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Save time with campaign-level associations

At Microsoft Advertising, we understand time is valuable — and there are a lot of demands on this precious resource. You’re constantly toggling between setting up campaigns, reviewing performance and trying to pinpoint the most important things to optimize, so you can reach the right audience at the right time while achieving your best return on ad spend.

Let’s say you’re a travel agency running campaigns for summer vacation packages. You want to attract new customers who are interested in your packages by targeting In-market Audiences and existing users in your Remarketing list — specifically those who visited your vacation page and spent time doing research but didn’t buy anything. Right now, your campaigns are set up and organized by exotic vacation destination and contain thousands of ad groups. This means you’d need to associate audiences across every single ad group, which is a time-consuming process.

Microsoft Advertising has a solution — we’re rolling out our campaign-level associations capability. Get ready to save time and apply your audience targeting more quickly! 

Campaign-level associations can help you apply and manage audience associations at the campaign level, so you no longer need to apply the audience targeting to each of the ad groups and then change each individual bid boost. With a click of your mouse, you can apply your audience targeting to all ad groups in the campaign.

Count me in! Let’s get started with campaign-level associations

  1. On the Campaigns page, click the Audiences tab.
  2. Click Create association.
  3. You can choose between the campaign level or ad group level. To use campaign-level associations, select Campaign.
    Product view of create association dialogue on the campaign tab.
  4. Select the audiences you want to associate, set targeting setting and add bid adjustments.
  5. Click Save to finish setup.
  6. You can view and manage all your audience associations in the Audiences tab. The new Level column indicates the association level: Campaign or Ad group.
Product view of the level column in the audiences tab.
The Level column tells you whether your association level is Campaign or Ad group.

It works with all audience targeting features, such as Remarketing, In-market Audiences and Custom Audiences.

Audience targeting association and exclusion rules

1. Targeting

  • For each of your campaigns, you can have targeting associations at either the campaign level or the ad group level, but not both.
  • If you have targeting associations at the ad group level and then want to target audiences at the campaign level, you’ll be prompted to delete all existing ad group associations so you can add campaign-level targeting associations.
  • If you have targeting associations at the campaign level, and you try to target audiences at the ad group level, you’ll need to remove the campaign-level associations first before adding audiences to the ad group.
 Product view of alert to remove campaign-level association under ad group targeting.
Make sure you're targeting associations at the desired level.

2. Exclusions

  • Exclusions are allowed at both the campaign and ad group levels.
  • You can use exclusions with or without associations.
  • The same audience can be excluded at both the campaign and ad group levels.

3. Using targeting and exclusions together

  • The same audience can’t be targeted and excluded at the same level.
  • If an audience is targeted at the campaign level, it can't be excluded at the campaign level but can be excluded at the ad group level.
  • If an audience is excluded at the campaign level, it can be targeted at the ad group level but can’t be targeted at the campaign level.

A few other things to note

  • As part of our global rollout, some customers will start seeing this feature immediately, and all customers will have this new feature by the middle of next month.
  • You can create campaign-level associations both online and in the API.
  • Campaign-level associations are available for all search campaign types: text ad campaigns, Shopping Campaigns and Dynamic Search Ads.

Connect with Microsoft Advertising

You can always reach us on Twitter and our Feature Suggestion Forum with your ideas, comments and suggestions. Also, visit the Help section of Microsoft Advertising to read more about our audience targeting offerings.