Google announced a number of new AdWords features and enhancements this morning from their Step Inside AdWords live (and live-streamed) event in Half Moon Bay.
Interestingly, two of these new features add powerful, enterprise-level AdWords management functionality previously available through outside platforms like Kenshoo and Marin. Both are great tools with the obvious value-add around multi-platform management, but it seems as though Google is taking aim at these kinds of third-party platforms with this update.
Two more new features are completely unique to Google and when they launch, will surely give other management solutions a run for their money.
Jerry Dischler, Google's vice president of AdWords Product Management, announced four enterprise-class tools to improve workflow, reporting, and optimization in AdWords:
- Bulk actions: Now you can set up location targeting, ad rotation, and other settings across thousands of campaigns.
- Automated bidding: This is an expansion of their existing automated bidding capabilities, with the addition of the ability to maximize conversions for volume and revenue.
- Advanced reporting: They're calling this a multi-dimensional tool; I'm calling it Excel for AdWords.
- Drafts & Experiments: Google will allow you to turn your account into Draft mode and set up experiments you can run using a percentage of your real-world traffic.
On the need for bulk actions and automated bidding enhancements, Dischler said, "Tens of thousands of advertisers are already using automated bidding to complete over a billion bidding decisions a day." Their goal, he said, is to bring an enterprise-level solution to every advertiser, directly within AdWords.
The really cool news is in the last two features, though: Excel for AdWords (my name, not theirs) and Drafts & Experiments.
Dischler called the new Spreadsheets functionality within AdWords "a beautiful way to visualize your data and test your insights," and it really, really is. Check this out:
Keep in mind, this isn't released yet, but will be rolling out sometime in the coming months. What you see here is a drag and drop spreadsheet within AdWords that will allow you to make data exploration simpler and more visual. Choose your attributions and datasets by dropping them into the spreadsheet area, so you can create charts, graphs, and more within AdWords, like this:
The other new feature that's coming soon is Drafts & Experiments. Basically, this allows you to put your entire account into Draft mode to test potential changes in your account, like this:
The really amazing part, though, is that you can then set up experiments that run with a percentage of your real-world traffic.
In December, I predicted that Google would retire AdWords editor sometime this year. Indeed, these new features may just be the last nail in its coffin.
Dischler said at one point, "Many of you have told us that working in AdWords is just too complicated." He also noted that the new bidding and bulk actions features previously were available only in AdWords Editor and in third-party tools.
Google is making a big play at the enterprise-level AdWords management market and if these new tools are any indication, they plan on bringing as much in-house as possible.
What do you think, are Google's new enterprise toys enough to keep you within their platform alone, or are there still scenarios that will leave you craving an outside tool?
Optimising Digital Marketing Campaigns with Search, Social and Analytics
At SES London (9-11 Feb) you'll get an overview of the latest tools, tips, and tactics in Paid, Owned, Earned, Integrated Media and Business Intelligence to streamline your marketing campaigns in 2015. Register by 31 October to take advantage of Early Bird Rates.