There’s change afoot in Google AdWords land on August 31st the old standby, Product Listing Ads (PLA) Campaigns, will be a thing of the past according to a recent announcement from Google. Slated to take its place, Shopping Campaigns was introduced to the marketing and advertising world a little over a year ago, But what is the difference between the two and how will it affect your advertising strategy?

The Shopping Campaign tool takes PLA campaigns further. The ads themselves won’t need to change, just how you manage them. With a tool for organizing and promoting your inventory using a series of PLAs, the Shopping Campaign interface won’t work as well with AdWords API or MaxCPA% bidding system, requiring you to use a Search Network Only campaign instead. You’ll also need to use product groups instead of targets for your organization. AdWords labels and grouping options are also going away, being replaced by custom labels instead.

The Shopping Campaign tool has several new features to help advertisers. A bid simulator helps you gain insight to estimate how bid changes impact your return on investment. Advanced retailers will have options for setting up several ad groups to meet their needs. Custom labels are available for dividing items in your campaign into separate groups.

Testers have found the tool more streamlined than PLA Campaigns, freeing up time for other issues. Though Google is asking its advertisers to start transitioning, all PLA Campaigns in effect will be upgraded to Shopping Campaigns at the end of August. So how do you make the transition?

  • Get your inventory into the five custom labels instead of AdWords labels and groupings, by creating five custom labels and leaving a sixth, uncategorized group.
  • Become familiar with the new tools to best implement the conversion. In addition to transitioning tools, you’ll have a number of new ones to try out.
  • Start new campaigns as Shopping Campaigns to avoid having to transition them.

For more information on the AdWords change and how it will affect your business and lifecycle marketing strategy, please contact us! We’d be delighted to help in any way we can.