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Enhanced Campaign Survival Guide, Part 1: Migration Steps

Published: July 8, 2013

Author: Calvin Vu

adwords enhanced campaigns

Enhanced campaign migration occurs on July 24th, and many advertisers are waiting until the last minute to flip their campaigns over to see its impact and to use its powerful new features. In my opinion, this is a mistake.
The “EC world” will change AdWords auction dynamics dramatically (e.g. more competitive mobile auctions). Making the early switch helps advertisers anticipate the changes that they need to make to stay ahead of the competition.
Part one of this two-part Enhanced Campaigns Survival Guide will provide tips on how to handle the migration process; part two will give insight on some of the optimization levers and new features that enhanced campaigns grants to advertisers.
Without further ado…

The Migration Process – What to Watch Out For

The transition process is delicate, and communication or QA errors can cost advertisers money ranging from unintended spend to running suboptimal ads. When making the transition, be aware especially of four areas:  device targeting, network targeting, team communication, and new features.
Devices:  Advertisers need to plot out their mobile strategy. Enhanced campaigns forces desktop advertisers to also opt into tablets and forces them set a mobile bid multiplier for every campaign.
Luckily, advertisers seeking to migrate their campaigns that target only desktops and tablets can simply opt-in and set -100% mobile bids, and their campaigns will run more or less as normal. Those venturing into mobile will need to test a mobile multiplier between -99% to +300% (careful: +0%, not +100%, is the coequal bid!). Then, a mobile-preferred ad should be inserted for each ad group in order to track and test desktop and mobile ad performance separately.
Finally, expiring tablet-only and mobile-only search campaigns will need to be merged into existing campaigns. Google has an upgrade center to assist in merging existing campaigns.
Networks: A different mobile strategy is necessary for both search and display in the post-EC world. Mobile search reveals intent, so mobile ad customization is important, but mobile search lacks the device-targeting flexibility that mobile GDN has.
Unlike for search campaigns, enhanced GDN advertisers can still target specific mobile OS, devices, and carriers. Thus it is possible for GDN advertisers to create tablet-only and mobile-only GDN campaigns by manually selecting where they want to appear. Make sure you realize that any sort of “advanced” mobile targeting will take that campaign off of desktop targeting!
Special care needs to be taken in experimenting with mobile GDN campaigns. In my experience, mobile GDN performs very differently than on desktop. Mobile GDN will cause advertisers to start showing in-app, and they should decide on whether or not to exclude this traffic.
Communication: It is very important that advertisers and vendors – bid platforms in particular — communicate closely during the transition. Bid platforms are also preparing for EC and may not have full compatibility until right before the flip. Thus, if you rely on these platforms for building your tracking URLs, reporting, and bid management, you need to remain in close contact with them about their future releases.
New features and optimizations: Take inventory of the new features that EC provides, and create a roadmap to explore and implement them. Some features such as remarketing lists for search (RLSA) and the call duration “conversion type” are completely new, while others such as location-based bidding, mobile bid multipliers, and ad group sitelinks are refinements to existing optimization levers.
The next installment will show you how to use these new features to make your campaigns ready for the post-EC world. Stay tuned!

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