In everyday life, there are so many demands on your time, it’s hard to stay focused. Phone pings. Fitness trackers. Endless work. Family obligations. (Even the latest Wordle puzzle!) The list goes on.
Today’s marketers are facing similar pressures. Unpredictable customer behaviours across a plethora of channels and devices make it difficult to truly connect with people. As a marketer, it’s hard to understand which channels to use to reach your customers effectively.
Performance Max campaigns, now available to advertisers worldwide, offer a streamlined solution: a way to consolidate your ads across every Google channel, all in a single campaign. The new campaigns put your marketing objectives front and centre. They are designed to reach the right people, at the right times, with the right messages, on the right channels, including Search, YouTube, Display, Discover, Gmail and Maps.
With Performance Max, every asset you have goes into a single “bucket”, including text, images, and videos. These assets are combined using machine learning to create customised, compelling ads that are delivered to customers across Google channels. The campaign uses automated bidding to work towards a single goal, from lead generation to online sales, and it works within your budget — in real-time.
Performance Max also unlocks more of your most valuable audiences. By linking your first-party data, it can help you find more high-value customers, while unlocking new segments you may not have previously expected.
Brands across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa have already begun trialling these campaigns. So far we’ve seen that advertisers that use Performance Max campaigns in their account see an average increase of 13% total incremental conversions at a similar cost per action.1 Here’s what they’ve learned along the way.
Getting cost-effective leads with Renault
Renault’s Turkey team, facing strong competition, sought to generate the most effective leads across separate campaigns with different formats, on different platforms. The challenge was managing this, while syncing video, image, and search creatives across these campaigns.
Renault aimed to reach a wide demographic of potential customers: those who interacted with Renault, were considering buying a new car, showed an interest in cars, or were in a solid socio-economic position. The team wanted to reduce the cost per conversion as much as possible, increase the number of leads and save time on the campaigns. So it turned to Performance Max.
Through cost optimisation and machine learning, the campaign ensured that low-performing creatives were replaced with new creatives to improve results.
Özlem Kılıçkaya, communication director at Renault Mais, the company’s car dealer network in Turkey, says: “In a short period, we achieved success with our agency OMD, reducing our cost per conversion by 86%. Solutions that prioritise automation and evaluate platforms under a single target will support brands in realising their marketing goals in the medium-long term more quickly and efficiently.”
Hooking new customers for high-end fishing trips
FishingBooker, an online marketplace that connects fishing enthusiasts with guides and charter boats, had used Search Ads as a key source of leads since the company was founded in 2013. By early 2020, however, the company was facing two key challenges. “We had reached a limit in what we could do with Search and Display, where campaigns were already optimised,” says the brand’s Head of Paid Marketing, Uros Protic. “So we were looking to expand into other networks and connect the dots in buyers’ journeys.” Meanwhile, COVID-19 restrictions saw new bookings drop almost to zero in March and April, while refund requests spiked.
By May 2020, the team saw Search interest in previously converting terms start to recover — and FishingBooker decided to run Performance Max with a test budget campaign in early June. Results were impressive, including an 8% increase in conversions on top of existing Search campaigns. “Before the test, the most success we had with YouTube and Google Display Network [GDN] ads was in remarketing campaigns,” says Protic. “Performance Max showed us there is huge potential for us in YouTube — we now have a six-person in-house team creating video content for us. The next step is to focus on lifetime value, prioritising repeat customers. We took a couple of steps back to move four or five steps forward.”
Crossing cultures and borders with Performance Max
As the largest multi-category e-commerce marketplace in Turkey, Trendyol was ready to expand into new markets. It entered the German market with an (initially) apparel-only product lineup. The organisation needed to improve its brand awareness while facing strong competition; it was important for Trendyol to drive sales efficiently while maximising reach. The company had experience with automation and Smart Shopping campaigns so it was keen to test Performance Max.
Trendyol started with the goal of driving sales volume efficiently while increasing traffic, using every network and asset that would help meet these goals. The company followed best practice by providing high-quality assets, using first-party data, and trusting automation to optimise for each category — and the effort paid off. Using before-and-after testing, Trendyol saw a 45% increase in transactions while increasing return on ad spend (ROAS) by 59% compared to Smart Shopping campaigns.
“The simplicity of Performance Max has made it easy to expand internationally while maintaining efficiency across channels,” said Yusuf Osman, senior digital marketing specialist at Trendyol. “The ability to use first and third-party audiences alongside asset groups enabled us to prioritise our most profitable customers.” Moving forward, Trendyol plans to use Performance Max further, while using automation across networks in their seasonal discount events.
Best practices to get more from Performance Max
As more marketers use Performance Max, best practices continue to emerge. We’ve seen that setting clear goals — allowing the campaign to automatically prioritise the types of conversions that are most important to your business, irrespective of channel — is an important factor in success. Campaigns benefit from an appropriate budget that allows optimal results. It’s also key for Performance Max’s automation to know which conversions are worth more to your business than others. And as our studies above show, the more assets and options you provide Performance Max, the more combinations it can create to hit the right audience in the right places – and ultimately meet your goals.
Retailers will be able to upgrade their Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to Performance Max starting in April with a "one-click" upgrade tool in Google Ads.