Looking Forward To AdWords Ad Customizers

By Jacob Fairclough | @RealSecretJake | Senior Account Analyst at Hanapin Marketing

In case you’ve forgotten, ads are a big deal. As the one aspect of your work that users interact with, it is important to get them right. You need to make your ad copy compelling and worthy of the click. However, this notion is easier said than done , especially for large accounts.


To help make ads more compelling, Google is rolling out ad customizers over the coming weeks. Ad customizers are a new way to add dynamic messaging to your ad copy. By utilizing the customizers, you can easily roll out large numbers of template ads while controlling the specifics from a single file. Besides control, dynamic ads do not reset your performance metrics, keeping everything associated with a single ad.


How It Works


The ad set up is extremely similar to other forms of dynamic parameter insertion. Rather than use a script or the API, these ads will pull parameters from a spreadsheet uploaded into the new business data section of AdWords.


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Using special functions to target your data source, you can easily find ways to unroll these ads at a scale. In the example below (from Google Support) the user has uploaded a file called mixers. Knowing that the user wants the brand, model, and price in the ad, a template ad is built to deploy in each ad group.


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Based on the supplied target campaigns and ad groups, the contained ads are then updated with brand, the number of models, and price.


Other Benefits


Utilizing these features should not only help you target ads but minimize mistakes as well. It can be tiring to constantly check and recheck specific ad copy that references many prices or dimensions. It’s not a complex task but it isn’t engaging either, making it much easier to make mistakes. Even if you are not running a massive account, the ability to control variables from one spot is a boon to any manager’s quality of life and work. Just imagine the next time you receive a short notice request to highlight promo prices. All you have to do is essentially flip a switch and get back to the rest of your workload.


Example Use Case – Clearance Items


I’m personally looking forward to utilizing this functionality for an e-commerce client who consistently rotates items in and out of stock. While clearance items aren’t always the priority, I’ve found search ads to be extremely effective in running down the stock quickly and freeing up warehouse space for the client. Rather than worry about updating ad copy, I can use a single ad to deploy across all ad groups. With the customizers I can insert brand, sizes, products, or whatever variable I need.


Example Use Case – Trainings/Seminars


Ad customizers will also work well for anyone running on-going or one-time events. You could easily imagine applying this to geo specific campaigns, quickly updating ads to show not only a countdown but include location information as well. Here’s an example of a countdown ad utilizing the {=COUNTDOWN} parameter.


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I can easily see advertisers capable of planning out all their events, creating the ads, and wrapping up in one day. Once the ads are loaded and the data file is uploaded, the job is done.


A software-training program could set ads in Indiana to update with the day and location of the next training in Indianapolis while users in North Carolina would see ads targeted to the next event in Charlotte. Once the event is passed the ads could be set to list the next available date and location. All of this functionality would occur without touching the ad copy after the first upload.




Ad customizers are the first of (hopefully) many new features to come. Rather than changing the way the current system works, Google has added completely new functionality that should please just about anyone.


I’m personally looking forward to further testing with the ad customizers. I’m looking forward to both the increased control and hopefully the increased performance as well. Even on the off chance that the customized ads only provide a 5% boost to CTR, if that was applied across an entire account, it could be huge.


How are you planning to utilize the customizers? I know the managers at Hanapin will be heavily utilizing the countdown functionality. Do you have anything special in mind or should we be prepared for a massive influx of countdown ads across the world?