Earlier this year, we discussed how Google’s Performance Max campaigns would have a big impact on PPC advertising in 2022. In short, they would be the “ultimate smart campaign,” extending automation and machine learning to ads across all channels and inventory — all from a single campaign.
And while advertisers have been able to switch to the new program before now, Google has officially completed the transition — upgrading most Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns.
Now that we’re all on the same page, so to speak, what can we expect the impact of Performance Max campaigns to be? Will there be advantages and disadvantages in our collective future?
Here’s what we know so far.
Improvements in Conversions
Without a doubt, one of the most significant effects of the new Performance Max campaigns is conversions. According to Google, “advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping to Performance Max see an average increase of 12 percent in conversion value at the same or better ROAS (Return on Ad Spend).”
The improvements are due to automation, which powers the new campaign type to optimize budget and bids across channels in real time. Considering that ads will now show across every channel, it’s no wonder advertisers are capturing more conversion opportunities.
Take this case study, for example, where an agency ran a side-by-side test for a coffee chain, comparing the results of a Local Campaign and a Performance Max Campaign.
While the ad spend and resulting website clicks were the same for each campaign type, the location visits, impressions, and conversions were drastically different:
If one of your PPC goals is to increase foot traffic to storefronts or physical locations, the new campaign type is showing promising results!
Finding New Customers
By serving ads across all types and inventory, Performance Max campaigns also help you find new customers beyond your usual target audience. Google’s real-time understanding helps identify user intent, behavior, and context to unlock new audience segments, growing your customer base quickly and efficiently.
As an example, technology company Net4j activated Performance Max to help its lead generation efforts. They not only found new prospects this way, but they also grew their high-performing audience segments at the same time:
Gaining Deeper Insights
Not only are Performance Max campaigns delivering on their promise of increased performance, but they’re also having an impact on the quality of insights provided to advertisers.
With the Insights page, advertisers not only see what’s prompting certain actions and performance in real time, but they can also glean information about upcoming interest in the products and services your company has to offer — making your future planning more efficient and effective, too.
Because the new campaign type adjusts what it shows to users live, it can predict ongoing shifts in consumer demand to help you stay ahead of changes in economy, world events, or even hyperlocal trends.
Here’s a glimpse at the Insights page with Performance Max baked in:
Retargeting Prospects May Take a Hit
Like anything in digital advertising, big changes often come with big decisions — and one of the impacts of Performance Max campaigns involves retargeting.
For example, let’s say you have retargeting audiences set up in Smart Shopping or Local Campaigns. Unfortunately, those don’t transfer over to Performance Max in a way that’s helpful for — well — retargeting. Instead, the new campaign integrates these retargeting prospects in with the rest of your audience segments, considering them new customers.
To address this, you may need a workaround like Solutions 8 offers in this video.
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Overall, the impact of Performance Max campaigns is very encouraging, showing lifts in conversions, customers, store visits, and impressions. While there may be some drawbacks to the new campaigns, as we mentioned above, many brands and businesses are already enjoying the benefits of the switch. Why not be the next?
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