Reiterating statements he made at SMX West last month, David Pann, general manager of the Search Network at Microsoft, is making it clear that Bing Ads will not go the way of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns in reducing device targeting options.
He spoke to advertisers at a San Francisco Forum yesterday about the concern and addressed the question formally in a blog post yesterday. Under a bold “ADVERTISERS DESERVE CONTROL” headline, Pann writes:
“At Bing Ads, we believe very strongly in giving advertisers the tools and flexibility to control their spending, target the most relevant audiences, and ensure they can get the best return on investment. We do not believe bundling mobile, desktop and tablet advertising together in an opaque manner is in the best interests of our customers.”
Taking the matter further, Dare Obsanjo, Principal Lead Program Manager for Bing Ads followed up with a not-so-subtle post yesterday on the Bing Ads blog titled “Enhanced Campaigns, Bing Ads and Advertiser Choice”.
“After reviewing the user guide for upgrading to enhanced campaigns and additional material on the enhanced campaigns website, we can see why our advertisers are worried. Consequently, we are taking the unprecedented step to announce our future product direction as it relates to functionality recently announced by a competitor.”
Obsanjo then highlights (with screenshots) the loss of tablet targeting, the loss of specific mobile device targeting, and the question of whether Google is pushing a responsive Web design agenda on companies with the move to Enhanced Campaigns.
Forthcoming Changes To Bing Ads
Obsanjo announced several changes to Bing Ads that will take effect “toward the end of the third quarter of this year” to coincide with the mandatory roll-over to Enhanced Campaigns for all AdWords customers.
Will advertisers still be able to import their campaigns from AdWords? In a word, Yes.
“For advertisers who import campaigns from AdWords, we will plan to support the ability to mark ads as being mobile optimized and will honor this as a directive. This means ads that are marked as mobile optimized will not serve to desktop or tablet users. However we will continue to support being able to go into that campaign to mark the ad as only targeting mobile, tablet or PC users.”
Bing Ads will also feature expanded incremental bid functionality to support negative bid percentages and mobile and location targeting to match AdWords Enhanced Campaign capabilities.
These changes don’t address the issue of search query volume on the Yahoo! Bing network, of course; but, many advertisers are likely to respond positively to Bing Ads’ statements. Time will tell if their stance will help attract new advertisers to the Bing Ads platform.