PART 1 – INTRODUCTION
What is Performance Max (PMax)?
Performance Max (PMax) was first introduced in November 2021 with the primary objective of generating leads, and boosting online sales and in-store visits without adopting the Google Merchant Center product feed. As of September 2022, this new campaign format has replaced all smart shopping campaigns. In the past, a number of separate campaigns were required for users to target audiences on different Google channels. With Pmax, audiences can be targeted by ads across Google’s network through a single campaign. With PMax Campaign, more potential customers are now reachable across Google’s network as shown below:
In essence, Performance Max empowers you to enhance performance aligned with your conversion objectives. This is achieved through real-time performance optimisation across multiple channels using Smart Bidding, which aims to deliver more conversions and value.
PART 2 – DEEP DIVE INTO PMAX CAMPAIGN
2.1 Performance Max Optimisation
The goal-based Google Performance Max campaigns deploy machine learning to automatically deliver tailored ads with optimal bids to relevant audiences, leveraging the effectiveness of the campaign.
In this process, keywords are not merely static targets. They function as dynamic indicators that enable AI to benchmark the input keywords and explore potential groups of audiences. The target group either directly searches for those keywords or exhibits similar search behaviour. The AI algorithms also have the capability to analyse patterns and user behaviours beyond the specific keywords themselves. This means that the campaign’s reach is not limited to the exact keywords initially input. Rather, the keywords are treated as interests that provide valuable signals for the AI to reference.
If the AI identifies any areas where expanding the campaign’s scope to include related keywords could potentially increase the likelihood of conversion, it has the flexibility to target users interested in those keywords as well. This adaptability ensures that the campaign remains highly responsive to evolving user preferences and search trends, ultimately optimising the overall effectiveness of Google Performance Max campaigns.
2.2 Key features of Performance Max
1. URL Expansion
The landing page is chosen by the default URL Expansion feature through machine learning, in order to drive the searcher to the most relevant landing page on your website. Final URL expansion helps to generate an ad headline, description, and additional assets to ensure a good match with your landing page content. This feature empowers advertisers to harness the full potential of their campaigns by dynamically adjusting the landing page and ad headline based on user intent and search queries, thereby creating a more personalised and engaging user experience. This expansion of reach also introduces your business to potential customers who may have previously gone unnoticed, amplifying your brand’s visibility in the digital realm.
2. Asset Groups
These include a set of assets or images that are all linked to a single theme or audience. You can create multiple asset groups within each campaign.
3. Audience Signals
Used to inform Google about your ideal or preferred audience group to target the ads. Gathered from search queries, browsing history and other sources, these signals provide insights into the characteristics, preferences and behaviours of an audience. This information helps marketers to segment audiences and develop targeted advertising campaigns that may better resonate with their target audience.
4. Automation for Keywords
In the context of Performance Max, keyword automation utilises advanced machine learning techniques. Google’s algorithms identify additional keywords with the potential to expand the campaign’s reach, drawing from existing data provided to the AI as reference points.
This presents a valuable opportunity for businesses to uncover new keywords that can fuel their growth. While these automated keyword suggestions can greatly benefit businesses by broadening their audience reach, there is a caveat to consider. The challenge lies in the possible inclusion of irrelevant keywords. To mitigate this, performance strategists must closely monitor the keywords generated by the system. Any instances of irrelevant keywords should be promptly identified and flagged as negative keywords for the campaign. This ensures that the campaign remains finely tuned and consistently targets the right audience, maximising its effectiveness.
2.3 Benefits of Performance Max Campaign
1. Find more converting customers for your goals
With Google Ads Performance Max campaigns, you can reach unexpected potential customers across a range of Google channels, expanding the size of your audience targeting. This is contributed by Google’s real-time understanding of consumer demographics such as gender, location and more, complemented by your input using audience signals. Goals are customisable to maximise your business’ conversions or conversion value.
2. Drive more value from your budget
Thanks to data-driven attribution across different channels, you may optimise your marketing strategy for incremental touchpoints that drive customers towards conversion. With machine learning models, Google can forecast channels with the best audiences, ad copies, and creative combinations to optimise conversion goals.
3. Leverage Google Ads automation
Steer automation with user inputs by adopting exclusive features, such as Audience Signals combined with Conversion Value Rules. This allows you to improve results quickly and speed up the campaign ramp-up period.
2.4 Differences of Performance Max vs Other Ad Campaigns
PMax campaigns are goal-oriented. They are made up of smart bidding and targeting features. In addition, Performance Max Google ads offer higher visibility than Smart Shopping does. Applicable for e-commerce and lead generation, PMax is different from other Google Ads campaign types in terms of structure. Unlike Smart Shopping campaigns, only one campaign is required by PMax to manage all your ad placements. The benefits of deploying this campaign include time-saving and greater granular control. Listed below are the factors that distinguish the Performance Max campaign structure from others.
1. Asset groups
In the PMax campaign, there will not be ad groups but only asset groups. Asset groups are collections of similar items or assets that are manageable together for optimisation means. When setting up one, strategists are required to input the details listed in the table, which include audience signals such as custom segments, interests and detailed demographics that can guide Google bots to refer to the preferred audience for the business. With asset groups, Performance Max campaigns can predict the performance of each asset group more precisely, while seamlessly integrating with AI technology which enables real-time amendments to live biddings and other optimisation factors. Unlike standard campaigns that rely on manual inputs such as keywords and budgets, Performance Max leverages AI to instantly identify areas of improvement. When the AI-powered bot spots any room for enhancement, it promptly executes changes, ensuring that your campaign performs at its best at all times.
2. Listing groups
Commonly found in online marketplaces and e-commerce platforms, listing groups provide a way to organise and categorise similar items or products into groups. Thanks to this arrangement, users can easily navigate and look for specific items within a larger inventory.
In each listing group, users can submit the list of products they want to be associated with the keyword.
These groups are created based on specific characteristics of the products (price, brand, product ID and others). Each of the groups is made up of a set of products that share similar attributes. For example: A clothing retailer could create product groups based on clothing types such as shoes, shirts and pants, or according to specific brands.
In PMax campaigns, bidding is fully automated. The advertising objective you selected for your campaign will set the bids.
PART 3 – IMPLEMENTATION OF PMAX CAMPAIGN
3.1 Setting up a PMax Campaign
Performance Max campaigns empowers businesses to effectively connect with their desired audience and achieve their advertising objectives. The campaign can be set up in a few steps and the process can be further simplified with the help of a digital marketing service in Singapore. Here is a video that demonstrates the process.
Step 1: Select your goals
When setting up the Performance Max campaign, you can either maintain the predetermined goals in the system, such as driving online sales or lead generation, or set your own goals.
Step 2: Choose Performance Max campaigns
Select Performance Max as your campaign type.
Step 3: Determine a bid and budget strategy
Crafting a precise bid and budget strategy is instrumental in achieving your campaign objectives. When operating within Performance Max campaigns, you are presented with two primary bidding strategies: “Maximise Conversions” and “Maximise Conversion Value.” Each strategy offers its unique advantages and within them, you can further fine-tune your approach based on your specific goals.
1. Maximising Conversions
- This bidding strategy is geared towards achieving the highest number of conversions possible within your budget.
- You have the option to select “Set a Target Cost Per Action”, which allows you to define the maximum cost you are willing to pay for each conversion. This enables you to maintain control over your expenditure while aiming for increased conversions.
- In essence, “Maximise Conversions” focuses on efficiently driving more conversion actions within your allocated budget, making it an optimal choice when your primary objective is to expand your customer base or generate leads.
2. Maximising Conversion Value
- In contrast, the “Maximise Conversion Value” bidding strategy is tailored to maximising the revenue generated from your campaign.
- You can opt to select “Set a Target Return on Ad Spend (ROAS),” which empowers you to specify the desired return on investment you want to achieve. This approach ensures that your advertising spend is directed towards actions that yield higher revenue.
- Essentially, “Maximise Conversion Value” directs your bids towards obtaining higher revenue from each conversion, making it ideal when your primary goal is to boost your bottom line and maximise the value of each transaction.
An effective bid strategy helps digital marketing industries in Singapore to improve ad campaign performance, generating more traffic to their website and boosting their return on investment (ROI). It determines the ad’s placement and frequency according to ad relevance, ad quality and the bid amount.
Setting your budget
Your budget determines the monthly charging limit for each campaign. The charging limit can be obtained through the multiplication of the preset average daily budget with the average number of days in one month. It is important to check your account daily to know how your campaigns have performed so far.
Step 4: Choose additional campaign settings
Select your location, ad schedule, campaign run dates and languages that you wish to target. Apart from this, you may also choose to include a final URL expansion to help you optimise the performance of your Performance Max campaigns. With that, you may replace your final URL with a more relevant landing page, according to the user’s search query and intent.
Step 5: Create an asset group and input audience signals
You need an asset group to consolidate your ads and set up an inventory for all applicable ad formats for your advertising objective. An asset group is formed by the following elements:
- Audio signals
Before launching your Performance Max campaign, you can create one asset group first, followed by additional ones after setup. Your assets will be assembled into all applicable formats automatically and the most relevant ad creative will be shown to your potential customer.
Setting up the PMax Campaign asset group can require various asset formats as stated above such as text, image, and video elements. Engaging external marketing agencies specialising in content production services comes in handy to help you manage the complexity of content creation.
Particularly, content marketing agencies develop a comprehensive content strategy that aligns with your business goals and target audience. This strategy can include topics, types of content, distribution channels, and timelines. They focus on building a long-term relationship with your audience, helping to raise awareness for the business, and improving its publicity.
By referring to the Google Ad channel your ad is being served, the assets are mixed and matched by Google Ads automatically for your Performance Max campaigns.
Nonetheless, managing the processes of your own business and grasping the twists and turns of digital marketing can often be a challenging task. This is when Google Management Service comes in handy. Find out more here.
Meanwhile, before inputting audience signals, it is vital to note that they are audience suggestions, instead of audience targets. Thanks to this feature, you can determine your ideal prospective customer. Audience signals ensure the success of each of the aspects below. Read on to learn the application.
Customer Match is an innovative approach that can significantly impact your campaign’s performance. To begin, the first step is to upload your customer data which includes valuable information about individuals who have engaged with your brand in various ways, such as email subscribers, past purchasers, or website visitors. Once this data is uploaded, Google’s sophisticated machine-learning algorithms take the reins. It begins to analyse your customer data to identify the best possible matches for your ads. This goes beyond just reaching your existing customers; it extends to finding individuals who exhibit similar behaviour and interests to your current customer base. It also means you can now craft highly targeted ads, reaching out to individuals who have already shown an interest in what you have to offer. This level of precision can be a game-changer, especially as Performance Max continually adjusts its targeting to ensure that you’re always reaching the audience with the highest conversion potential.
The power of custom segments lies in their ability to empower advertisers to input specific keywords and URLs as audience signals. This means that you can create custom segments that align perfectly with your campaign’s goals and audience preferences. Keywords, when used as signals within custom segments, serve as guiding lights for the bots. These signals are dynamic references that enable the bots to gain insights into user intent. They signify areas of interest and provide crucial context for campaign optimisation. The bots, powered by advanced machine learning, enhance adaptability driven by customer signals you have input, serving as guidance for the bots to explore potential keywords to target. This means that your campaign remains responsive to evolving trends and audience behaviours.
Interests and Detailed Demographics
In performance marketing campaigns, comprehending your target audience’s interests and detailed demographics is crucial for effective targeting and campaign optimisation. To assist PMax AI in understanding your business and identifying similar potential audience groups, strategists input audience signals during asset group setup. Detailed demographic data, including age, gender, location, education, and income, are used to enhance Google’s AI’s understanding of your target audience’s characteristics and preferences, leading to more precise targeting.
Your account’s pixel data can be used to target users. At the same time, Google will use your data of website visitors, purchases and leads to target new customers.
To ensure the effectiveness of your Google Performance Max campaign, submission of the necessary data feed to the Google Merchant Center is essential. The more information (brand, product types, UPC code, custom labels, MPN/SKU and others) you can provide, the better the results.
Step 6: Add extensions
Next, expand your ads by providing more information about your business. Ad extensions are important as they will improve your ads by allowing you to insert additional links and buttons. Additional links from your website can then be displayed by site link extensions below your ad. These extensions direct to pages on your website, ranging from products, blogs, or informational pages which ultimately, help to raise the click-through rate (CTR). At the same time, your customers will benefit from a wide range of unique features.
3.2 Combining Performance Max with other campaign types
You may combine Performance Max with other campaigns to drive more conversions. PMax can ramp up easily if you keep existing campaigns running while testing.
PMax leverages Artificial Intelligence, or AI, to test out various keyword combinations and automation. Thanks to machine learning, suitable sets of keywords and assets can be identified and generated for businesses. With the campaign being run across different Google networks, it also helps to determine the channel that generates the most number of conversions. As such, it eases a business owner or campaign manager to find platforms and ads (search, display, YouTube, map, shopping) that require optimisation and greater investment. On top of that, marketing agencies adopt SEM practices with machine learning technology to achieve optimal returns for campaigns.
Part 4 – THE ROLE OF DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY IN THE WORLD OF AUTOMATION
Automated tools and algorithms can efficiently execute tasks like bidding and campaign optimisation, streamlining processes and improving efficiency. However, this doesn’t diminish the essential role that digital marketing agencies continue to play. Here’s why agencies are still indispensable despite the rise of automation:
1. Access to Analysis Tools
Firstly, marketing agencies have access to professional analysis tools for better performance of keyword research and suggestions, as well as for competitor analysis. In particular, heatmap tools are used to analyse the user behaviour on the landing page. As an essential part of a website’s analytical toolbox, these tools provide an in-depth understanding of the actions taken by users on the page, such as button clicks, scroll behaviour, and other interactions. This helps businesses to track user behaviour and further optimise the page. After determining the type of elements of the page that attract the most attention and engagement from users, businesses ultimately achieve a higher conversion rate.
2. Team of Expertise
Next, marketing agencies often hire a wealth of expertise to develop and execute marketing strategies that are tailored to the specific needs of their clients. For example, they may have a team of experienced content writers, creative designers, motion graphic designers and more, to help produce necessary content for clients to input for their campaigns. Simply put, working with an agency provides a full suite of digital marketing solutions, making it easier for businesses to align their paid campaigns with other elements, such as SEO, Social Media, website development and maintenance.
3. Implementation of Omni-Channel Marketing
Omni-channel marketing involves utilising multiple marketing channels to create a consistent and seamless customer experience with the brand across different channels. Here are examples of different marketing channels:
- Search Engine Optimisation (Organic)
- Google Marketing Solutions (Paid)
- Social Media ie. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube
- Google Maps
- Physical Stores
Marketing agencies can provide various solutions for different channels by taking a holistic approach to marketing strategy. They understand how each channel has its unique characteristics and which tactics to use for effective audience engagement. They also consider factors such as audience demographics, behaviour, and preferences on each platform to tailor their marketing strategies accordingly. As it requires different marketing strategies and knowledge to optimise for the respective channel, working with an agency that offers a full suite of services helps businesses to work better with each channel, improving their marketing strategies. Agencies like these are the one-stop solution providers that offer a range of services and expertise to help businesses achieve their marketing goals. They help with strategy development, creative services, advertising and more.
Part 5 – SUCCESS OF PERFORMANCE MAX CAMPAIGN | GOOGLE’S CASE STUDY
Case study 1: MoneyMe
MoneyMe is an Australian digital financial service company that offers a digital credit card option, as well as fast and easy personal loans. By deploying Google Ads, MoneyMe was rapidly seeking new customers (online applications that result in funded loans) at its target cost per acquisition. It joined hands with an independent agency, Sparro, to approach high-intent consumers across different channels, and promote more qualified leads within its target CPA through Performance Max campaigns. MoneyMe’s Performance Max campaign targets to increase newly funded loans for the company’s personal loans. Some creative assets have been developed for this campaign to present the company’s key value propositions, and build trust among tech-savvy consumers locally. As part of its initial automated bid strategy, MoneyMe maximised conversions to establish a baseline CPA target and spend its budget. The team then switched to a target CPA bidding strategy to scale its campaigns profitably within the efficiency goal that had been set. In addition, MoneyMe also used offline conversion imports to measure and optimise for online application completions that led to a fully funded loan.
Thanks to a six-week PMax Campaign, the conversions of MoneyMe rose by 22%, surpassing $800K in revenue from newly funded loans. The company also saw a 20% drop in overall CPA across the account.
Case study 2: Allianz
Performance Max campaigns aid advertisers in achieving an average growth of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action. As a whole, Performance Max helps you attain your goals in the following way:
Raising conversions and value
Allianz joined hands with its agency, Jellyfish, to use Performance Max campaigns to boost qualified car insurance leads by 15% at a lower cost-per-lead than generic Search campaigns.
Case study 3: Deezer
Discovering new/ potential customers
Deezer is an app-first advertiser but was seeking scale web subscriptions and approaching new customers across media channels. Thanks to Performance Max, Deezer and its agency, Artefact, were able to raise subscriptions by 28% on the web path at a 15% lower cost-per-subscription, compared to the app path.
Case study 4: SAIC-MG Motors
Working together with automation
Performance Max campaigns were leveraged by SAIC-MG Motors to venture into a strategic and highly competitive automotive market in Vietnam, which is in line with the brand’s global expansion plans. SAIC-MG Motors successfully recorded a 39% hike in test drive leads at an 83% lower cost-per-lead compared to the account average, with the help of Performance Max. As part of its core media strategy, Performance Max was used to find new customers, while the brand focused on inputting custom segments and previous website visitors as audience signals. Automation’s ability was sped up for the optimisation of results.
Case study 5: Joybird
Looking to take its automation to the next level, furniture retailer, Joybird, collaborated with its agency named Go Fish, to post a 95% increment in revenue at a 40% higher ROAS, with the implementation of PMax campaigns. Prior to this, the brand was succeeding in recording outstanding online sales with Smart Shopping campaigns.
Case study 6: MotorK:
MotorK, a well-renowned automotive sales and marketing technology company in Europe, was seeking rapid expansion and new customer leads for their partner brands within a target cost per acquisition. It also targeted to enhance its media mix strategy through innovation and automation solutions. Therefore, Performance Max campaigns were put into use by the firm to test a brand-new solution designed for digital performance. As an early adopter of the solution, MotorK benefited from the campaigns in the process of searching for new customer prospects, while setup and ongoing management were simplified via a single, unified campaign. Eventually, MotorK saw a 24% increment in qualified leads (based on online form submissions requesting vehicle quotes) at a CPA comparable to Search and Performance Display. Paving the way for its future prospects, the team of MotorK is injecting more capital into its initial test and Performance Max campaigns for greater geography coverage. They are eyeing more countries such as Italy, France and Spain. On top of that, the team would like to use business feeds to include auto inventory details in their ads.
PART 6 – PERFORMANCE MAX FAQS
1. How many conversions do I need for a Performance Max campaign to be effective and provide new insights?
To start getting insights, 1,000 impressions and 100 clicks are required on a monthly basis. Generally, the longer you run a Pmax campaign, the better insights you’ll be getting.
2. How quickly should I adopt Performance Max?
Although it is recommended to adopt Performance Max as soon as possible, it still ultimately depends on various factors and your specific business goals and circumstances. Consider the readiness of your business, campaign complexity, and budget and resources. If you’re unsure about the timing or how to proceed, consider consulting with digital marketing experts or agencies who specialise in Performance Max.
3. Who should use Google Ads Performance Max campaigns?
Google Ads Performance Max campaigns can be a valuable tool for a wide range of businesses and advertisers, but they are particularly well-suited for specific scenarios and objectives. It is an excellent choice for e-commerce businesses looking to drive online sales. The ability to optimise conversion value and reach potential customers across various Google networks can be highly effective in this context. If your primary goal is lead generation, Performance Max campaigns can help you efficiently capture leads and potential customers. The focus on maximising conversions is ideal for businesses seeking to gather contact information or inquiries from prospects.
In conclusion, Performance Max campaigns represent a pivotal leap forward in the world of digital advertising. Their core USP lies in their ability to seamlessly list ads across the extensive Google network, offering businesses an unparalleled opportunity to reach a larger and more diverse audience.
For businesses aspiring to expand their reach, connect with new potential customers, and elevate their online presence, Performance Max is the gateway to achieving these goals effectively. By harnessing the power of automation, machine learning, and the vast Google network, Performance Max opens doors to broader horizons.
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