Why You Should Make the Change to Performance Max Campaigns Now

By Emily Finch

In a digital world of ever increasing automation, Google is at the forefront of pushing for a reliance on AI & Machine Learning. The transition from Smart Shopping campaigns to the all-in-one Performance Max campaign type is looming and we want you to feel prepared and in control about Google taking the reins…

Setting The Scene
Google announced that they will be updating all existing Shopping campaigns to the new and improved Performance Max campaign from the end of August, with the aim to deliver more engaging ad experiences powered by automation. We outline how to put your best foot forward when it comes to making a smooth transition between the campaign types and what to expect when you first make the move.

What is Performance Max and How Does It Differ from Smart Shopping?
Performance Max campaigns ​​combine smart bidding and targeting features into a single goal-driven campaign across the entire Google network. This involves aspects of Smart Shopping, Search, Display and Video across all Google’s platforms i.e. Google Display Network, Gmail, Maps & YouTube. The campaign is made up of multiple asset groups containing headlines, descriptions, images, videos and products from the shopping feed. Google’s algorithm will combine these creative assets into ads to automatically generate the best results, by selecting the most appropriate asset combination for users that are more likely to engage with the ad and end in conversion.

Smart Shopping campaigns only focus on maximising sales conversions, whereas Performance Max campaigns let advertisers select multiple conversion goals and prioritise these based on their wider business objectives. The campaign then automatically adjusts the bidding strategy or targeting to better align with your overall goals. Performance Max utilises AI and data to optimise and deliver the most relevant content, with first-party data key to the long term success of the campaign.

What we need to do and by when
It is important to note that Performance Max campaigns require 6-8 weeks of learning time and there may be fluctuations in performance and revenue generation whilst the algorithm is learning the best combinations of creative to show to users with high purchase intent. We have worked closely with our paid media clients in transitioning them over to Performance Max as early as appropriate for campaign activity, in order to allow time to build audience signals, segment products in shopping feeds and collate images and video content. As with all paid media campaigns in 2022, content is king, and Performance Max campaigns are no exception. Google Ads require a minimum of one video asset that is compatible with YouTube, otherwise Google automatically generates video content using basic templates, and so setting up a YouTube account if you haven’t already is key.

Tip: For the best results differentiate your creative based on the audience of each asset group and segment of your product feed.

By transitioning to Performance Max now, you will be set up for success for the busy festive season in e-commerce and not on the back foot when it comes to the takeover at the end of the month.

Our Approach to Performance Max
The Brand Partners that we have already moved onto Performance Max have seen positive signs of success and revenue generation, even before the end of the learning period. We have seen Performance Max campaigns streamline both campaign set up time and budget efficiencies, with partners with a range of paid media budgets. We hope to see continued success with our brand partners that we have already moved over to Performance Max, as well as transitioning our remaining partners over to this campaign type ahead of the automatic updates.

Looking forward, the importance of first party data is key to the success of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and the reliance on first party data will only continue to increase. Understanding how to best segment product feeds will be integral to serving different audience segments within different asset groups, which is more important than ever. In addition, content creation will need to be tailored towards Performance Max campaign types, rather than solely focusing on paid social creative, that is both effective in converting customers and compatible with Google’s requirements.

Emily Finch is a Paid Media Executive at G&V. For more information on how we can help your brand grow through Paid Search and Social Advertising then please get in touch via our contact page.


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