Mobile Advertising – What benefits will Google Enhanced Campaigns offer mobile?

…..With the deadline to migrate to Google Enhanced Campaigns just a little over two weeks away (22 July), let's all embrace mobile advertising once & for all. Given the trend so far, it can only get better…..

It took mobile advertising almost three years ('…2009/10/11 will be the year of mobile') to make a serious impression until we hit 2011 when we saw mobile traffic represent almost 38% of online traffic for retail, and on average 18% for other sectors.

Mobile advertising is cheaper, with cost per clicks (CPC's) still coming in at half the price of desktop and is more cost effective, delivering almost twice the average basket value and double the conversion rate. This is also illustrated in our most recent Sector Reports where we now report the different trends in mobile versus desktop growth; the evidence clearly shows the number of mobile searches is catching up with desktop queries. So what's the problem, why are most advertisers still only dipping their toes into mobile advertising?

12 to 18 months ago, site experience was definitely an issue, with many advertisers not even bothering to develop a mobile friendly site, never mind considering the various different device sizes. However with responsive website design, advertisers don't need to worry about whether it's worth investing in a separate mobile friendly site. Even Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice. To explain why, responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, demand, and organise content.

Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with and link to, than content that lives on a separate mobile site. So that's the site taken care of, however does size really matter because let's not forget mobile advertising isn't just about the typical mobile handset, we also have to consider tablet devices into this mix as well.

A recent study by YuMe revealed "that consumer media consumption on mobile devices is influenced by environment and context, not just screen size".

The study revealed that consumers are increasingly screen agnostic when it comes to consuming content. By device, 38% of respondents accessed entertainment content on their smartphone; 34% on their laptop, and 28% on their tablets.

The study proceeded to advise advertisers to throw away their "screen-by-screen media planning rule books" and to focus on a multi-screen strategy.

This advice is also echoed by Google, who has gone as far as overhauling its whole advertising channel (the first time since its inception), putting mobile first and announcing the 're-launch' of its Enhanced Campaigns in June 2013.

Kesh Patel, Strategic Partnership lead for Google's local channel sales division says:

"Enhanced Campaigns is all about making ads simpler in the contextual world we live in today, yet providing the right reporting and platform to work with."

For mobile specifically the three real benefits include:

1. Ad Placement - Focusing your budget on the context that matters, including time of day, proximity,

and type of device.

2. Ad Copy - Refocusing your bidding strategy and messaging to reflect the different contextual situations, allowing the advertiser to be more consistent and automated.

3. Reporting - Being able to measure the joint impact of where an ad shows up and what it says e.g. measuring app downloads, offers, and click-to-call etc. (Also Google's first attempt at joining the dots between different devices).

The challenges

However, the developments of Enhanced Campaigns also bring a few challenges, mainly the forced inclusion and impending higher CPC's. The higher CPC's will of course be a real issue to those advertisers who have enjoyed the cheap, cost effective world of mobile advertising to date. With brand CPC's on the rise and the increase in CPC's from free shopping becoming a paid format, some may find it all a bit overwhelming to take in.

That said mobile advertising is here to stay and with Google laying out a more sophisticated approach to targeting the user, increased CPC's aside, mobile advertising is an avenue we at Greenlight are excited about.

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