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Time division between two marketers

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# 1
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I have two freelance marketers that wish to manage my AdWords campaigns. I want to compare them and choose only one to work with. To do that, I wish to see their performance during one month and see who has better results in similar campaigns. However, if they both bid on the same keyword and audience (for example, "apple" for female 18-25 in NYC) they could potentially compete and affect each other, raising the cost of CPC.

To solve this, I want to divide the time. Marketer A can advertise from 00:00 to 00:15, Marketer B from 00:15 to 00:30, then Marketer A again from 00:30 to 00:45 and so forth. I want the entire campaign (or perhaps, just keywords that cause collisions) of Marketer B to be frozen when it isn't their time to advertise. Same for Marketer A.

Is there any way to do this? Hopefully, without the marketers being able to re-enable campaigns when it isn't their time to be active.

Thank you!

3 Expert replyverified_user

Time division between two marketers

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Alon D,

 

Honestly, that looks a pretty weird idea, even though it does not lack its own logic. That seems a newbie's logic and all in all, it goes against everything that we have learned in the past 10 years in regard to how a campaign should be managed smoothly and avoiding jerks. 

 

Technically speaking, you could create 2 identical copies of the existing campaigns and apply opposing advanced ad scheduling to them, where the finest granularity is the quarter of an hour. Make them aware they are not allowed to change the settings associated with ad scheduling.

 

Hope you'll change your mind and check on their past performance and exams instead.

 

Best,

Lakatos

Time division between two marketers

Rising Star
# 3
Rising Star

Hi Alon,

 

Are these campaigns within the same AdWords account? Or do they each have their own AdWords account? This can impact the strategy.

 

-Jim

Jim Vaillancourt, AdWords Rising Star, LinkedIn
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Time division between two marketers

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# 4
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Hey @Lakatos,

 

Thanks for your inputs. Why would you say that this idea goes everything learnt in the past 10 years?

Keep in mind this is not a permanent solution, rather just a comparison between the two for a short time.

 

The problem with using such scheduling is that it is a LOT of manual work. Any way to automate it? Will it be part of the Automation Rules, or is it somewhere else?

Time division between two marketers

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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 Hey @JimVaillancourt,

 

These campaigns will be in two separate AdWords accounts, otherwise they'll be able to see each others' settings... which I'm sure they won't like. Also, the statistics must be separate, of course.

 

-Alon

Time division between two marketers

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

The issue with this setting is that always one agency "forgets" to turn off the campaign and you have 2 "similar" campaigns running simultaneously (until someone finds out that a campaign is / was active when it should not).

Apart from having the CPC "climbs" up - this is a violation of the Policy.....

If you want to compare performances: run an experiment within the same account.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Accepted by topic author Alon D
January 2017

Re: Time division between two marketers

Rising Star
# 7
Rising Star

Hi @Alon D,

 

I assumed as much. Given that information here are a couple options for testing one freelancer (advertiser) versus another:

 

  • Time of Day: As @Lakatos mentioned, turning campaigns on and off at frequent intervals is disruptive and can have a negative impact on performance. There are two ways to accomplish this:
    • Ad Schedule Campaign Settings: Each advertiser uses the Ad Schedule campaign setting to turn accounts on and off at opposing hours. This would need to be done in four hour increments as each day can only be divided into 6 segments of hours. Positives: simple to implement, not nearly as disruptive as turning the account on and off every 15 minutes. Negatives: potentially unfair distribution of hours (one advertiser gets the hypothetical prime time of 8am to noon, the other gets poor performing hours of 4am to 8am), limits the advertiser's ability to employ robust time of day bidding strategies. 
    • Google Scripts: Each advertiser implements an AdWords Script which turns campaigns on and off more frequently than the previous option. Here is a popular script for adjusting bids every hour of the day. When an advertiser is supposed to have their account paused they should set the bid adjustment to -100%. Positives: more granular time of day creates more fairness across advertisers. Negatives: more complex than the other option creating higher potential for mistakes, not ideal to turn accounts on and off every hour.
  • Location: Through all of my agency experience it is more common to implement A/B advertiser testing through locations. This strategy allows one advertiser to target half of the target location, and the other advertiser to target the other half. 
    • Considerations: it's very important to setup the target locations fairly. Determine what metric will be the KPI for the test then ensure that the two zones have equal KPIs when starting and ensure that there aren't factors that will change them (relative to the other zone) over the duration of the test. Consider seasonality, offline advertising (i.e. a big TV ad campaign in one region but not the other), etc.
    • Positives: eliminates the possibility of conversions clicking ads for both advertisers. In a test based on a time of day split there will be conversions that resulted from clicks on both advertisers ads because a significant amount of conversions are the result of multiple ad clicks. This will make interpreting the results under that strategy more difficult.
    • Negatives: potential for unfairness in the two regions. It's very hard to setup two perfect advertising zones.

Other general considerations when setting up the test:

  • If using a time of day strategy ensure that account time zones are the same between the two advertisers. If they aren't then the ad scheduling will need to be adjusted accordingly.
  • If using the AdWords Conversion Tag as the source of truth ensure that all settings are the same like Conversion Window and Value (such as agreeing that neither tag pulls in tax or shipping).
  • Latent conversions: it's important to only look at conversions that happen as the result of clicks that took place during the test. If you are using a non-AdWords conversion tag, which attributes conversions to the to the click date and not the conversion date, then this will have to be considered. For example, a user that clicked an ad 20 days before the test began but converted 2 days after the test began without clicking another ad should not have their conversion in the test data.

Sorry that was a lot of info but it's an interesting topic. I hope this helps,

Jim

 

Jim Vaillancourt, AdWords Rising Star, LinkedIn
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Time division between two marketers

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

Meanwhile @JimVaillancourt has posted a really great and detailed contribution. I think that in case you insist on comparing their live performance and KPIs, it is the location splitting option that allows for smooth business without unwanted jerks and also without damage to your business goals.

 

As @MosheTLV pointed out correctly you are not supposed to have 2 AdWords accounts under this scenario.

 

Lakatos

Time division between two marketers

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
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Hi there Jim,

 

Thanks for the very detailed, informative response. I learnt quite a bit reading it!

 

Some questions:

 

  1. Why would turning on/off campaigns be disruptive to performance?
  2. How long does "freezing" and "resuming" a keyword take until it actually affects the bid process, and indeed prevents/allows bidding?
  3. What do you mean by "each day can only be divided into 6 segments of hours"? Where does this limitation come from? Where is it enforced?
  4. The problem with scripts is that they can only run every hour. They are limited to 30 minutes runs, at that. So, I'll need a wait to "sleep" or perhaps launch sub-scripts for sub-accounts to be able to "toggle" the active account, every 30 minutes.
  5. As you said, the problem with Location is the difficulty in finding two "equivalent location targets", in a truly fair manner. Same goes for alternating days or weeks - seasonality can affect the results, quite a bit.
  6. Finally, could I ask about the Policy. I am assuming that the problem is the following:

    Diverse content: We don’t allow advertisers to promote the same or similar content from multiple accounts on the same or similar queries.

    However, if only one account is active at the time, is it truly against the Policy? I am pretty sure it isn't against the Spirit of it since this won't be an Affiliation scheme nor will they actually compete directly with each other (and the CPC won't rise, because of that), but I also think it isn't against the letter of it:

    Check your ad campaigns and other AdWords accounts to make sure that you're not trying to show more than one ad at a time for your business, app, or site.

    Note the "at a time" clause. Your opinion?

 

Thank you!

Re: Time division between two marketers

Top Contributor
# 10
Top Contributor

@Alon D;

Google does not disclose  information about your first few questions. However, AdWords behave link many systems in nature: it is a steady state system. Frequent changes could cause the system to diverge and performance to deteriorate,  and extend the transition period until perfromce is back to "normal" (if at all...)

 

As for Policy, as I mentioned in my previous reply, technically there is no issue if  only one account is active at a given time. But history shows that always "someone" at an agency "forgets" to pause the campaigns (on time), while the other agency has already turned on its campaigns,  and then you find yourself in violation...

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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