As of September 2022, Smart Shopping will be completely phased out by Google and replaced by Performance Max. At Amanda AI, we’ve already begun to phase out Smart Shopping. Soon, all our customers will be able to choose Performance Max as their campaign type.
What is Performance Max?
Performance Max is a new type of Google Ad campaign. It allows advertisers to create a single campaign that can be displayed across the entire Google Ads inventory. Additionally, it uses AI and machine learning to help with optimal bidding and serving the right ads at the right time.
Performance Max was designed to be used in conjunction with keyword-based Search campaigns. It allows users to upload assets (text, images, videos) so that Google’s machine learning tools can optimize these creatives to produce the best ad for each channel and increase conversions.
It’s a hugely flexible tool built to help advertisers reach their campaign objectives and performance goals, such as:
Online sales: Subscriptions, online sales, in-app purchases, add to cart, etc.
Lead generation: Sign-ups, request quotes, appointments, phone leads, etc.
Offline sales: Store visits
Simply put, Performance Max asks users to:
- Define a goal for their campaign
- Upload a variety of assets like photos and ad copy
From there, it auto-generates different ads and displays them across different Google channels.
Performance Max uses smart bidding to optimize campaigns in real-time. The machine tests your ads across various Google Ad channels and increases conversions by testing which combinations perform best for each ad.
What input do you need to include for Performance Max campaigns?
Performance Max campaigns combine the best parts of smart campaigns with responsive ads, bringing them under one umbrella.
The inputs you need to run these campaigns are:
- Your marketing goals and objectives
- A monthly budget
- Ad creatives like text, images, video, etc.
Optionally, you can also include:
- Feeds (Dynamic Ads feed, Google My Business etc)
- Audience signals (your first-party lists, manually targeted Google audiences.
When should you use Performance Max?
While Performance Max is great for consolidating multi-channel campaigns, it’s not an outright replacement for all your campaigns. It is most effective when used to supplement your other marketing efforts.
Performance Max campaigns are great for advertisers:
- with limited budgets who wish to use all Google Ad channels
- who want to discover new audience segments
- who are short on time to optimize each ad channel effectively
- who don’t have experience optimizing various channels
What are the advantages of Performance Max?
Optimized ad bids
Performance Max uses AI and machine learning to help advertisers optimize their ad bids. By automating this process, campaigns become more efficient in helping users reach their advertising goals. No more guesswork and expensive experiments!
Performance Max is an excellent option for inexperienced marketers. Once you’ve added the assets, it creates ads and automates bidding, reducing the learning curve and trial and error associated with running campaigns.
When Performance Max is set up properly, it can produce great results. However, that means clearly defining campaign goals, objectives, and audiences. Just because the campaign type is automated, users shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking it needs minimal setup.
Performance Max campaigns allow advertisers to increase ad visibility and reach broader audiences through one campaign, rather than setting up multiple campaigns all at once.
What are the disadvantages of Performance Max?
Automating your ad campaigns leads to less control. This process can be a disadvantage if you like to get granular with your advertising. However, this can be an advantage for teams that are short on time and advertising expertise.
Can lead to overspending
Unless you take the time to set up your Performance Max campaign, it can lead to overspending. Some users have reported that it takes weeks or months for Performance Max to fully optimize, which is a luxury that teams with smaller budgets can’t afford.
It’s very important to set your daily ad budget and your bidding strategy. Failure to set these parameters can get very expensive, very quickly.
Less performance data
Performance Max lets you use a single campaign to advertise across various channels. However, it doesn’t provide you with performance metrics across each channel. For more experienced marketing teams, a lack of detailed metrics could be frustrating.
How is Performance Max different from Smart Shopping?
As mentioned above, Performance Max will replace Smart Shopping in September 2022. If you haven’t proactively switched to these campaigns, Google will switch them automatically when the date comes.
While these campaigns have some similarities, there are other notable differences. For example, Performance Max covers Discover and Google Maps. These channels can provide a major boost in visibility, especially for smaller businesses.
Do I need a robot that optimizes an already automatic strategy like Performance Max?
Absolutely. To give Performance Max the best possible performance, you should choose audiences that Google can use to learn more about which users, keywords, and products convert best.
Within Performance Max, you can work with more than 900 target groups (excluding those you upload yourself). From there, you can combine all 900+ target groups as you wish.
What’s Amanda AI’s job?
We help you find the best combinations of different audiences based on your products and images, texts, or videos for your ads.
With Performance Max, you can support up to 100 groups, each segmented in different ways (lists, visitors, and demographics). By using Amanda AI, we automate the entire process to give you the maximum effect on your advertising.
There is a significant advantage to optimizing already automatic bid strategies. If you want to know more about how it works, watch our CTO Torkel talk about using already automated bid strategies to your advantage.