Thursday, April 18, 2013

Google versus Bing: Enhanced Campaigns

Image representing Bing as depicted in CrunchBase

It has been a little over two months since Google introduced its new enhanced campaigns back in the beginning of February. The whole idea of enhanced campaigns is to continue to put advertisers in front of a relevant audience through a renovated AdWords. The upgrades needed to be made because the way that consumers are searching on search engines has been changing rapidly (through a new device, a certain time of the day, a certain location, etc). Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with the updates that were actually made, which then begs that inevitable question: Why do some people disagree with the new Google enhanced campaigns, and are the Bing changes any better?
Enhanced Campaign Differences Between Google and Bing’s Reaction
To reiterate, it’s important for businesses to be able to keep up with the changes that are being made to the way people search. Not only is the actual device and time and location relevant, but it’s important to realize that the actions of consumers will change depending upon where they are located or what device they are using. People are beginning to switch from device to different device when it comes time to search, so it was necessary for enhanced campaigns to emerge.
Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Below explains how enhanced campaigns work for each ppc advertising platform as well as some of the criticisms they earned from the public:
Google Enhanced Campaigns
When Google announced the new enhanced campaigns the used the example of a pizza place, saying that they “probably want to show one ad to someone searching ‘pizza’ at 1pm on their PC at work (perhaps a link to an online order form) and a different ad to someone searching for ‘pizza’ at 8pm on a smartphone a half miles from the restaurant (perhaps a click-to-call phone number and restaurant locator).” In the past, companies would need to create separate campaigns for these two scenarios, but enhanced campaigns offers a few benefits:
  • You can be sure you have the right ad text and extension all in one campaign as opposed to having to switch between several different campaigns.
  • Bid adjustments made to allow companies to bid different amounts for people in different contexts (example: the guy in his office wanting pizza versus the guy out wanting pizza late at night)
  • You can now see better conversion types (example: someone who calls versus someone who downloads your app).
The Problem: People don’t like the changes because they don’t like bundling mobile, desktop, and tablet advertising all together. Advertisers feel like the enhanced campaigns don’t offer them the control they once had, no matter how convenient. Bing platform manager Dare Obasanjo explained, “The ability to target mobile devices is only available by augmenting certain aspects of a desktop/tablet campaign.” While brings me to my next point:
Bing Responds to Enhanced Campaigns
Bing has yet to come out with something similar to enhanced campaigns, and vow that they never will because they disagree strongly with Google’s updates discussed above. Currently Bing allows users to import their AdWords campaigns into Bing Ads, and Bing announced that with this will come a few changes toward the end of the quarter:
  • An easy transition from Google AdWords to Bing Ads.
  • Ability to still mark ads as being mobile optimized and then go into that campaign to mark the ad as only targeting mobile, tablet, desktop, etc. (just like before).
  • Bid functionality to support negative bid percentages and mobile location targeting.
  • Sophisticated advertisers will be able to have the “fine grain” advertising they desire and the “ability to do in 15 minutes what it takes them 45 minutes to do on Google.” There will be no loss of control.
Once again, Bing has not made any changes as of yet, so Bing has nothing to do with “enhanced campaigns.” These are all small changes that are promised at the end of the quarter whereas Google is already in full-swing with its enhanced campaigns.
Two Enhanced Campaigns: What’s the Verdict?
Most people seem to agree that while Bing might have lower conversion costs, it simply does not have the volume of Google. In other words, no matter how unhappy someone might be with the changes, the benefits of adapting and making it work are great enough to keep users from switching completely over to Bing.
Nonetheless, we can’t count out all of the people who enjoy the consistency of Bing and have found a better ROI with Bing, as well as the people who don’t like either. Some say it’s all a publicity stunt, some say Bing only claims all of this because they are in second place (and if anything ever changes, so will their policies). It seems as though it’s all about the size and goals of your company. For now, only time will tell which search engine will prevail in this area.
Do you think Google enhanced campaigns has it right, or do you prefer the changes that Bing made?

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