It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Microsoft is adjusting the Bing Ads platform to play nicely with AdWords enhanced campaigns. The company said they would be making changes back in early April, and now they are providing specifics.
Bing Ads has supported incremental bidding by geo-location, gender, age, day of the week or time of day for several years now. Today, Microsoft announced changes that bring those features in line with the functionality of bid adjustments in enhanced campaigns.
The reality is, if advertisers can’t easily import their AdWords campaigns, they are much less likely to bother with Bing Ads. The Import from AdWords feature is a powerful acquisition tool that greatly reduces the friction of running campaigns on Bing Ads.
Currently, bid adjustments in AdWords — day-part settings, for example – do not import into Bing Ads because they are supported differently in each platform. That is going to change. Bid adjustments in AdWords campaigns will import into Bing Ads, and the maximum bid range will increase to +900% to match that of enhanced campaigns.
Microsoft is also adding the ability to make negative bid adjustments. Currently, Bing Ads only supports positive incremental bid adjustments.
Device targeting is the area where Microsoft has tried to differentiate itself from the changes brought on by enhanced campaigns. The company has emphatically stated that it will continue to support tablet targeting. Today, advertisers can simply opt-in or -out of targeting desktops, smartphones and tablets. Soon, bid adjustments will be available by device. The maximum bid adjustment for device targeting will be +300%, a la enhanced campaigns.
Microsoft is also changing the way multiple bid adjustments are calculated in order to adapt to enhanced campaigns protocol. Instead of adding multiple bid adjustments together as the platform does today, they will be combined as multiplicative percentages.
While it’s somewhat depressing to see Microsoft mimic the market leader, they don’t seem to have much choice, and the import from AdWords feature is a huge time saver and convenience for advertisers. The changes are targeted to go live at the end of the third quarter this year to coincide with the July 22 rollover to enhanced campaigns.