Back in February Google announced that it was overhauling the way AdWords worked with the rollout of Enhanced Campaigns.

It’s a catchy name that makes the new system sound like an upgrade on the old model, however there was some disquiet among paid search marketers as Google has essentially removed the ability to run PPC campaigns targeting specific devices.

After an initial grace period Google finally forced everyone to begin using the new system in July, and you can find out more about the switchover in our Enhanced Campaigns migration checklist.

To get further insight about the perceived impact of Enhanced Campaigns, we asked more than 500 search marketers for their opinion of the switchover as part of the new Econsultancy/NetBooster UK Search Engine Benchmark Report 2013.

It's worth noting that the research was carried out before the July deadline, but it transpires that the largest proportion of both agency (43%) and in-house (56%) respondents still weren’t sure what impact Enhanced Campaigns would have on paid search campaigns.

However for those that did have an opinion on the matter, a higher proportion of both companies (29%) and agencies (35%) thought that the change will have a positive effect on their paid search marketing.

Do you think ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ will have a positive impact on your/your clients’ paid search marketing?

Respondents were also given the chance to expand on their answers and give reasons for why they felt Enhanced Campaigns would have a positive or negative impact.

Positive opinions from the agency respondents included easy management, simplifying and streamlining campaigns. The overwhelming reason for agencies to answer that Enhanced Campaigns would not have a positive impact was, like for companies, the lack of ability to segment devices, especially not being able to run mobile-only campaigns.

Specific examples include:

  • “[This] does not allow us to set up separate campaigns for devices which is fundamental to our strategy and targeting – this is a very bad move!”
  • “Segmenting mobile/tablet/desktop visits has enabled us to achieve efficiencies in our campaigns which we fear may be lost with the roll out of enhanced campaigns.”
  • “‘Enhanced’?? No, dumbed down. Yes, you will have fewer campaigns, but this actually lessens intelligence gained from analytics.”
  • “Mobile campaigns are already standalone with a defined bid strategy across key terms. Consolidating this feels a backward step right now bearing in mind we have context as part of the strategy. ROI will no doubt be affected.”

Econsultancy's Crunch - Data, Analytics and the Rise of the Marketing Geek, takes place on October 10 at Truman Brewery, London. Crunch is the event for the analysts, strategists and boffins who turns raw numbers into insight, then revenue. This event is one of five that make up our Festival of Marketing.

David Moth

Published 5 August, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

1719 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (7)

Save or Cancel


I enjoyed reading this article about what search marketers think of enhanced campaigns. This was well thought out and informative

almost 5 years ago

Chloë Thomas

Chloë Thomas, Managing Director at Digital Gearbox

Hi David,

Thanks for providing the stats - it's always interesting to see what others think of new functionality in Adwords.

From my experience so far there are going to be 2 key types of impact:

1. many businesses will upgrade 'badly' because they've not understood all the intricacies of the new set up, or because they've allowed Google to do it for them. That will cost them money month in month out that they aren't aware they're mis-spending.

2. (and more interestingly) it strikes me that the real Enhanced Campaigns story is not the 'enhanced campaigns' themselves but what it's allowing Google to do with Adwords. They've clearly made some massive changes to how the back end works for them (hence it's a compulsory change over), in order to enable them to make Adwords much more integrated. Just look at the recent announcements - Remarketing matched up with Keyword Ads, Dynamic Remarketing using the PLA feed. And all that overlayed with all the enhanced campaigns functionality.
Yes this all will make it harder to manage Adwords, but it also creates so many more opportunities for improving ROI.

For our clients, small and medium eCommerce businesses, these changes open up a lot of traffic that we've been priced out of the market for, or which it's been inefficient to go after.

Personally then, looking at the bigger picture - I'm all for enhanced campaigns. By the end of this year I think we'll looking back on them as a big and positive a change for paid search as Panda/Penguin are proving to be for natural search.

Chloë Thomas
MD, indium online
and Author of eCommerce MasterPlan

almost 5 years ago

Sydney Fleming-Gale

Sydney Fleming-Gale, Personal at

FindGood have been following the update closely over the past weeks. Search Marketing Agencies have commented on the update in our blog giving their viewpoints on how Enhanced Campaigns will improve/ disrupt their clients campaigns.

Neil Brown, Head of Search and Conversion at Comms and Marketing Agency, Cogent Elliott shared his views on the changes:

"As we see it, It’s small and medium businesses (SMBs) and marketing agencies that these changes will affect most, as many are already struggling with an underlying issue that will likely be exacerbated - namely that the time and skill needed to understand what the AdWord data they have actually means and then working out how to respond appropriately, is already proving prohibitive to the running of effective activity. This is a massive headache for marketing agencies and teams, even before working out whether bid adjustments for location, time and mobile make any difference to their conversion/costs!"

Original article: <a href="http://; How Will the AdWords Campaign Update Affect Marketing Agencies</a>

almost 5 years ago


Ashleigh Brown

Some very interesting stats here - it's interesting that the majority of people were not sure what impact the enhanced campaigns would have and that out of the people that did have an opinion, more thought they would have a positive effect.

I agree that not being able to segment campaigns by device does seem like a step backwards, as I remember speaking to someone at Google and them specifically recommending splitting campaigns by device as an effective optimisation tactic.

There are some useful features of the enhanced campaigns though; being able to increase/decrease bids by location or time of day and free call tracking for example, and we'll be keen to analyse the effect the changes have over the next year.

almost 5 years ago



Having worked with Google Adwords for the past two years and run countless campaigns in many languages, the conclusion that the clients have brought forth is very simple; without organic, SEO and social media, Google Adwords is only as good as one click [accompanied by a high 90% bounce rate] that the customers either click by accident or because the ad caught their attention (till they actually landed on the website).

almost 5 years ago

Ben O'Neil

Ben O'Neil, Paid Search Account Manager at 7thingsmedia

I feel the fundamental comment here is the belief that Google has “dumbed down” campaigns as opposed to “enhancing” it. The amalgamation of desktop and tablet, and also the removal of the granular device options, seemingly is Google making it easier for the small advertisers to capture non-desktop traffic, where many of them may have been put off before with separating out different device targeting campaigns.

However, the cynical view may be that with the lack of ability to remove tablet traffic, Google may have just gained themselves extra potential for clicks therefore revenue! Removing the device options all together is perhaps a bit extreme, and will undoubtedly be a negative aspect for many with the removal of sophisticated techniques indispensable to advanced advertisers.

Overall there has been a lot of positives in the Enhanced Campaigns release, which have been overlooked, Location Bid Adjustments, Ad Extension scheduling and Expanded Site Links are all great advancements.

Ben O'Neil - Paid Search Account Manager

almost 5 years ago

Steve Care

Steve Care, Web Development at Web Development Auckland

You should congratulate yourself for having ready to write down nice articles you're showing on this website that I feel it'd be a decent quality.

almost 5 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.