August 18, 2017
Throughout the evolution of AdWords, we have seen so many rollouts and changes to how we manage our campaigns and strategy. Removal of close variant controls, the removal and then re-introduction of device bidding, ETA’s, the dread of changing to the new UI. Despite all of this, one thing has always remained a constant: Control of our bids and the choice to use automation if we needed it.
However, things are starting to change. When you look at the expansion of the definition of “PPC”, it is starting to take more and more things under its umbrella, i.e Social, Programmatic, Video, etc. PPC is now evolved to a paid media strategy rather than a pay per click tactic. Every day, we are talking more about each tactic’s piece of the puzzle in the ultimate end goals and how they contribute.
Evolution of the Industry
This shift in focus has forced us to think more strategically and is forcing us to spend less time on the nitty gritty of the manual bid changes and more on audience and targeting adjustments to meet our end goals. When you look at the majority of the landscape outside of search, many platforms like Facebook & Programmatic are focusing on the adoption of Machine Learning into their bidding approach and against their audience matching.
Data Driven Decisions
The shift is beginning to push more and more into our day to day in AdWords. The emergence of Data Driven Attribution and ultimately the eventual release of Attribution 360 and its ability to feed this data into Automated bidding strategies puts the idea of manual on the back burner slightly, forcing us to adjust strategy and targeting rather than adjusting bids or competitiveness.
Google’s announcement earlier this week states that they will be sunsetting the App Install Campaigns in favor of Universal App Campaigns. Similar to the default settings in Facebook, UAC’s will be automatically created across multiple Google Networks including Search, Display and Youtube etc, and use a CPI model. The majority of the management will be controlled by machine learning and automation.
Maximized Conversion Bidding
“Maximize Conversions” now seems to be the default setting when building out a campaign. I actually only noticed this yesterday as I was building out a new campaign and about to write this post. As you build campaigns be aware and change this up as needed.
The ideal dream for us as marketers is for us to eventually have a consolidated single sign on for all our strategies and management in one place. While there are tools out there that help with that, there is no perfect solution. Google, however, does seem to be making a move in that direction. The recent updates to the DoubleClick Bid Manager UI, (Google’s Programmatic Solution) points to the idea of uniformity across its ad stack. Does this mean the integration of Programmatic as standard into the GDN ecosystem, or the potential ridding of DoubleClick for Search and the using of Attribution 360 for cross channel analysis? That all remains to be seen. But when compared side by side, it seems that Google is bringing continuity to keep UX consistent.
Ultimately, this is just my opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt. However, the evidence is pointing us in this direction of the future being machine learning and automation and forcing the industry to focus on the Audience Strategy more and more.
Let me know your experiences and whether your agree or disagree with me on Twitter @BryanGaynor12.