Enhanced Campaigns? Love Em Or Loathe Em, Kiss Your Sweet $$ Goodbye

Posted in PPC

There’s been a lot of chatter and angst amongst marketers since February, when big G announced the Enhanced Campaign Rollout. What’s the bottom line here, the ONE thing marketers need to know about Enhanced Campaigns? Regardless of your personal experience migrating to Enhanced Campaigns, Google’s stock is going up and you’re paying for it. Effectually, Google raised the price of mobile CPCs and forced desktop and tablet spend if you even want to buy mobile ads. Cheap mobile-only campaigns are thing of the past.

This post curates news, a whole slew of blog posts, and is a comprehensive resource citing Google’s corporate financials, projections, opinions, case studies, best practices, and industry data. We’ve divided these resources up into the following categories:

  • Google Enhanced Campaigns Push Up Analysts’ Stock Target
  • Enhanced Campaigns: The Cons
  • A Word About Rising CPCs…
  • Get Your Wallet Out For Mobile Ads
  • Enhanced Campaigns: The Pros
  • A Mixed Bag: What People Love & Hate All At Once
  • Big Brother, Straight From The Source: Google’s Rhetoric
  • More Or Less Neutral Rundowns + Tips & Best Practices

Google’s Stock Is Going Up
Barron’s reported that “J.P. Morgan’s Doug Anmuth reiterates an Overweight rating, and raises his price target to $1,025 from $860, writing that the recently introduced advertising system, ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ will have a positive impact on pricing and ultimately overall search spend.”

going-up

BusinessInsider.com said, “A whole bunch of advertisers have come out to say that they regard the move as unhelpful at best and a cynical back-door price increase at worst.” ZDNet.com reported that “Google launched enhanced AdWords campaigns that should boost mobile cost per click rates—at the expense of advertiser visibility, say search marketing pros.”

going-up-3

(The yellow line indicates when Google announced Enhanced Campaigns.)

ValueWalk.com cited mounting buzz from the financial community, saying: “More than one analyst has issued reports on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s new Enhanced Campaigns advertising platform. JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSEJPM) analyst Doug Anmuth said that after their recent call, they believe the new ad platform will positively impact the search giant’s pricing and the overall search spending of its customers. They also see the risk of near-term revenue dislocation being reduced.”

Enhanced Campaigns: The Cons

Petitioning Google Adwords – Google Adwords: Provide more advertiser options in Enhanced Campaigns. | Change.org | Neil Sorenson
Listen up, Google: Here Are My Demands | Fathom Blog | Brittany Amato | 3/19/13
Why Enhanced Campaigns Aren’t Really An Upgrade Or Improvement | Search Engine Land | Neil Sorenson | 2/7/13
Google Enhanced Campaigns: Don’t Believe The Hype | Zen Search Marketing | Jeff Loquist | 2/7/13
FURY AT GOOGLE: Advertisers Say New Search Rules Are ‘Stealing’ From Them | Business Insider | Jim Edwards | 2/7/13

A Word About Rising CPCs…

Using Mobile Keyword URL’s in Enhanced Campaigns | PPC Epiphany | Martin Roettgerding | 2/13/13
Google To Force You To Go Movile With Enhanced Campaigns | PPC Hero | Sam Owen | 2/7/13
In Big Shift, Google Aims To Boost Mobile Ad Campaigns – And Its Own Revenues | Forbes | Robert Hof | 2/6/13
Google revamps AdWords in nob to movile device explosion | Gigaom | Barb Darrow | 2/6/13
Google Just Blasted Away The Wall Between Desktop And Mobile Ads | Business Insider | Owen Thomas | 2/6/13
The Big AdWords Update: Enhanced Campaigns Puts The Focus On Mobile | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 2/6/13
Are Tablets Mobile Devies? How Will Google’s Changes in AdWords Impact Advertisers? | Digital Marketing Blog | Bill Mungovan | 2/6/13

Get Your Wallet Out For Mobile Ads

Using Mobile Keyword URL’s in Enhanced Campaigns | PPC Epiphany | Martin Roettgerding | 2/13/13
Google To Force You To Go Mobile With Enhanced Campaigns | PPC Hero | Sam Owen | 2/7/13
ENHANCED CAMPAIGNS FOR MOBILES: Why the AdWords world as we know it is going to End | Passion Digital | Tom Katté | 2/7/13
In Big Shift, Google Aims To Boost Mobile Ad Campaigns – And Its Own Revenues | Forbes | Robert Hof | 2/6/13
Google revamps AdWords in nob to movile device explosion | Gigaom | Barb Darrow | 2/6/13
Google Just Blasted Away The Wall Between Desktop And Mobile Ads | Business Insider | Owen Thomas | 2/6/13
The Big AdWords Update: Enhanced Campaigns Puts The Focus On Mobile | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 2/6/13
Are Tablets Mobile Devies? How Will Google’s Changes in AdWords Impact Advertisers? | Digital Marketing Blog | Bill Mungovan | 2/6/13

Enhanced Campaigns: The Pros

the7stars Migrate to Enhanced Campaigns: A Success Story | Marin Software – Marketing Insights | Rebecca Momberg | 6/17/13
Analysts: Google’s  Enhanced Campaigns Is a Plus and 3 More Research Notes to Check Out | Wall St. Cheat Sheet | Justin Lloyd-Miller | 6/3/13
A Successful Enhanced campaigns Transition Case Study | Your Search Advisor | Andrew Miller | 5/28/13
2 Big Wins With Enhanced AdWords Campaigns | ClickZ | Andrew Goodman | 3/22/13
It’s Change And It’s For The Better With Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns | Spyder Trap | Nate Knox | 2/18/13
Enhanced Campaign Silver Linings: Geo Targeting | PPC Hero | Amanda West-Bookwalt | 2/14/13

A Mixed Bag: What People Love & Hate All At Once

AdWords Flexible Bid Strategies: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back | Search Engine Watch | John Lee | 6/21/13
July 22, 2013: AdWords Apocalypse or Simple Technology Upgrade? | Search Engine Watch | Lisa Raehsler | 5/28/13
How Will Enhanced Campaigns Affect AdWords’ Conversion Optimizer? | Search Engine Watch | John Lee | 5/23/13
What One Million Dollars In Spend Has Taught Us About Enhanced Campaigns | PPC Hero | Jeff Allen | 5/22/13
Google: Nearly 2 Million AdWords Campaigns Are Now Enhanced, Early Results Are In | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 5/15/13
Google Enhanced Campaigns and Bid Vectors: Switch Now or Later?  | ClickZ | Kevin Lee | 2/15/13
Enhanced Pay Per Click Campaigns – PPC Chat Streamcap | PPC Chat | Matt Umbro + Crowdsource | 2/12/13
Google Upgrade Is a Tidal wave for Advertisers | Wired | Ryan Tate | 2/8/13
AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: How Can I Protest Something I Haven’t Yet Used? | Traffik | Andrew Goodman | 2/7/13
Google’s Enhanced Campaigns Inspire Love, Hate And Hope For The Next Version | Search Engine Land | Pamela Parker | 2/7/13
Google Enhanced Campaigns: A Flawed Step In The Right Direction | The RKG Blog | Mark Ballard | 2/7/13
Google’s “Enhanced” Campaigns? | Data Pop | Alex Dao | 2/7/13
First Reaction to AdWords Enhanced Campaigns | Seer Interactive | Aaron Levy | 2/6/13
The scoop on Enhanced Campaigns (good and bad) | PPC Associates | Susan Waldes | 2/6/13
Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: The Good, Bad & Uncool | Search Engine Watch | Alistair Dent | 2/6/13
Enhanced AdWords Campaigns | Storify | Crowdsourced | 2/6/13

Big Brother, Straight From The Source: Google’s Rhetoric

Upgrade To Enhanced Campaigns | Google
AdWords Enhanced Campaigns | Google
Best Practices Whitepaper – Tips & Advanced Techniques For Setting Big Adjustments & Using Automation Tools | Google
Google Webinars – Learn More About Enhanced Campaigns | Google
AdWords Help Center | Google
Enhanced campaigns: What happens on July 22, 2013 | Google: Inside AdWords | Sridhar Ramaswamy | 6/12/13
Get a Head Start with Enhanced Campaigns: Why to Upgrade Now | Google: Inside AdWords | Andy Miller | 6/10/13 Bidding Best Practices (Part 5): Implement Bid Automation for Better Performance and Time Saving | Google: Inside AdWords | Andrea Cohan | 5/30/13
AdWords Editor updates: More enhanced campaigns features and improved performance reporting | Google: Inside AdWords | Darcy Lima | 5/21/13
Enhanced Campaigns for Display: Powerful Bidding Tools for a Multi-Device World | Google: Inside AdWords | Christian Oestlien | 3/19/13
Enhancing AdWords for a constantly connected world | Google: Inside AdWords | Sridhar Ramaswamy | 2/6/13

More Or Less Neutral Rundowns + Tips & Best Practices

AdWords Advertisers Can Now Control Sitelink Details In Enhanced Campaigns | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 6/19/13
Best Practices For Google Enhanced PPC Campaigns | Search Engine Land | Christine Churchill | 6/19/13
How Google knows what we’re thinking: enhanced campaigns and session-based search | eConsultancy | Alistair Dent | 6/10/13
Should You Create Ad Group Sitelinks in Enhanced Campaigns? | Search Engine Land | Brad Geddes | 6/10/13
AdWords Image Extensions: Early Reactions & In-The-Wild Examples | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 6/7/13
Optimizing Google Enhanced Campaigns: Success Starts At Migration | Search Engine Land | Matt Ackley | 6/6/13
The Search Marketer’s Guide for Migrating to Enhanced Campaigns | Marin Software – Marketing Insights | Kye Mou | 5/28/13
Upgraded Extensions | Search Engine Journal | Jason Bruggemann | 4/1/13
AdWords Launches New Keyword Bulk Upload Feature | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 4/1/13
Workarounds To Make Enhanced Campaigns More Flexible | Search Engine Land | Frederick Vallaeys | 3/21/13
Geographic Targeting In An Enhanced Campaign World | Search Engine Land | Brad Geddes | 3/18/13
How Enhanced Campaigns May Affect Your Analytics | Search Engine Land | Benny Blum | 3/15/13
Enhanced Campaigns: Product Listing Ads Now On Smartphones | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 3/13/13
Context Is Kind… Or At Least Duke | The RKG Blog | George Michie | 3/7/13
Enhanced Campaigns: Offer Extensions & Location Targeting Explained | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 3/6/13
Fine-Tuning Bid Modifiers with Enhanced Campaigns | PPC Hero | Kayla Kurtz | 2/26/13
AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: New Bidding Tools Announced | Search Engine Land | Ginny Marvin | 2/21/13
Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: What You Need To Know | Righteous Marketing | Nathan Sansby | 2/21/13
Enhanced Campaigns: The New Bidding Challenges And Opportunities | The RKG Blog | George Michie | 2/20/13
Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Roll Out – How Does This Affect Your Ad Spend? | Three Deep | Jeff Sauer | 2/14/13
Key Takeaways You Need to Know About AdWords Enhanced Campaigns | Exclusive Concepts | Matt Umbro | 2/14/13
Enhanced Campaigns and The Need For A Proper Landing Page Structure | Dac Group | Amy Bishop | 2/14/13
Google Revamps AdWords In Bidto Boost Mobile Ad revenue: Changes Could Mean Higher Prices for Mobile Keywords | AdAge | Cotton Delo | 2/6/13
AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: Google Announces Big Changes to Mobile Ad Campaign Management | WordStream | Larry Kim | 2/6/13

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  • Larry Kim

    I agree that on average CPC will go up a bit but – we have a lot of Small & Medium Sized businesses as clients who previously weren’t using mobile strategies due to the complexity of implementation, who are now doing far better than before (lower CPC and CPAs) since previously labor intensive mobile strategies can now be done in far less time now. so, as always, it depends on where your account was at before and how well you’re able to leverage all the new features.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Larry, great points all. Our clients were all doing mobile prior. You have to have been getting low mobile CPCs prior. BTW, congrats on being the PPC Hero :).

  • Marty Weintraub

    You know, thinking about this…The fact that SMBs NOT running mobile will NOW START running mobile, ALSO means that Google will make more money. That is to the point Lauren and I were making. Your point is that they’ve created a better service that makes it easier for people not running mobile to do so. Right-that removes the advantage to advanced marketers who don’t need appliances. Enhanced campaigns is an APPLIANCE that trades control for process and raises the price all at the same time. Google’s stock is up. That’s what we need to know. :)

    One other thing- of COURSE SMBs CPA goes down with mobile. Just think of all the money they could have been making for the last 2 years.

  • Larry Kim

    Marty, yes. Agree that average mobile CPC’s across google is going up. No question here. I’ve written about that too.

    What i’m saying here is that before, 19 out of 20 SMB advertisers were NOT employing any mobile strategies like call extensions, etc. (because it was such a hassle) So their mobile performance suffered.

    But now with EC’s, on average, those advertisers who are now adopting the new EC features see improvements in mobile CPC and CPA’s compared to not optimizing for mobile before.

    Overall I think EC just levels the playing field a bit. Some will see increases in CPC, others decreases in CPC – it depends on where you’re coming from.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Larry, I think you listen to Google’s PR a lot :).

  • Larry Kim

    or, it could be that our respective companies service different types of customers. We work with small businesses who are really struggling with adwords and mobile search in the pre-EC world was just totally ridiculous and beyond most of them.

    I’m guessing you work with larger clients than me.

    So, our opinions are just a reflection of our respective experiences.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Oh good, a level playing field. LOL. BTW, we don’t disagree. You keep saying the same thing as me. CPCs are going up. That’s not much different from Google’s stock. Another thought. I personally don’t care as much about 19-20 SMBs that don’t use mobile yet. It does not help aimClear’s larger clients when the friendly SMBs overall cost per action goes down. I mostly care about 200 advertisers that spend more than 18 million a year. I appreciate the little guy. Most of our clients are not little guys.

    The question is did Google make this change to make it easier for SMBs? If they did. Rock on. They are good citizens and probably put some half ass agencies out of business. IF they made it to benefit large enterprise, thanks but no thanks. It’s a money making machine and our clients don’t get to keep the money.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Larry, <3, love having you in these threads :)

  • Matt Van Wagner

    Larry,
    Most SMBs are basically inert. They didn’t do best practices before enhanced campaigns and they won’t engage best practices afterwards. The problems they face are like this,”do I sweep the floor, paint my fading signs, or get inside Adwords, figure out what the frig is going on in there, calculate bid modifiers, FIND ad extensions, etc” We’re doing this for small business is disingenuous when coming from a company that has always defaulted settings to Display and Search together for SMBs! We’re doing it for the SMBs is a red herring argument and impossible to refute. When Google dismisses Adobe’s $100 Million ad spend analysis as premature, what hope do any of us have of expecting candor?

  • Larry Kim

    Excerpt from today’s earning call:

    Paid Clicks – Aggregate paid clicks, which include clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, increased approximately 23% over the second quarter of 2012 and increased approximately 4% over the first quarter of 2013.

    Cost-Per-Click – Average cost-per-click, which includes clicks related to ads served on Google sites and the sites of our Network members, decreased approximately 6% over the second quarter of 2012 and decreased approximately 2% over the first quarter of 2013.

    so much for the idea that CPC’s are going up..

  • Marty Weintraub

    Larry, Looking at Google system wide does not speak for the experience that many enterprise marketers ALREADY deep into mobile incurred. Funny. Let’s do the math. What about this? If CPCs lower by 6% and and CLICKS grew by 23%, is Google making more or less money? Who’s paying Google’s profit? LOL.

    Here’s a way of thinking about it. The death rate for cancer is going down. However if YOU die, the prognosis turned out to be 100% bad. I don’t understand. The overall rate of cancer is going down. How did I die?

    You’re kind of a sucker for Google PR :). It’s precious really, kinda cute. You should go to work for Google. You’re cut out of the same cloth as Matt Cutts. Always happy. Always drinking the Kool Aid. Now you SERVE the Kool Aid. Grateful for your comment.

  • Marty Weintraub

    One other point. If you were ONLY doing mobile. Your CPCs just blew through the roof. Google’s system wide data means squat to those marketers. LOL.

  • Matt Van Wagner

    I haven’t analyzed the numbers yet, but I believe that CPCs were in steady decline, qith Q1-13 showing 4% decrease in Y-o-Y CPC. Given that the trajectory of CPCs had been declining, (some had used the term, free-fall) last year, a 2% CPC decline when perphaps a 4-6% decline would have otherwise been expected is effectively increased CPC.

    I have to agree with Marty on this one, Larry. Corporate statements clarifying aspects of earnings releases are generally regarded as the thickest coating of porcine lipstick permissable by law. Of course, shareholders are living high off that hog. Stock is trading $100 higher than date of E.C. announcement.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Matt, super interesting perspective. You’re appropriately cynical, with cause. Looking forward to seeing you at upcoming events. Larry, what say you?

  • Larry Kim

    guys shouldn’t we be celebrating every drop in average CPC?
    i’m confused here. :)

  • Matt Van Wagner

    Larry – When I now have to accept that 4% of my industrial account traffic comes from tablet devices, a 2% decline in CPCs dampens the celebration. Tablet CPCs have increased from $0 to $2.50.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Larry, Thanks for the perspective. You’re a very smart marketer, but I don’t think you work with many large clients who had really efficient campaigns segmented by device. If you did, you wouldn’t buy this crap. Google is making more money. Someone is paying it. It’s not your SMB clients. It’s enterprise clients who are now forced to bundle.

    Please explain to us why Google’s stock is up if the cost of adwords is going down. LOL. Google’s PR is genius and it works really well on you.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Larry, Another thought. Clicks are up 23%. Do you think there is 23% more business out there for AdWords? Or, do you think the most sophisticated marketers are buying a whole lot more clicks now that they do not want and are forced to pay for?

  • David Szetela

    I don’t think there’s any doubt Google will make more money as a result of Enhanced Campaigns. And I believe the majority of that money will NOT come from happy advertisers who find EC campaigns easier to set up and manage.

    I think the majority will come from advertisers who are unaware, or only peripherally aware, that their ads are being served on smartphones and tablets – where they weren’t before. Or they simply don’t care.

    Mobile and smartphone CPCs will increase since there will suddenly be more advertisers competing in the auctions.

    Good news for Google and its shareholders. “Bad” news for advertisers – though I can’t fault Google for making this move. They’re effectively just increasing the price of their products, with little risk that advertisers will abandon the platform. Even with price increases, it’s still the most cost-efficient marketing in town.

  • Marty Weintraub

    David, how lovely to see you in these threads again. Marketers who were already running campaigns tightly segmented by devices just got dropped in the hurt bag. And yes, AdWords still rocks. It’s just less transparent and the prices went up.

  • Richard A. Lewis

    I believe the enhanced campaigns are a greater benefit to smaller businesses who want to target the mobile market but are likely to increase costs for larger companies. Overall though I wouldn’t call it kissing sweet money goodbye.. because Adwords offers a much better use of marketing dollars than other marketing avenues for most online entities. Besides the market will determine the real CPC that you are paying as well as the quality and relevance of your own site.. that is a sweet thing.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Richard, Thanks for the comment. That’s really nice, unless you are a big business that spends millions over millions a year :).

  • George Brown

    Larry, I think you listen to Google’s PR a lot.

  • COUPON 4 MOM

    Larry, Another thought. Clicks are up 23%. Do you think there is 23% more business out there for AdWords? Or, do you think the most sophisticated marketers are buying a whole lot more clicks now that they do not want and are forced to pay for?

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