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Bing Ads Forces Mobile Targeting at Campaign Level for All Advertisers

Bing Ads Forces Mobile Targeting at Campaign Level for All Advertisers

by Ben Wittams-Smith24th March 2015

The forced merge of desktop, tablet, and mobile device targeting at the campaign level could end up costing unwary advertisers money in ad spend if they are not aware of the change.

It seems Bing are taking a leaf out of Google Adword’s book by taking away the option to create mobile specific campaigns – forcing advertisers to target desktop and tablet devices at the same time.

This is in-line with Bing’s change in October to merge tablet and desktop campaigns together. This meant that if you setup a desktop campaign, you would also be targeting tablets by default, but with the option of modifying the bids for tablets.

How will this change affect advertisers?

For advertisers who have device specific campaigns running – their campaigns will be standardised on their behalf to include targeting for all three devices as follows:

change to campaigns

This could cause some advertisers to be caught off guard – and if they have websites that are not fully optimised to display ads for either mobile devices, or desktop and tablet devices, they could see some of their ad spend being wasted.

Why the change?

Why would Bing choose to take away more granular control away from advertisers, something that was perhaps even a unique selling point of the Bing platform? There are a few possible motives for Bing make the change: firstly by making their platform more consistent with Google’s Adwords, it makes it easier for users to port their campaigns over to Bing in just a few clicks. Secondly, by forcing advertisers to advertise to at least some extent on each of the three main browsing devices, advertisers are forced to spend more, thereby increasing Bing’s revenue from ad spend.

Advertisers still have some control with Bid Modifiers

Although all campaigns must now target all 3 devices, by using bid modifiers, advertisers still have some control over which device receives the majority of their marketing efforts. Bid adjustments work as follows:

bid adjustments

This means that advertisers, for example, who wish to focus their marketing efforts on mobile devices, can set a +300% bid adjustment for mobile devices. This would effectively mean that a keyword bid of £1 would equate to a £1 bid for desktop devices, and a £4 for mobile devices.

Focusing your campaign for desktop computers however is not so easy, as there is no modifier for desktop computers, you can only decrease bids for mobile devices by 100%, and tablets by 20%. So if your website performs badly on tablet computers for whatever reason, you’re forced to either cope with the bad conversion rates, or consider discontinuing your campaign.

losing profits

The Result

Bing have said that the changes have been made in the interests of advertisers, and in order to make their platform more user friendly. However, whatever the reasons for the change, there has been a reduction in control and flexibility for advertisers. Added to this, the change will create a lot of work for many advertisers in terms of restructuring, and in some cases completely changing the strategy for their campaigns.

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About The Author
Ben Wittams-Smith
Ben Wittams-Smith is a content writer for Just SEO and the Company Director of JSEO LTD. As a specialist in SEO, SEM and digital marketing, Ben regularly contributes content and provides analytic insight in these areas.

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