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Product Developments in AdWords – What Does it Mean?

Monday, May 12, 2014

We watched with interest and excitement the announcements Jerry Dischler (VP of Product Management at Google) made with regards to the most recent developments of the AdWords Tool Kit.

However, the emphasis was less about the tools and the message of putting the constantly connected consumer at the heart of their developments was loud and clear; with the prime objective being to deliver more effective advertising campaigns, for both consumer and advertiser.

Categorising the developments into three distinct phases of the marketing process further reinforced the importance being placed on the connected consumer. The phases are:

i)                    Innovative Ad Formats

ii)                   Insightful Reporting

iii)                 Intelligent Tools

Jesper Harbers (our International Paid Search Consultant) and Graeme Orr (one of our Internet Marketing Technicians) share their thoughts on these new features and how they will impact agencies, clients, advertisers and consumers. Here’s what they have to say:

Innovate Ad Formats

Did you know that 60% of Apps are never installed and 80% of those downloaded are only used once? With this in mind the innovative ad formats aim to reach and re-engage with consumers across search, the Google Display Network (GDN) and YouTube with data from all Google platforms feeding into the ad targeting process. And the added bonus is that this single integrated solution is managed from your AdWords account.

Suggestions for App search keywords, behavioural preferences and showing alongside true view YouTube videos are all ways in which to increase reach via an integrated solution. Deep linking based on the users search query is the example provided to offer a better user experience to improve engagement and re-engagement.

JH: We have seen a shift towards more behavioural advertising and the app market is heading this way as well. An example of this could be when you have an app to check the live scores of a sport, the users of this type of app may also be interested in betting on these games and could therefore be a great audience to target. However this update goes further than that taking into account the frequency of usage, in app purchases and app download history. How this will relate to the iOS apps I’m not sure yet.

GO: The app deep linking is especially interesting. So many of us download apps, use them once or twice, and then never bother to look at them again. This new feature means we can re engage users with our clients’ apps and it will be interesting to see how this works out. For example, someone downloads a holiday company app, uses it and then forgets about it for a while. They then use their mobile phone to search for “holidays in Greece” a few months later and Google places the app ad at the top of the page. Not only does this connect the user to the app, it actually takes them to the relevant Greece Holidays page of the app too. I think this is something our clients can’t afford to ignore and it is up to us to educate them and prepare them for these changes.

JH: Where there have always been companion banners for Trueview campaigns we can now see the app companion banners. Tying all channels together will become more important to ensure that the user has a flawless experience between all of the brand touch points. From Google Plus posts on the Display Network to App Companion Banners on YouTube and Schema data in search – they should all be utilised to create a seamless landscape for the end user.

AdWords 2

Insightful Reporting

Measuring conversions accurately, particularly when considering offline behaviour, is becoming increasingly difficult with connected consumers using more and more devices. Last year the Estimated Total Conversions tool which factored phone calls into the buying cycle was launched to help address this and evidence shows that it had a positive significant impact on those businesses that used it.

This will be developed further with Estimated Total Conversion Enhancements using hyper-local information that will enable advertisers to connect with their audience wherever they are online.

JH: We still have to see how this develops into metrics that can be trusted to its full extent… With the introduction of Universal Analytics measurement between offline and online has become easier to measure. When working towards a strict CPA it is not always easy take these numbers into account however we do know from our own daily life that there is a correlation between mobile and desktop.

Intelligent Tools

Many AdWords users share the complaint of AdWords being too complicated and time consuming to make large changes. The bulk editing feature helped overcome this, with the uploading of campaigns and editing of campaign settings to be completed in just a few clicks .

The two latest additions to the intelligent tools set are;

i)                    Auto bidding to maximise conversions

ii)                   Auto bidding to maximum revenue (based on value of sales)

JH: For a smaller company that does not have the time to dedicate someone full-time to AdWords this can be an option as it takes away some of the bid optimisation. However there will be events such as political unrest, weather, holidays, sporting events and other factors which are not considered within these algorithms. To gain the most out of your budget a combination between an understanding of the market and paid search will lead to the highest return.

Power Users

In true Steve Jobs presentation style, Google surprised and delighted us with a ‘sneaky peak’ at two additional tools for power users: i) enhanced reporting and ii) drafts and experiments.  Paul Feng, Director of Product Management AdWords Platform, took centre stage to talk us through the thinking behind each.

Enhanced Reporting

This is a multi dimensional analysis tool that plugs in live AdWords data. Using a drag and drop technique power users can quickly and easily build reports and make changes. Its visual format makes it much easier to explore data, identify trends and important insights.

Drafts and Experiments

Inspired by conversations with advertisers who want to know what the impact of their changes will be before committing to them, this tool transforms AdWords into a lab facilitating experiments and exploration. The icing on this experimental cake is that a draft experiment can run, alongside the original campaign, using only a percentage of site traffic.  The result?  A solid data set from which better informed marketing decisions can be made that will really impact the bottom line.

JH: This part of the presentation clearly showed the increase in options within the interface. Where some of these options (such as certain bulk edits) have been possible in AdWords Editor this is now also shifting towards the AdWords User Interface.

The move towards having more of these options available within AdWords seems to be a move towards the 3rd Party Bid management tools which are currently available.

Drafts and experiments sounds a lot like the AdWords experiments that are already available to the user. The only thing that we can hope for which has been mentioned without too much detail is that we can now do these experiments with many more variables. Previously this could not be done with different campaign level settings whereas Google has hinted on this being available in this new update.

GO: Our daily jobs involve analysing a lot of data. Extracting the data from AdWords and organising it in spreadsheets can be very time consuming. The new drag and drop reporting will allow us to save some of this time. However, I am not sure what customisation options will be available so that we can present clients with reports that do not just look like generic, Google reports.

All in all some exciting, useful and powerful tools to help us maximise marketing impact with our constantly connected customers.

You can watch the full video below:

Images in this post come from Google’s video, detailed above.

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