Some Cautionary Notes on Upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns
Enhanced Campaigns Are Here! Wait … Am I Making More Money?
When switching to Enhanced Campaigns – which will be required for all AdWords users within the next few months – I would advise all advertisers and managers to remember that any drastic changes that happen quickly and suddenly are most likely to go poorly. While there is certainly cause for excitement surrounding the ability to control bids at a targeting level, I would implement any of these changes at a gradual pace as opposed to all at once. Every account is different, but don’t go nuts implementing a ton of geographic and device bidding all at once – you could quickly lose control of the account. Unless your account is totally upside down, I would try to roll out advanced bid changes throughout the summer at a slow pace to measure results. This is especially true for e-commerce clients who are working with small margins.
Why Advertisers with Small Margins Will Be Most Affected
The people who may be most affected by these changes are small margin e-commerce companies who face MAP pricing or strict margin requirements. Many e-commerce advertisers are going to be fighting a battle on two fronts: one with their competitors and one with their suppliers. When you provide a similar or identical product as many other advertisers, you are often trying to remain competitive while still keeping in line with acceptable margins. With Enhanced Campaigns, there are many new variables that are going to make it easier to lose control. One of the most dangerous parts of this is not that your account goes haywire, but that your competition loses control and is unknowingly bidding you out. It would be comparable to a competent driver traveling down the highway at 90 mph. The most immediate danger is not you, it’s that someone else is driving next you that is not as seasoned as you. They can easily run you off the road.
There is going to be an “adjustment period” over the next 6 months that everyone should be aware of. You have two major changes occurring in the landscape that everyone must participate in. While the change in device targeting is the most talked about, I believe the other equally significant update is giving advertisers the ability to control bids on a much deeper level. This would be great assuming everyone is a seasoned expert (which most people will agree is not the case). The good news is you have access to all these tools, the bad news is so does everyone else.
Go Slow, Focus on ROAS
You may be asking yourself “OK, so what do I do now?” I don’t have the answer as every account is different. I would simply advise all advertisers to break all major changes out into phases and closely monitor results. The most important thing at the end of the day is ROAS (return on ad spend): Am I making more money in relation to expense? Sure, all of these changes sounds great. You can reach more potential customers through mobile devices. You can limit cost by focusing more specifically on certain geographic areas or times of day. All of these are great … on paper. Mobile traffic can be great, and geo-bid adjustments are a huge upgrade, but it’s very easy to get wrapped up and to use features just because they’re available.
This is by no means meant to send anyone into a panic. My intention is only to caution everyone to keep an even closer eye on their financials. It sounds obvious, but continue to ask yourself, am I continually making more money and spending less? Personally, I’ll take increased revenue with less cost over mobile impressions any day. If you don’t have a tight handle on this ROAS figure, I would focus right away on figuring out a way to report on this. The most important thing is the same as it’s always been. Money in, money out.
Image via j thorn explains it all