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.
Going for gold in a newly competitive market
South African financial services group Nedbank faced a combination of challenges and opportunities during the disruption caused by COVID-19. The country’s central bank lowered interest rates to limit economic damage, while an uptick in contactless payments and online shopping made for a competitive credit card market.
The company turned to Performance Max as it sought to stand out and drive up conversions for its new gold credit card. Results were positive with conversions increasing by 64% and the cost per conversion decreasing by 73%.
“The Performance Max campaign achieved outstanding results on click through rates and cost per application, increasing campaign reach and driving high numbers of clicks to the website,” says Nedbank Performance Media Manager Adheesha Panday.
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.”
Finding new channels by rethinking the upper funnel
Microspot, a Switzerland-based online shopping platform specialising in home entertainment and electronics, faced a challenging market situation in 2021 with declining year-over-year search queries and rising competition. The team signed up to use Performance Max with the goal of driving additional conversions and revenue on top of existing Google Ads campaigns.
“We really looked at all our creative assets to ensure we’d get maximum coverage and the best possible performance,” explains Simon Achermann, head of online at Microspot. The team included a mix of creatives, allowing Performance Max to work out which performs best for their set goals.
After six weeks of testing Performance Max, the team was able to increase revenue by 40% compared to Smart Shopping campaigns on the same product categories.
“Traditionally we’ve thought of channels outside Search and Shopping as upper funnel — so it was a big lesson to see that YouTube, for example, can be a relevant contributor when it comes to conversions,” says Achermann. “Performance Max became such a significant contributor towards our marketing objectives that we are now planning to roll it out across all our accounts.”
Driving user actions in automotive
MotorK is a leading automotive sales and marketing technology company in Europe. With a focus on helping car manufacturers and dealers improve their customers’ journeys, it was aiming to rapidly grow and acquire new customer leads for its partner brands. The company was an enthusiastic early adopter of Performance Max campaigns, seeing them as a way to achieve its goals through leveraging automation, thus improving efficiency.
Finding new prospects was key, but MotorK also wanted to make setup and ongoing management easier by using a single, unified campaign. The team started by averaging cost-per-acquisition (CPA) across existing Search and performance Display campaigns to identify a CPA target. MotorK also supplied each asset group with top-performing audiences to help speed up machine learning.
The campaign covered Google’s entire ad inventory. It was easy to implement and drove strong results, including a 24% increase in qualified leads at a CPA comparable to Search and Display campaigns.
“We observed an overall improvement in performance and lead volume month-over-month,” says Francesco Sala, vice president of performance marketing. “It’s a very good way to reach our desired objectives.” The team is now increasing investment in Performance Max campaigns to cover more countries, including France and Spain.
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.