The New Maximum: Google Performance Max Campaign Upgrades Announced

Each year at Google Marketing Live, we are presented with new and exciting product advancements for Google Ads. And this year was no different! At GML 2022, Google announced functionality and feature upgrades to Performance Max campaigns (read our Google Marketing Live Recap here).

What are Google Performance Max Campaigns?

Performance Max, the newest Google campaign type, was launched just six months ago in response to advertiser feedback that the number of channels and formats available to reach consumers keeps growing.

According to Google data, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels, such as video and social media, to shop over a two-day period.
Google Marketing Live Presentation, “Power More Conversions with Performance Max Campaigns,” June 2022.

This new campaign type accesses inventory across the entire Google Network, including Search, Display, YouTube, and more, through a single campaign type and maximizes performance based on your specific conversion goals, which can include online sales, lead generation, store goals, omnichannel sales, and more.

Performance Max: Leveraging Google’s automation technology to place ads on the channels with the highest conversion probability within a single campaign.
Source: “Performance Max Campaigns Launch to All Advertisers” by Eduardo Indacochea, Nov. 2, 2021

Performance Max combines Google’s automation technologies and machine learning to determine the best options for your campaign across channels and all Google inventory to determine bids on the auctions that have the highest probability of converting for your specific goals in real-time. According to Google data, Performance Max advertisers can experience an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.

According to Google data, Performance Max advertisers experience see an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.
Source: Google Marketing Live Presentation, “Power More Conversions with Performance Max Campaigns,” June 2022.

What’s new and next for Performance Max Campaigns

Floodlight support in Search Ads 360

Campaign Management support is currently available in Search Ads 360 and the Google Ads mobile app. This will expand soon with Floodlight conversion bidding in SA 360. This is another example of how Google’s automation and machine learning advancements are enabling advertisers to increase conversions, all while maintaining efficiency and simplicity in measuring performance.

Launch of A/B testing & experiments for Performance Max

Although not yet officially live, advertisers will soon have the ability to run experiments to test the efficacy of their Performance Max campaigns. The A/B tests can show the potential incremental lift in conversions by adding Performance Max to existing campaigns. Search Discovery can set you up with the beta version for this now.

Recommendations and Optimization Score

Google’s customized suggestions will now apply to Performance Max campaigns. In addition to the budget, bidding, and keyword suggestions, recommendations will also include improvements to asset groups. Optimization Score will also launch for Performance Max

New insights page features

The insight page will help you see how the automation is working. These additions include new attribution/channel path data that show how user touchpoints across Google channels lead to conversions and audience insights that show which of your first-party audiences are performing best and being used most often.

Upgrade your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max

If you’re focused on driving online or offline sales with a product feed, you’ll be able to self-upgrade your Smart Shopping and Local campaign to Performance Max. What you’ll get: the same foundational features of your familiar campaigns, plus new ad inventory and automation insights. According to early Google data, advertisers who upgrade to Performance Max experience an average of 12% increase in conversion value at the same or better ROAS.

According to early Google data, advertisers who upgrade to Performance Max experience an average of 12% increase in conversion value at the same or better ROAS.
Source: Google Marketing Live Presentation, “Power More Conversions with Performance Max Campaigns,” June 2022.

Additional upgrades on the roadmap include the following:

  • Lead gen advertisers can create custom questions in lead formats
  • Support for offline conversion imports with Zapier
  • Funnel reporting that’s designed to give you an idea of how leads come in and progress down the funnel
  • Travel in Performance Max

What are the benefits of these new updates?

The improvements and enhancements to Performance Max campaigns will provide advertisers efficiency gains in single platform management, increased visibility into campaign automation, and they’ll drive more success in achieving conversion goals by testing for incremental lift and optimizing towards channels with the highest impact.

Now that Floodlight support is available, you can track a user’s complete journey across the marketing channels for Performance Max campaigns. And if you’ve updated to the new Search Ads 360, you can implement bid strategies utilizing Floodlight conversion data in your Performance Max campaigns. This feature will be available through the new Search Ads 360 experience only, so if you haven’t yet mapped out a migration timeline to the new experience, now is the time!

And if you were on the fence on testing Performance Max campaigns or if you remain hesitant on the move to automation, the future launch of A/B testing allows for transparency into what channels and which campaigns drive the most bang for your buck.

It is important to note that beginning July 1st 2022, Performance Max campaigns will incur Search Ads 360 fees. Keep this in mind when planning your migration and campaign management workflows.

How to get the best results from your Performance Max campaigns

In order to make the most of these campaigns, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Have well-defined goals – For automation to be most effective, it needs to know what you are trying to accomplish and what those goals are worth to your business. By providing target metrics and conversion values for each business objective, you are setting yourself up for success.

Add lots of creative assets: Customers are flooded with images. More high-quality assets can show up on more channels and keep your assets fresh and your brand top of mind.

Allow the campaign an adequate run time before assessing results – It can take at least 6 weeks of run time for the machine learning algorithm to have sufficient data to compare performance.

 Future launch of A/B testing and experimentation for Performance Max Campaigns.
Future launch of A/B testing and experimentation for Performance Max Campaigns.

How can Search Discovery help

If you are interested in learning more about Performance Max campaigns, Search Ads 360, or any of the Google Marketing Platform products, Search Discovery is a Google Premier Partner, a distinction held by only the top 3% of Google agency partners.

This means that Google has selected Search Discovery to ensure that companies who use their products will receive the best support, training, and value-added services available to maximize their investment and drive business outcomes. What’s more, Google selected Search Discovery to join the sales partner program across analytics, marketing, AND cloud products—a rare feat!

As a data transformation company, we can assess your advertising’s effectiveness in using data to reach your target audience while maximizing your budget. Whether it’s applying customer LTV calculations to bidding strategies or GA4 upgrades, implementations, and integrations, our team of experts are here to help you succeed. Learn more about our capabilities and services here.

Talk to an expert today about Performance Max campaigns or sales, support & training across the Google Marketing Platform.

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