Google is making new advertising moves. After partnering with Yahoo to provide AdSense adverts against the Web portal's content, Google announced "enhanced campaigns." Google called it the first step to help advertisers better manage ads in a multi-device world.
Google's premise: People are constantly connected and moving from one device to another to communicate, shop and stay entertained. Google pointed to a recent study of multi-device consumers that revealed 90 percent of consumers move sequentially between several screens to accomplish a task.
"There's also a proliferation of new devices -- PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, hybrid devices, mini-tablets, televisions, and more," said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of engineering at Google. "And there are many more digital screens and devices to come, with the lines between them continuing to blur. For example, as devices converge, consumer behaviors on tablets and desktops are becoming very similar."
Ramaswamy said this created opportunities for businesses but could also make marketing more complex and time-consuming. He offered the example of a pizza restaurant. The restaurant probably wants to show one ad to someone searching for "pizza" at 1 p.m. on their PC at work (say, a link to an online order form or menu), and a different ad to someone searching for "pizza" at 8 p.m. on a smartphone a half-mile from the restaurant -- maybe a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator.
"With enhanced campaigns, instead of having to cobble together and compare several separate campaigns, reports and ad extensions to do this, the pizza restaurant can easily manage all of this in one single place," Ramaswamy said. "Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns."
Some of the features include new marketing tools for a multi-device world, like the ability to manage bids across devices, locations, and time of day from a single campaign. Smarter ads optimized for varying user contexts allow you to show ads across devices with the right ad text, site link, app or extension, without having to edit each campaign for every possible combination of devices, location and time of day.
Meanwhile, advanced reports allow you to measure new conversion types. For example, you can count phone calls of 60 seconds or longer that result from a click-to-call ad as a conversion in your AdWords reports, and compare them to other conversions like leads, sales and downloads.
A Major Change
Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, told us this was a major change for Google.
"It's designed to add more mobile targeting capabilities to AdWords and simplify the process of mobile paid search even as it all but compels marketers to spend more on mobile and reduces some of their options," Sterling said.
"Thus, it's truly a mixed bag for them. Some are pleased and some are frustrated with the changes. Cynics see the changes as an effort by Google to close the gap between mobile and desktop [cost per click] pricing to boost their mobile revenues."