Reaction as Google Ad Words Enhanced Campaigns goes live: Maxus, Reprise, Profero, Latitude Group, Vizeum, 4A's

Google's Enhanced Campaigns Ad Words upgrade officially kicks off today, and while the world didn't end as many search marketers may have feared it might at midnight, it will still mean some big changes are ahead for brand marketers using the platform to promote their products and services - some for the worse, some for the better. The Drum offers the reaction from some within the industry on what impact they expect as a result of the introduction of the changes.

Oliver Wood, director of search and biddable at Maxus

Google's Enhanced Campaigns roll out has been the biggest non-event since the millennium bug. This has been due to our careful planning and sound bid management at Maxus. If accounts are properly structured and well managed then moving to Enhanced Campaigns won’t be a problem and in fact offers brands significant benefits. We’ve been working on this since the February announcement and our clients’ accounts have not been negatively affected – the staggering CPC increases hyped in the media are not what we’ve seen. We initially saw some costs go up slightly, so made careful bid adjustments and things have returned to how they were.

Ben Wightman, head of PPC, Latitude Group

Latitude anticipates that Ad Words Enhanced Campaigns will present some long-term opportunities, as well as challenges, for advertisers. Streamlined management: Google wants advertisers to focus on the end-user, i.e. customers rather than devices. Advertisers who had gone to the trouble of creating device-specific campaigns previously had to manage three separate campaigns for every keyword set (one each for smartphones, tablets and desktop devices). We return now to one campaign per keyword set, which should reduce campaign management time for high-touch advertisers. The hours saved can then be reinvested into optimisations elsewhere in Adwords accounts.Increased Mobile CPCs. Many low-touch Ad Words advertisers who had previously opted out of mobile ads in Ad Words by creating desktop-only campaigns will find themselves opted back in (unwittingly, in some cases). Currently Latitude finds Mobile CPCs are on average 35-40 per cent cheaper than desktop. The increased number of advertisers in mobile auctions from 22nd July onwards however is likely to increase Mobile CPCs for many advertisers.Increased emphasis on device-optimised websites and user experience. Previously if a website didn't render well on any one device it was easy for an advertiser to simply opt out of advertising on that device. While this meant that the advertiser could maximise return on ad spend it never really solved the problem for the consumer. It is still possible for advertisers to opt out of displaying ads to smartphone users, however the Ad Words change of emphasis from devices to end users will hopefully encourage more businesses to invest in the quality of experience for their visitors. This should result in improved conversion rates and ultimately higher ROI for Ad Words advertisers.

Damian Hayes, search director, Reprise (Mediabrands)

Pushing advertisers to not only think seriously on their mobile search strategy, but to also take definite and calculated steps to make their mobile search work harder is certainly commendable. Unfortunately for those that already understand the principles of mobile search, this will likely be seen as a step backwards. Engineering changes to Ad Words which serve to widen the audience targeting of advertisers, has been a trend that Google have been pushing for several years now. This time is a little different, as instead of increasing the reach of advertisers’ ads, the ‘Enhanced’ campaign changes actually limit the ability to selectively target custom mobile audience segments.

Joel Coppersmith, head of search and affiliates, Profero

Savvy advertisers have been trialing the Enhanced Campaign set-up for a few weeks, if only to get to grips with the new bid and targeting adjustments. However the full impact of EC will only be felt in the coming weeks now that everyone is forced onto the new system. Some advertisers will be targeting mobile by mistake and there will be some serendipitous discovery as to the value of mobile. That said, brands with a poor mobile experience should determine early if they are facing increased competition and lower ROI. If so they may find that ceding this traffic in the short term is the smart move until a better mobile offering is available. Ultimately this is the new reality for everyone. Stay alert, test intelligently and adjust accordingly – same as ever.

Alex Crowley, search director, Vizeum and iProspect

One of the biggest impacts that we expect to see, now that Google is beginning to forcibly migrate campaigns over to enhanced campaigns, is an increase in cost to appear against mobile searches. With less control over mobile-specific bids and the now automatic opting in to appear on mobile devices, we envisage that both increased competition and competitor bids will drive up the cost of mobile advertising. On the plus side, though, enhanced campaigns offer increased flexibility for rotating ad extensions and search remarketing (among other new features), which will allow advertisers to be even more targeted through search

Chick Foxgrover, chief technology officer, 4A's

"It is a clear signal that mobile search advertising the main key to growth and that investors and others are looking to see that growth soon. As the declines in the PC business and surge in mobile usage are almost daily front page news, not being seen to take advantage of this shift is weighing heavily on most tech firms and advertising supported enterprises. You just can't opt out of mobile search anymore with Enhanced Campaigns and so they're sending the signal that the Google is embedded in the entire internet ecosystem. There is now more search activity on mobile devices than desktops and getting marketing messages into the experience is now an imperative, but the long-term forecast for what all the changes that make up the new "Enhanced Campaigns" have produced a lot of commentary and worry but little in the way of predictable outcomes for Google or advertisers. Getting mobile right for the user and getting mobile right, at scale for the buyer is what these changes are about for Google.”

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