Bing Ads Went “Enhanced” with Unified Device Targeting, But Did Anyone Notice?

bing-b-logo-1200.jpg-900x506When Google AdWords unleashed Enhanced Campaigns, it appeared that the PPC world was going to self destruct. Consolidate device targeting?! How dare you. Make tablets the same as desktops?! We’re going to riot. Give us bid modifiers for location and better ad scheduling? Well… OK. We can be OK with that. It was a confusing time for PPC managers and most of that resulted in anger and vitriol aimed at Google.

At the time, Bing Ads was seen as the protector of our rights to control, segmentation and generally the ability to manage devices as independent entities. Remember the open letter that outlined Bing’s stance? Was a big deal. Fast forward to March 2015. Bing upgrades to Unified Device Targeting (UDT). In a nutshell, Enhanced Campaigns: The Sequel.

What I find interesting is that with few exceptions, no one made a fuss. No one complained or publicly got angry. No one started a petition. Why? What about this very clear about-face was any different than what Google did in 2013?

From Bing’s perspective, this simplifies things. Bing’s mission to maintain a high level of parity with AdWords has very real impact on their bottom line. If advertisers can easily import their Google campaigns to Bing, more of them will do it. If they make management best practices in line with AdWords best practices, advertisers won’t have to learn 2 sets of management skills – thus lowering the barrier of entry to Bing Ads. Hypothetically, perhaps Bing saw that no one was taking advantage of the full device controls and decided it wasn’t worth maintaining. Either explanation makes sense. But it is still at some level a violation of trust with the PPC community. We were promised control over device targeting.

So, back to the response to UDT. Why did none of us jump up in anger, fists pumping into the air? Great question. Leave your answer in the comments! For my part, I felt that this change was inevitable. Did I see it coming? No, not exactly. But I get it. Imagine me shrugging my shoulders, rolling with the punches if you will. Many of my Bing campaigns were already set up to (mostly) mirror AdWords. In other words, already using mobile bid modifiers. But, I was also using significant tablet bid modifiers. And if tablets or smartphones weren’t in the mix, they were simply shut off. Now I have to add a – 100% negative mobile bid modifier. And tablet? Well, that’s a sticking point. Now, I can only decrease bid modifiers by 20%.

That sucks. And that’s why I’m surprised the PPC community isn’t in full riot mode. For my part, I’m still a huge fan of Bing Ads. I will continue to run campaigns there and be a brand advocate when and where it is appropriate. Color me amused, confused and bemused. Curiouser and Curiouser…

Comments (2)

  1. I think the reason for the lack of outcry was two-fold: we already made adjustments because of Google’s Enhanced Campaigns, and fewer people use Bing than Google. Look at your own blog post count of Google articles (127) vs. Bing articles (31). I know my blog is the same way. Bing is the underdog, plain and simple, and those who use them likely import their Google campaigns to make it easier. That said, I’m sorry to see the separate device campaigns go away – we were using Bing in select instances for device targeting, and now that option has been eliminated. I like the tablet modifier, but it needs to go down to -100%. -20% isn’t enough in many cases.

  2. You’re right. Google gets the limelight – positive and negative. Folks using Bing were already managing in a similar fashion to the Google Enhanced construct (at least in 2 instances!). All roads pointed here. The reaction, or lack thereof, just struck me as odd.

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