The impact of Enhanced Campaigns on device CPCs

Enhanced Campaigns were launched in Summer 2013, representing the largest change to Google’s Adwords platform since it was established. At the time we published an overview of the changes, projections, and the potential impact on advertisers.


Since then there has been much interest in how the migration has affected Search spend. Are CPCs higher, lower or the same?


Since the launch, we have been monitoring the CPC levels across all campaigns. We thought it might be useful to share some of the insights gained from one client account, and offer some recommendations on how to best manage any changes you may have found with your CPCs.


The background:

We have been running Paid Search for a UK clothing retailer successfully for 5 years. Following the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns we have monitored and analysed CPC data for the past few months post-migration. For comparison, we have analysed CPC data for the same time period prior to the migration.


Before migration: Our strategy had been to run separate campaigns across devices, with refined campaigns on tablet and on mobile. The account operated individual campaigns for each device and recorded CPCs across each; desktop CPCs averaged at £0.13, mobile CPCs averaged at £0.07 and tablet CPCs averaged at £0.11.


During migration: We analysed historic performance to set bid adjustments across the entire campaign targeting by devices. We calculated the mobile bid multiplier at -40% for brand and -50% for brand generics. For generics, we set a bid multiplier of -100% for mobile, since we did not want to show on these terms.


Taking advantage of the targeting features available we set bid adjustments for times, days and locations in order to help ensure that the client appeared in the optimum positions on their keywords. To drive further performance from the campaign we also scheduled extensions to show time-specific messages, such as the opening hours of each store.


The impact on CPCs:

Since the migration CPCs across all devices have been impacted, and some seem more susceptible to fluctuations, as the graph below shows.


The impact of Enhanced Campaigns on device CPCs


On tablet –

There was an initial increase in tablet CPCs immediately after transition but they have since levelled out and are currently averaging at £0.11 – similar to what it was before migration.


Overall, we have seen the expected additional cost from opting in all desktop keywords onto tablet, though traffic levels have increased as well.


On mobile –

Interestingly mobile CPCs decreased by -43%, from £0.07 to £0.04, for the same position. This was probably due to a better keyword Quality Score, since the Quality Score on the desktop campaigns was greater than on the mobile campaigns before migration.


The migration to Enhanced Campaigns has so far been positive for mobile – CPCs have gone down since migration and additional brand generic keywords have been opted in with no extra cost.


On desktop –

On desktop, there have been fluctuations over the period with an increase in CPC in the latter stage of our analysis. We believe that this was due to increased competition from other brands.


In conclusion:

While Enhanced Campaigns brought an initial increase on CPCs, this recovered quickly, and since then there has been relatively little impact on CPCs.


We believe that we have been able to effectively manage CPCs for a number of reasons and offer the following recommendations:

  • Review your bid multipliers and ensure that they are accurate – ad group bid multipliers allow this to be at a more granular level and hence more accurate.
  • Review and streamline your account as much as possible; more tightly related keywords will perform better.
  • Test different bid multipliers to ensure you are paying the least required for your optimal position.
  • Utilise geographic bid multipliers to focus on areas that tend to be the most successful at delivering conversions and ensuring strong positioning there, while decreasing bidding in geographic areas that don’t typically convert.
  • Test the new targeting features to help drive performance from our campaigns.


We hope you found these insights useful. We will continue to test and monitor our campaigns, and will share with you on-going insights and findings on Enhanced Campaigns. In the meantime if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team!



FBX is now available within DBM


In a really exciting development for the Real Time Bidding landscape, today Google announced that Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX) is now available in DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM).


Users will see the below announcement when they log in to DoubleClick Bid Manager:



In October last year, Google first made it known that it will be allowed access to the significant pool of inventory available on Facebook via its Demand Side Platform, DBM, which plugs into the Facebook Ad Exchange.


Today, Google have announced that the Facebook inventory is now readily available to be accessed. This new partnership will allow advertisers to purchase Facebook Ads through DBM. It also brings the technology for DoubleClick advertisers to target Facebook users based on their visits to webpages outside of Facebook.


This marks a significant development for DoubleClick; Facebook currently accounts for close to 25% of all Display impressions and as such is a significant part of the Display and Real Time Bidding landscape.


Facebook offers a whole host of marketing opportunities for brands and digital marketers to tap into, not least in respect to the new integration opportunities that this has opened up between Facebook and Paid Search. For example, advertisers can now integrate their Paid Search audience data with Facebook, with their Facebook remarketing messaging informed by signals from their customers search behaviour.


Being able to use granular Paid Search audience data across such a large scale inventory source such as Facebook is a fantastic opportunity which until today has never been possible, and we are excited to be testing this on day one for our clients.


Watch this space!


4 Search and Display strategies to support new store openings

A new store opening can be an exciting time for any brand, and brings with it valuable new business opportunities. However, the challenge for brands is how best to take advantage of this business opportunity and drive more sales activity as a result.


Paid Search and Display advertising is a great way to support a store opening. Compared to other marketing channels, Paid Search and Display advertising allows you to be highly targeted, enabling you to quickly and effectively target the right audience with the right message at the right time.


We recently supported a retail client with their launch of eight new stores across the UK over two months. Below are the Paid Search and Display strategies we implemented to help them maximise this business opportunity:


1. Incorporate store locations in your Paid Search campaigns: Ensure you expand your Paid Search campaigns to include new location variations as this will enable you to show the most relevant ads and landing pages from location-specific searches. While search volume on the location-specific keywords may be low initially, they should increase over time when awareness of the new store increases. We saw store location searches increase by up to +48% during the first week of each store opening.


2. Target interested prospects with Display Remarketing: Use a landing page with new store messaging as a way to attract and remarket to potential customers. By visiting that specific landing page, consumers will have inadvertently shown their interest in the brand and this will enable you to target them with relevant ads and new store promotions while they browse other pages on the internet. Compared to other Display campaigns, the Remarketing activity drove up to +54% more visitors to the client’s website.


3. Use RLSAs (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) for further reach: Incorporate RLSAs into a Paid Search strategy, similar to Display Remarketing. This will allow you to pre-qualify an audience with the ability to change ad copy depending on the nature of the consumer’s search query. For example, ad copy can be adjusted based on whether they have visited the store location page. Incorporating a new store location in ad text or sitelinks will make the ad more relevant to the consumer and assist in driving awareness of the store. We have seen this activity increase CTR by +32% and decrease CPCs by -18% when compared with generic activity.


4. Use Google Scripts to prompt a response: The Google ‘countdown’ Script in Adwords is an excellent tool to help build a sense of anticipation and urgency to a new store opening. Use this Google feature to countdown the days and minutes until your new store opens to create a buzz and sense of excitement. We tested this approach during our client’s store openings and saw CTR increase by +28%.


5. Take advantage of location extensions: Update location extensions within your Google Places account or manually within your AdWords account. This will ensure the location extensions on your ads remain up-to-date. We found that clicks on these extensions increased by up to +47%, after each store opened.


By integrating Paid Search and Display advertising in this way we helped to drive higher levels of performance and effectively support our client’s new store openings. This is an approach that we would recommend for any brand that is looking to help build awareness of a new store, create a sense of excitement to the upcoming opening and stimulate new business interest.


We are always happy to help, so please do get in touch if you would like support from us to help ensure that your new store opening or venture is a success!


Good luck!



New Whitepaper – Drive international growth with Paid Search and Display

By 2020 over £28 billion in UK online retail will come from international consumers. This is the staggering figure predicted by recent research from OC&C Consultants and Google.


For UK businesses with strong brands and high export potential, expanding into new territories offers great potential for growth.


However there are many obstacles. Our newly published Whitepaper explores how UK brands can maximise the international opportunity using Search and Display advertising. Click to download our Whitepaper here.


This Whitepaper explores the scope for international expansion and the best approach that UK brands should take to help maximise their potential internationally, through Paid Search and Display advertising.


Through practical steps, the Paper discusses how through Paid Search and Display advertising advertisers are able to drive incremental revenue whilst building their brand’s profile and gaining valuable business intelligence of a new target market.


As a first crucial step, brands must choose the right advertising platform and approach for their campaign objective, from the myriad of advertising options available. For example, brands need to understand which search engines dominate in their target markets and select the right one.


Once brands have established which platform and approach will work best for their target market, they must then focus on localising their marketing activity so that the consumer experience is relevant to the local audience. Exploring the theme of localisation further, the Paper explains that localisation is not just about translating marketing messages into the local language. Localisation is about making your marketing campaigns relevant to a geographically, linguistically and culturally specific audience. This can only be achieved by understanding your local customer, your local competition and applying those insights into your campaigns.


The Paper concludes by advising advertisers to take the time to research their local market and develop the right approach to their advertising campaign. By doing this, advertisers will be in the best position to effectively build a brand abroad and drive more international sales as a result.


There is clearly a real opportunity for brands to drive growth and profitability by looking to new international markets. Given that 40% of all online UK sales in retail are anticipated to come from abroad by 2020, it is the brands that invest in this opportunity that will get ahead and stay ahead. To read the paper in full, please click on this link;


For further advice on developing and running international online marketing campaigns please do contact us, we would be happy to help! Call Digby on 020 7186 2111.


5 Digital Predictions for Brands in 2014


The world of digital marketing is fast changing and 2013 was clearly an eventful year. I expect 2014 to be no less action-packed. Here are my top 5 predictions to help brands take full advantage of the year ahead.


May the year ahead be dynamic, innovative and successful for all!


1. Google will take a leap forward in natural language understanding

2013 saw Google extend their advance in search through a number of innovations. Hummingbird improved the way Google considers context and with it the ability to recognise user intent. Knowledge Graph launched as an encyclopedia of 700 million unique concepts and the relations among them that feeds directly into the top of the search results page. Also, we saw the initial launch of Sequential Search where a user can search for ‘The capital of India‘, receive ’New Delhi’ as the result and then search for ‘France’ and receive ‘Paris’ as the result.


Lastly and very importantly we saw the addition of Ray Kurzweil to the Google team. Ray is one of the world’s leading scientists in artificial intelligence and the futurist who predicted the coming about of search engines back in the 1980s. His mission is to create the ultimate “Google Brain” using techniques of deep learning which are modeled on how the human brain thinks. In effect, a brain that has logical or rational intelligence (left side human brain) and emotional intelligence (right side human brain). In my view, this is an immense step forward that demonstrates that true semantic understanding of search engines can become a reality. Undoubtedly, Ray will be looking to make waves as he settles at the Google business, so we can expect natural language innovation from him within the year. For consumers, this means that results will continue to increase in relevancy, and for brands, it means that context beyond the keyword will need to be considered in search strategy.


2. Everything will be tracked, advertising costs can only rise

Last year saw statistical triangulation technology such as DrawBridge and AdBass take the headlines with their approaches to solving the issue of cross device tracking. Google is also currently rolling out its own cross device tracking solution that uses Google sign-in data. That covers tracking users across online devices. Across online to in-store, Google’s Universal Analytics is set up to pioneer in this space. To solve cookie blocking, the likes of Microsoft is at the early stages of developing a cookie-less technology that tracks across Microsoft enabled devices from PC, tablet, mobile to Xbox. Both Apple and Google are hot on their heels.


So everything is becoming tracked and measurement of the true value of each channel, device and the interplay between online and offline is within reach. We know that mobile brings more value than mobile revenue alone and in 2014 we will be able to measure this more accurately than ever. Brands should, and will, jump on this and seeing the true value of mobile, advertising costs can but increase. Emarketer predicts that UK mobile adspend will grow 90% in 2014 and a part of this will undoubtedly include inflation in auction costs.


3. TV and Online become best friends

We all know that people multi-task whilst watching TV. In fact, 53% of adults in the UK are active on another form of media whilst watching TV. As marketeers, if we can understand the user’s intent at that moment in time, we can engage with them and create a real time opportunity. This is something that Twitter has absolutely taken the lead on. They say that 95% of public social conversations around TV happen on its service.


I think the next evolution between TV and Online has to be that online channels will ‘listen’ to television and so advertising will be more relevant to what’s on TV, in real time. A product that offers this already is the social remote control app, Zeebox. They use GraceNote audio recognition technology to listen to TV and serve relevant content and advertising within their app. In 2014, I believe that larger online technology players such as Twitter and Facebook will follow suit. For brands this means increased efficiency of advertising and yet another reason to increase investment in the growing area of real time bidding.


4. Social fatigue and how online consumption will change

I was reading an article on social fatigue by Wall Street Journal author, Ekaterina Walter, and like her, I think that many of us are seeking balance in our lives and so search for ways to disconnect from our online lives. Recent stats show that one in three claim to be suffering from social media fatigue and there are even apps that help you disconnect from your mobile device.


In 2014, online consumption will undoubtedly rise but there will be also be a rise in consumer selectivity. Consumers will seek content and share but we will be more selective. We will focus on what is important us, what we are passionate about and we will engage with the online destinations that give us specifically what we are looking for. This means that, more than ever, brands need to create experiences of quality, share content of value and be where the consumer is.


5. The rise of smart wearable technology and brand new marketing signals

The Nike+ Fuelband was Nike’s best-selling product of all time. Google Glass is a hugely anticipated piece of consumer technology and it is rumoured that it will reach the shops in 2014. Samsung have worked hard to develop its own Google Glass equivalent product and alongside this have been exploring integrated watch, phone and health monitoring bands. Similarly, Apple is predicted to launch their Apple iWatch in 2014. All of this smart technology will lead to valuable information becoming available to consumers in real time.


As marketers, this means more ways to interact with consumers in a personalised setting. In 2014, brands need to start to think about how they fit into this new technology and how their current apps and content can add value to the consumer experience. It also means the potential to capture new signals that could be used for real time marketing. So, putting privacy to one side, we could imagine a few futuristic real time marketing scenarios – a health band could pick up regular increases in heart rate on a Monday and Thursday night, cross reference against an Outlook diary session marked ‘gym’ and show mobile display advertising for gym gear. Similarly, if a user is watching a TV commercial, pupil dilation could be picked up by Google Glass and so signify interest and engagement which would lead to further remarketing of that product online.


For forward thinking brands, the future is definitely exciting! What do you think? Let me know what you see as important in 2014!





Twitter unveils ‘Tailored Audiences’ – we take a look


Twitter’s range of targeting options has been expanding rapidly over recent months. These new targeting options are providing advertisers with some great ways of tailoring their promoted tweets, and displaying their promoted trends and accounts to the most relevant consumers.


Current targeting options with Twitter:

There are a number of targeting options currently available on Twitter, which include;

  • Targeting users by interest, location, gender, device and followers of competitors
  • Targeting users by keyword, both in the search function and contextually within tweets. This offers interesting options for advertisers. Not only does it open up the possibility of promoting extremely relevant tweets in response to individual tweets, but it allows historic keyword performance from Paid Search to shape the strategy adopted through Twitter
  •  Targeting users by TV audiences, specifically targeting consumers who are talking about a particular programme. This feature goes some way to combatting the recent issue of on-demand TV neutralising the effectiveness of time targeting around broadcast TV advertising slots


New ‘Tailored Audiences’:

To further enhance their product offering and importantly in order to keep up with their rivals, in early December Twitter announced the arrival of their new ‘Tailored Audiences’ feature.


Tailored audience targeting will allow advertisers to tailor their messaging to the consumers who have previously expressed an interest in their product or brand. By working with an ad partner, such as Quantcast or BlueKai, advertisers are now able to organise cookie IDs into specific audience segments based on the pages they have visited on the advertiser’s website. This will allow them to create bespoke strategies to better reach specific audience segments.


This ability to hone in on a very specific audience segment and continue a conversation with your target customers while on the go within the social space is a powerful addition to the Twitter advertising platform. We see ‘Tailored Audiences’ as a really exciting step for Twitter, and it will be great to see how this increased layer of understanding of the target audience will impact on the engagement rates of Twitter advertising campaigns.


Watch this space!