Bing Ads announced yesterday that, following in Google's footsteps, desktop and tablet devices will be targeted together in Bing's take on the Enhanced Campaign model. This comes after Bing initially criticized Google for failing to give advertisers more control over device targeting and bidding under Enhanced Campaigns. In an effort to retain some tablet-specific functionality, Bing Ads will still allow advertisers to adjust bids on tablets via bid modifiers. However, these modifiers will be restricted to values between -20% and +300% of the desktop base bid. The change is being made, according to Bing, in order to simplify the importation of campaigns from AdWords to Bing, as well as to base their campaign model off of studies that show only minor differences in value between the two devices. We are sympathetic to the first point, as greater alignment between AdWords and Bing Ads is often very helpful, even for sophisticated advertisers, but this is an area where any large advertiser ought to be able to take the difference between platforms in stride. To the second point, Bing Ads may want to take a deeper dive into the data.
Bing Ads Tablet Modifiers Will Be Insufficient for ManyWe would like to think that RKG's Digital Marketing Reports were among the studies Bing surveyed before making this decision, since there's still really not a lot of good data on the question of performance differences across devices. In Q1, we found that tablet revenue per click was 84% that of desktop computers on average. Thus, the -20% to +300% tablet modifier range Bing will provide covers the average industry difference in value and will allow app developers and other tablet-centric advertisers to bid up tablet traffic aggressively. So, no big deal, right?
ConclusionWhile it's nice that Bing Ads will still allow advertisers the ability to modify bids for tablet traffic, the restrictions placed on the magnitude of pullbacks makes these modifiers insufficient for many, if not most advertisers. The value of tablets and desktops is not the same, and prohibiting advertisers from bidding them separately only leads to lower base bids on the whole. RKG's Mark Ballard published an SEL column just last week pondering whether or not the fact that Bing currently allows for tablet-specific targeting might influence Google to do the same, a change we would welcome. We're still hoping that Google will change its tune and Bing still has the opportunity to lead the way.
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