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Google Enhanced Campaigns

If I search “Cabernet Sauvignon” after Newsnight tonight, I’m probably hoping to learn more about wine. But if I search the same thing on my way to a friend Saturday afternoon, there’s a good chance I’m looking for a place near me where I can buy a nice bottle.

Which search results are relevant for me doesn’t depend on which device I’m using – with Galaxy Notes, iPad Minis and a range of Touchscreen Ultrabooks on the market, the differences between smartphones, tablets and laptops are vanishing quickly. What matters to me depends on my situation.

With yesterday’s announcement of Enhanced Campaigns, it looks like Google Adwords is catching up with the way the world really works.

Over the next 4-5 months, we will see huge changes to the way paid search campaigns are managed across multiple devices. Enhanced Campaigns will make it much simpler to show the right ad to the right person, at the right time, in the right location.

The biggest changes will be that marketers won’t be able to run mobile-only campaigns, and that tablet will be bundled in with desktop.

With so-called bid multipliers, advertisers can define a bid by location, time or device. If a message is more relevant to people in certain locations than it is to people farther away, the bid can be adjusted accordingly.

Other new functionalities will include options to customise and schedule ads, and advanced reporting. It will be a huge leap forward to measure mobile campaign performance, track calls, digital downloads, in-store purchases and (coming soon) cross-device conversions.

Though the upgrade means a loss of flexibility and control for the advertiser, it will favour campaigns that create customer-centric experiences across multiple devices. And that’s what search is all about, isn’t it – giving customers what they’re looking for.

And right now, in my case, that’s ideas for food to go with that Casillero del Diablo that’s waiting for me at home.