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    Major Shift Ahead: Google’s eCPC Era Comes to a Close

    Google AdsMarketing AgenciesPPC StrategiesSkills Development

    Google Ads recently announced that the eCPC era is making one more step to come to a close. In August 2023, Google announced that eCPC bidding for Shopping campaigns will be switched to manual bidding starting in October 2023.

    This major shift has left many advertisers wondering what lies ahead and how it will impact their digital marketing efforts. In this article, we will take a closer look at the end of Google’s eCPC era, the implications for small businesses, and the new strategies that Google is implementing for the future.

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    What is enhanced CPC in Google Ads?

    Google Ads has long been at the forefront of innovation in the digital advertising space, constantly adapting and evolving to provide more solutions to advertisers. One of the tools that Google Ads has provided to advertisers since 2010 is Enhanced Cost Per Click (eCPC), an automated smart bidding feature, allowing businesses to dynamically optimize their bidding strategies and improve their return on investment.

    The eCPC (enhanced cost-per-click) era, which has been in place for several years, revolutionised the way advertisers approached their bidding strategies. This innovative feature allows advertisers to automatically adjust their bids based on the likelihood of a conversion, resulting in more efficient and effective ad campaigns.

    During its tenure, the eCPC feature proved to be a game-changer, particularly for small businesses with limited budgets. By leveraging the power of machine learning, Google enables advertisers to maximize their ad spend and reach their target audience more effectively than ever before.

    With eCPC, advertisers no longer had to manually adjust their bids or constantly monitor their campaigns. Instead, they could rely on Google’s algorithms to dynamically optimize their bids in real-time, based on a multitude of factors such as user behavior, device type, and ad placement.

    This level of automation and intelligence provided advertisers with a significant advantage, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their business while Google’s algorithms worked tirelessly to drive conversions and maximize ROI.

    Google’s eCPC Era: The End of an Era

    As with any technological advancement, the eCPC era has reached its twilight. Google has made the decision to retire eCPC and replace it with other bidding strategies that align more closely with their latest advertising innovations in smart bidding and AI.

    While the retirement of eCPC may be bittersweet for advertisers who have come to rely on its benefits on their Shopping campaigns, Google’s commitment to innovation and improvement is unwavering. The decision to retire eCPC is a testament to Google’s dedication to pushing digital advertising towards automation and providing advertisers with even more powerful tools and strategies.

    As with any significant change, the end of Google’s eCPC era may cause some uncertainty and apprehension among advertisers. 

    One potential replacement for eCPC is Google’s Target CPA (cost-per-acquisition) bidding strategy. With Target CPA, advertisers can set a specific cost per conversion that they are willing to pay, and Google’s algorithm will automatically adjust their bids to maximize the chances of achieving that target. This strategy can be particularly beneficial for businesses with specific conversion goals in mind, such as lead generation or online sales.

    Another alternative bidding strategy that Google may offer is Target ROAS (return on ad spend). With Target ROAS, advertisers can set a specific return on ad spend that they want to achieve, and Google’s algorithm will optimize their bids to maximize the chances of reaching that target. This strategy can be especially useful for businesses that have a clear understanding of their desired return on investment and want to ensure their advertising efforts align with those goals.

    It’s worth noting that while bidding strategies like Target CPA (tCPA) and Target ROAS (tROAS) offer more control and flexibility, they also require advertisers to have a solid understanding of their conversion data and goals. Advertisers will need to carefully analyze their historical performance and set realistic targets to make the most of these bidding strategies.

    About Smart Bidding: What Lies Ahead?

    Google is known to encourage advertisers to switch to automated bidding strategies such as tROAS, and this move could be a part of the same trend. By taking away this popular option of eCPC, advertisers could be more inclined to make the switch.

     Down the line, we could see eCPC bidding for search campaigns removed as well, which will make it less tech-savvy or small businesses more likely to reluctantly explore other bidding strategies. 

     This might be another step towards Google’s vision of an automated future – one in which agencies will have less and less control over their campaigns, and will need to reinvent themselves. In this future, agencies will need to double down on providing value using strategy and insights. Being able to tell the system what to do and being able to understand and explain what it did could prove key to staying on top in the near future.

    Goodbye PPC management: Hello black box?


    Google’s decision to retire eCPC is not simply a removal of a feature. It signifies a larger shift in their advertising strategies and reflects their vision of zero touch digital advertising. 

    If you ask Google’s CEO, Mr. Sundar Pichai, about his vision, he would probably tell you that Google Ads campaign management should be a thing of the past.

    Instead, he would recommend PPC managers to focus more on advanced tracking, branding, creative and additional business aspects such as pricing, delivery options and more.

    A black box approach by Google Ads is not far away, and there are enough examples of growing media channels that already utilize this approach.
    Companies like Criteo and RTB House already utilize AI and smart targeting and bidding to generate amazing results in Display and remarketing networks, without the need for ongoing hands-on bidding and targeting management.

    The Future of digital marketing:
    Welcome to full funnel approach

    A black-box PPC management is one step closer to becoming a reality with Google Ads AI and smart bidding. Campaign managers or agencies that only focus on bid management, targeting, and campaign types should expand their knowledge.

    Over the past years, the digital marketing landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, steering away from isolated efforts and campaigns and toward a holistic full funnel marketing approach. Gone are the days when digital marketing agencies and PPC managers could focus solely on keywords, audiences and bid strategies. The future demands a comprehensive understanding of every phase of the customer journey. 

    To stay ahead, these professionals must now embrace a multifaceted skill set that goes beyond bid management or ad placement. Vast knowledge in tracking and attribution is crucial to decipher the intricate pathways consumers take, from their initial interactions to eventual conversions. Creative strategy, previously left to designers and content creators, has now become an integral component for campaign managers to ensure brand messages resonate authentically at every touchpoint. Meanwhile, diving deep into conversion rate optimization unveils the micro-interactions that nudge consumers closer to the coveted ‘purchase’ button. Lastly, expertise in business services and ecommerce management ensures the alignment of marketing objectives with overarching company goals. 

    Embracing this full funnel approach isn’t just a trend—it’s an imperative for modern digital marketers aiming for enduring success in an ever-evolving digital ecosystem.


    Are you ready to upgrade your business to a full funnel marketing approach?
    Get in touch with our team and consult with one of our experts.

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