On 8/18, Google announced sweeping changes to the rules for ad targeting, affecting the way nearly every car dealership's advertising is placed in Google ad platform. Zip Code level targeting will no longer work on 10/19.
Over the next 60 days, every ad account in automotive has to be rebuilt from the ground up. As the vast majority of campaigns are managed manually, each digital marketing provider is trying to figure out (or should be) how they are going to start over from zero which will most likely result in massive drops in performance.
Why will performance go down?
-Distraction. Because so much time is going to be spent on rebuilding the targeting not on improvements this will create a chilling effect on all new campaigns -CPC will likely go up. This is because the vast majority of advertisers will default to big dumb radius-based search. This means their targeting will be broader and less defined as previously setup. This creates more local competition, which in turn increase cost per click. -Re-optimization. Each campaign will have to be closely monitored after the advertisers replace the zip targeting, since this is in effect doing hip replacement surgery on an 80-year-old patient. The post change optimization will have to be handled with precision. -Manual management. Agencies forced to change 100s of accounts are simply unprepared for this type of operational change event. If they aren’t using an orchestration layer with automation this will consume nearly all of the work they do for the next 6 months.