigns for AdWords?


  • Brandon

    I think it’s good for GOOG and maybe the consumer, but definitely not the advertiser.

    (FYI: The ads in the example above are not ‘Display’ ads, they are search ads)

    As an advertiser, I can no longer have ‘Mobile Only’ campaigns, and can will no longer be able to target by mobile OS. I will lose so many for opportunities for optimization. Our ROI on mobile SEM will take a big hit because of this roll out. No more keyword level link reporting for mobile, or keyword lelve bidding for mobile, and what am I supposed to do if my mobile site and desktop site sit on different destination URL’s? It’s a mess for mobile SEM advertisers, way too many limitations.

    • Contextually served on-page ads (part of the display network) can be identical in appearance to search ads.