Should You Use Google Ads Performance Max? Pros & Cons

Everything today seems to both be “smart” or have some type of “machine learning” concerned. Whether it’s a telephone, a TV, or a fridge, our switch of energy to the machines could also be nicely on its approach.

This technocratic development has pushed ahead every thing within the digital world and the advertising business is actually no totally different. Tech giants like Google and Meta (Facebook) have relentlessly pursued methods to make their advert platforms as low-touch and automatic as sub-humanly doable.

smart technology comic

In the previous, I’ve commented on the drawbacks of permitting firms that you just give cash to, to manage the way you give them cash— however does all of this automation actually need to lead to some nightmarish advertising Black Mirror episode? Or is it really a revolutionary step ahead for companies advertising on-line? Perhaps the reply lies someplace within the center.

Google’s newest enterprise into this realm of automation, Performance Max Campaigns, had been launched in November of final 12 months and have been constructed as much as be the subsequent evolutionary step in digital promoting on the platform, however is it every thing that it was hyped as much as be? Is extra automation the perfect resolution for you or your small business? In this put up, I’ll break down:

  • What Google Ads Performance Max is and the way it works.
  • The professionals and cons of Performance Max campaigns.
  • Perspectives on this marketing campaign kind with respect to the age of automation.

What are Google Ads Performance Max campaigns?

Performance Max is a marketing campaign kind in Google Ads the place you outline a objective and supply all the belongings and details about what you’re promoting, and Google then auto-generates advertisements that may serve throughout all of its out there placements. That means you may run advertisements on Search, Maps, Display, YouTube, Gmail, and Discovery networks all from a single marketing campaign.

google ads performance max - networks

How do Performance Max campaigns work?

Performance Max basically takes responsive advertisements and sensible campaigns to the subsequent stage, combining these options multi functional place. In order to run them, it’s good to present Google along with your:

  • Marketing targets and targets
  • Budget
  • Creative belongings (textual content, photographs, video)
  • Geo-targets
  • Feeds (non-obligatory)
    • Google My Business
    • Google Merchant Center
    • Dynamic Ads feed
    • Business knowledge feeds
  • Audience alerts (non-obligatory)
    • First-party Audiences (lists)
    • Google Audiences (manually focused)

google ads performance max campaign overview picture

Image source

When to make use of Google Ads Performance Max

The largest query many have with regard to Performance Max is whether or not or not it ought to exchange their present campaigns and be the only supply of efficiency within the account. The fast reply is not any. Performance Max is greatest used as a complement to your pre-existing efforts. And since it’s a goal-based marketing campaign kind, it’s best used when you will have particular conversion targets (conversion targets is a comparatively new function from November 2021) like driving on-line gross sales or producing leads) and if you aren’t restricted by which channel your advertisements seem on.

In his overview on Performance Max, Dean Long says this marketing campaign kind can be greatest for advertisers who:

  • Don’t have time or assets to optimize for every channel.
  • Find it difficult to optimize numerous marketing campaign varieties for one location.
  • Don’t have a lot price range however need publicity to all Google Ads stock.
  • Have a vast price range and need to unlock new, sudden buyer segments.
  • Wish to discover new geo markets.

google ads performance max campaign setup

The professionals & cons of Performance Max

The floor goal right here—to make promoting on Google’s networks simpler and extra accessible—is attractive to the novice person who isn’t fairly acquainted on methods to run Google Ads and is overwhelmed by the plethora of choices out there. So does it work and in that case, does it work higher than the choice? Let’s run by some professionals and cons of Performance Max campaigns.

Pros of Performance Max

Feedback that I’ve heard about on Performance Max has been usually optimistic with most of the drawbacks being those that I’ll point out subsequent.

  • Makes promoting on Google simpler for novice customers: The concept of 1 marketing campaign the place you may obtain all your advertising targets with out having to arrange a number of different campaigns appeals to those that need to circumvent the educational curve.
  • Allows advertisers to concentrate on strategic efficiency drivers: Creative optimization, marketing campaign planning, and PPC reporting are a lot simpler to acquire utilizing Performance Max. With a multi-campaign technique, you will have responsive search advertisements, responsive show advertisements, and so on. with various artistic and messaging that you just’d need to compile from totally different locations or analyze individually. With Performance Max you may take a look at and assess all of these items from one place, permitting you to make strategic advertising choices sooner.
  • When used appropriately, may present spectacular outcomes: I caveat this one with “when used correctly” as a result of in case you have the right inputs in place with clearly outlined targets then Performance Max ought to give you the results you want (in concept). By appropriate inputs, I’m principally referring to what you inform Google to search for with regard to viewers concentrating on. I’d counsel utilizing first-party knowledge—that’s, in case you have an inventory of present clients, give that to Google as a substitute of counting on the AI to be taught who your audience is. It could prevent fairly a bit of cash to do that.

benefits of google ads perfomance max case study

The outcomes of Google’s Performance Max case study—take with a grain of salt, though I don’t doubt the validity of its claims.

Cons of Performance Max

The irony of Performance Max is that it inherently ought to enchantment to novice customers, but most of the cons or drawbacks come into play when a person makes “novice” errors.

  • You want clear targets: This ties into the earlier level that if you’re unclear in your advertising targets or not less than the conversion motion targets that you’re telling Google to optimize for, then your Performance Max campaigns is not going to carry out the best way you need them to. This additionally applies to the standard of advertisements or feeds. The AI just isn’t going to make your advertisements magically higher than your rivals, you must do every thing in your energy to put the perfect artistic inputs into the system.
  • Less management: The foundation of most of the criticisms surrounding sensible campaigns, automated bidding, or something remotely automated is that it takes management away from the advertiser in some respect. Those who wish to have management over each element of how their advertisements are being served could also be proof against the continued automation of their jobs.
  • Limited visiblity: Though Google is step by step including new reporting options, the final consensus right here is that it’s laborious to get particular person insights on every marketing campaign or asset mixture.
  • Machine studying doesn’t imply full automation: Relying an excessive amount of on machine studying or believing that it’ll do the job with minimal effort in your finish is a mistake you don’t need to make in Google Ads. If you aren’t diligent with the way you arrange Performance Max you will notice your self losing fairly a bit of cash. I’ve included this as a “con” as a result of I consider there’s a discrepancy between how Google markets these merchandise and the expectations of novice customers.

Are you losing cash in Google Ads? Find out quick with the free Google Ads Performance Grader.

Polarized views on Performance Max

Whenever extra automation is launched to digital advertising platforms, there are three main avenues that folks throughout the house sometimes go:

  • Those who adore it and look to undertake it to assist them both handle themselves or purchasers simpler.
  • Those who hate it as a result of they hate change or worry that purchasers inevitably gained’t want their costly experience anymore.
  • Those who see by loads of what these tech giants declare to be about.

Here is a have a look at the 2 ends of that spectrum. 

Perspective #1: It simply wants somewhat time

Lots of the angles or arguments you might get from people like me who’ve been working inside these digital platforms professionally for a few years could air on the facet of cynicism however does that imply we’re proper or simply caught in our methods?

I recall a time when Facebook sundown its Power Editor device and blended it into the core Ads Manager. At the time I used to be livid however because the years have handed the reminiscence of Power Editor has light and if I had been to revert again to it I’d most likely have a bone to select.

Power customers who’ve been working advertisements for a very long time are comfy with the platforms as they exist and aren’t all the time receptive to radical modifications that alter their day-to-day administration. But it’s doable that Performance Max is definitely good for the long term. If it turns into confirmed to work for purchasers or the entrepreneurs themselves, these criticisms will fade and there can be a larger acceptance that these instruments are superior to controlling each button and swap your self.

PPC influencer Jyll Saskin Gales is one such proponent of this school of thought. In a recent Tweet, she shared that though it took two months, her Performance Max campaign hit the sweet spot, resulting in a spike in conversions and her lowest CPA yet.

tweet in favor of google ads performance max

View the Tweet here.

Perspective #2: It’s all concerning the Benjamins

On the opposite finish of the spectrum, there are those that are extra skeptical of automation. Some really feel that automation is commonly marketed by Google to customers in an altruistic “To help you get more out of the platform” sentiment, when in actuality (many occasions) automation permits these firms to earn more money.

google ads performance max - tweet about google taking control

View the Tweet here.

(In my opinion), Google reduces visibility (assume search phrases report) after which says “this marketing thing on our platform is so hard…just give us the keys and we’ll deliver better results for you.” Those who’ve been on this business lengthy sufficient know that Google and Meta’s main concern above all else is income. If the advertiser is at nighttime about how very particularly their cash is being spent, or in the event that they lack the controls to essentially refine how that cash is spent, they’ll inevitably spend extra money.

The counter-argument is that “wouldn’t novice advertisers spend more in the past when everything was less automated and more complicated?” The reply is each sure and no. Yes, novice advertisers would try to fail and waste cash in doing so alongside the best way. However, with automation, it has by no means been simpler to spend extra money, ship some type of return, and proceed to make use of the platform.

So it’s not that customers are simply throwing cash away now; the argument is that they’ve much less management to spend it precisely how they intend to. Therefore the platforms themselves are nonetheless efficient, but how a lot of the cash is being spent effectively and precisely how is extra unclear than ever.

google ads performance max - tweet about automation taking control

View the Tweet here.

The verdict?

I don’t consider AI in advertising or automation inside digital advertising platforms is essentially good or unhealthy. The actuality is that we’re at a degree within the stage of synthetic intelligence or “machine learning” the place an ideal diploma of human intervention or route continues to be required. Is it doable that sometime, all of digital advertising can be totally automated? Perhaps, however proper now, the important thing to a profitable paid media technique is that of the person leveraging the automation to be able to get essentially the most out of it. The predominant level, as with something in digital advertising, is that each enterprise is totally different and you must leverage the instruments out there to you which might be going that will help you.

If you need to give Performance Max a attempt, you will discover a useful tutorial, together with different useful assets, in our record of free Google Ads coaching programs. If you’re already utilizing Performance Max, tell us what you consider it within the feedback beneath!