Google Enhanced Campaigns Don’t Allow Clients To Exclude Mobile Devices — Or To Appear On Mobile Devices Only! FML.

Let’s be honest: we’re all aware that many times, we encounter clients or companies that fundamentally should never run on mobile devices. Their sites may not render well on mobile devices, or it is unlikely that a user on a mobile device would convert for their product. Other times, we see clients who should only run on mobile devices. Especially for clients trying to push app downloads, a campaign only on appropriate mobile devices is often the best solution. Prior to Google’s release of their new “Enhanced Campaigns,” device-only campaigns were possible and commonplace. With Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns though, becoming mandatory on July 22nd, 2013 campaigns will no longer be able to exist only on mobile or exclude mobile. There are no options to exclude a type of device, and the minimum mobile bid is 90% of the maximum bid for the campaign. This is tragic and terrible for customers.
Google Enhanced Campaign Bid Adjustments By Devices

The Current Screen for Enhanced Campaign Bid Adjustments By Devices in Google
Unable to Decrease Mobile Bid Below 90%

This is the error message I get when I try to decrease the mobile bid by more than 90%.

Many people who have worked with me will testify that I am generally very pro-Google. A Googler as an intern, I absolutely loved the summer I spent there and believed that they had the best interest of companies at heart. Once I entered the agency world I was encouraged to think more critically, but nonetheless I’ve always had an open mind. This move to me, crosses the line.

If you know that there are legitimate business reasons why clients should not be running on mobile phones, desktops, or tablets for whatever reason (or some combination of the above), then it is bad for the clients if that becomes a mandatory setting. It is bad for business. Their cost per acquisition will go up and their campaigns will be less effective, because they have no choice but to run suboptimized ads on devices that can’t support the product. And since you can no longer split campaigns by devices under the enhanced settings, gone are the days where you can have a different call-to-action for mobile versus desktop ads, a common best practice.

Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong – I want to be wrong – but I’m not and I’m livid accordingly. It’s not fair to the clients, and for me as a consultant and educator, what do I tell them if there’s something I know isn’t working for them but am powerless to change? A good user experience is what has made search advertising such an effective method all these years — I really hope that Google enables device exclusions in its Enhanced Campaigns and device specific bidding for ALL devices (not just mobile) so that users and clients can both have a positive experience.