What you need to know about Google’s Performance Max campaigns

Learn what exactly are the benefits of Performance Max, and what kind of advertiser should be using it..
Glenn Burgess
Glenn Burgess

Glenn P Burgess Author, Speaker - UK's No1 Fintech & SaaS Marketing expert.

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With Google’s Performance Max slated to replace Smart Shopping entirely for businesses, there are many questions surrounding what it is and how it works. What exactly are the benefits of Performance Max, and what kind of advertiser should be using it?

We’ll dive into the details of Performance Max and shed some light on this offering from Google.

Table of Contents

What is Performance Max?

Performance Max is a goal-based campaign type with the aim of letting advertisers increase conversions across Google’s range of advertising channels. This includes Search, Display, Discover, Maps, Gmail, and YouTube.

This campaign type promises more conversions by optimising ad performance in real-time and across all channels using Smart Bidding, Google’s AI-driven automated bidding, which is used in Smart Shopping campaigns.

Advertisers upload various assets appropriate to each channel, like images and video, and Google’s machine learning approach then tests which combinations work best for your campaigns. The intention is to have single-campaign optimisation across all advertising platforms.

What are the benefits of Performance Max?

What are the benefits of Performance Max?
Google’s new campaign type promises advantages over other offerings.

Performance Max hopes to increase online leads and conversions through the automated optimising of budget and bids across all Google platforms. This could be more efficient than a generic search campaign.

With Google’s real-time data on shopper intent and preferences, Performance Max can help you discover new audience segments that you might’ve been unaware of. This can help you get your ads in front of more interested shoppers.

This new campaign type relies on creative assets supplied by advertisers. That means you can create assets that best suit your audience of shoppers, helping you take control of your ad campaigns.

What are the cons of Performance Max?

Much like Smart Shopping campaigns, Performance Max operates as a ‘black box’. While you get results on top-performing audiences, you don’t receive all the data that could be used to reach conclusive results to accurately inform campaign optimisation.

The ability to have single-campaign optimisation across all Google advertising channels is definitely a plus, but you gain almost no visibility on channel-specific performance and how the assets you provide are utilised. This makes it difficult to enact meaningful change to your campaigns or see how each channel is performing.

Since there’s no channel-specific performance for advertisers, you can’t be sure that your campaigns aren’t cannibalising your other campaigns. Alongside this, you can’t negate keywords to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately, Google hasn’t implemented any device modifiers and there isn’t any device-specific data on performance given to advertisers. This makes it hard to test campaigns to their fullest, and you have no way of comparing desktop and mobile.

When should you use Performance Max?

Performance Max would work well for advertisers looking to appear on all of Google’s advertising platforms, with the ability to access all of this from a single campaign.

It’s also a good option for in-house advertisers, possibly for smaller businesses, looking to set up a simple Google campaign without needing to delve too much into strategy.

Given the drawbacks mentioned above, Performance Max doesn’t offer established retailers the same opportunities for growth as other campaign management options. Advertisers using Google’s automated bidding could miss out on valuable campaign data and may find it harder to compete within their market.

If you’re looking for an automated solution to Google Shopping management with a human touch and a commitment to transparent data,

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