Google Enhanced Campaigns –Targeting the Same User on Multiple Devices


It is imperative, as users begin to move seamlessly between multiple devices, that marketers can effectively reach these users on each.  To address this, Google has just launched Google Enhanced Campaigns.

What are Google Enhanced Campaigns?  They are Adwords campaigns that will replace your existing campaigns (I am being told that all campaigns will be upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns no later than June in Adwords – I suggest you look into before then).  These campaigns will allow you to have a “cross device search strategy” without having to build multiple campaigns to target a specific device, location or time.  These campaigns have three main features that I have addressed below: Bidding Features, Smart Ads and Advanced Reporting.

Bidding Features

According to Google, Enhanced Campaigns will give you the ability to customize your bids across devices, locations and time of day, or any combination thereof, through a single campaign.  By gaining the ability to adjust bids in any way across device and time, you are now able to target your potential customers at the times you want, on the devices they are on and wherever they are at.  Google likes to use the “Person Looking for Pizza” analogy.  The example below is broken in to two users, User 1 and User 2, looking for pizza at different location and times of day.

User 1 is on foot, walking downtown and plans on buying one slice of pizza for lunch worth a total value of $5.00.  Meanwhile, User 2 is at home, its dinner time and they are buying an entire pizza for the family worth a total value of $20.00.  Our ROI goal is a 40% margin on both consumers. Using a simple 25% click to conversion percentage, I would need to bid $0.75 for User 1 and I could bid up to $3.00 for User 2 and walk away with the same 40%.  This does not take into consideration “raw dollars’ and the effect they will have on your bidding strategy.  You will need to adjust your bidding strategy according to your own ROI goals and any customer data you may have or have learned.

Smarter Ads

Sticking with the same User 1 and User 2 example, you know you want to show different ads at different times of day.  Here is a continued example from above:

User 1 is on their mobile phone, downtown at lunchtime.  To target this customer correctly, you may show them a mobile ad with either a link saying “get directions”, a location finder or a click-to-call link on your ad.  Remember, this user is on the go, and you want to adjust our marketing message accordingly.

User 2 is on their laptop, at home at dinner time.  To target this user correctly, you may want to show them a desktop ad with a link saying “place an order online”, a link directly to their menu or connect them directly to log in page of your website.  Remember, you have determined that this user is stationary, at home, and have no plans on leaving.  You would want to serve them an ad that takes all of that into consideration.

Another feature with these new “Smart Ads” is the ability to schedule when Call Extensions show on your ads.  This is a feature not currently available in AdWords, and can only be accomplished through day parting of campaigns with different ads.  Here is an example of how they will work:  If your business is open between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, create an ad with a call extension on it, not day part that ad for the hours in which you are open for business – in our example 8 am to 5 pm.  This new feature has multiple benefits, the most important being that you only pay for calls which you can answer.

Advanced Reporting

With consumers engaging and converting in many different ways now, you will need better reporting to determine ROAS (return on ad spend).  You will need to know if a user converted on our website, over the phone, in an app, on a different device than when they first engaged with us. Here is what I know of the reporting features that should be live with these new campaigns.

  • Standard search conversion – tracked the same way as current campaign conversions are tracked.
  • Calls – tracked in much the same way calls are tracked now in AdWords, maybe some slight variation, but I don’t anticipate much.
  • Digital downloads – you will be able to track app downloads as conversions, and will soon be able to track books and music downloads as conversions.
  • In Store purchases – offers saved while online, and then redeemed offline will be tracked soon.
  • Cross Device conversions are also coming soon.  I expect all of these measuring capabilities will be available in the final product launch sometime within the next few months.

There are a few things that are not changing with the migration over to Enhanced Campaigns. Account hierarchy will still be – campaign, ad group and keyword.  Keyword match types will continue to be, exact, phrase, broad and modified broad.  Quality score will continue to be device specific and keyword level bidding and network targeting will also remain the same.

To get better prepared, you should do an account audit soon.  If you feel this is out of your realm, hire an outside agency to come in and do a complete account audit to get you ready.  Although final migration won’t have to happen until June, you are free to migrate over at any time between now and then.  You can find all of the information you need at the Google Enhanced Campaign website or you can contact your Google representative for further information.


  1. Dwight, you say,

    “User 2 is on their laptop, at home at dinner time. To target this user correctly, you may want to show them a desktop ad with a link saying “place an order online”, a link directly to their menu or connect them directly to log in page of your website. ”

    Are you sure about that? I think the reason why we in the PPC community are so up in arms about this change is precisely because you *cannot* do this under the new structure. This is because you can’t “turn off” Desktop ad campaigns at all.

    So, please explain to me how we will be able to show one ad to desktop users and a different ad to mobile users? My understanding of Enhanced Campaigns is that this will no longer be possible.

    Eric Bryant
    Gnosis Media Group

    1. Hey Eric,

      Thanks for your comment. I am sure about showing User 2 an ad tailored to their needs, and adjusting your bid and ad shown text accordingly. When I was at Google last week they told us we would have to come up with a plan for mobile ad text, extensions and site linking schedules – which is how we target the mobile user at any given time with a mobile ad, and the desktop user at any given time with a desktop ad. The onus is entirely on the advertiser to figure out who, when and where there potential customers are, and then adjust bidding and ad text according to the device, time of day and location of the user.

      However, you are correct in pointing out that there is no more device targeting in Adwords by simply turning a device on or off in the Enhance Campaigns. You will now only have the ability to adjust bids according to device. I created a sample Enhanced Campaign and have added a couple of images at the end of the post for everyone to see. This shows what the new device targeting section under the settings tab looks like, and the second image shows the bid adjustment settings that can be made under the device section.

      Thank you for your comment.

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