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Google Ads: Performance Max Review

Meet the new kid on the block, Performance Max. I’ve held off providing a review of this goal-based campaign as it has taken a little while to attract meaningful data, or find a suited industry (in my opinion).

Mileage per sector can change but, in my head, I’m starting to see an emergence of an ideal requirement, for me to recommend this to my clients. I’ve taken two clients and ran Performance Max and I wanted to break down my key findings.

Industry #1: A SaaS business that has, what I’d coin, a ‘Goldilocks zone’, a prospect persona that displays distinct behaviour traits or is at a certain and narrow point in their buying cycle. This persona is the utilisation of certain third-party services and has an underpinning business requirement or issue they are trying to fix. I utilised Performance Max in this campaign as the campaign signals allowed me to generate the parameters of the Goldilocks Zone. They are frequently visiting a range of competitors, the more competitors the stronger the signal, it allows us to diversify media buying to channels and outlets I wouldn’t normally set up in a campaign like this. With this cohort of signals, I created the assets to align very closely with the business objective to really entice them in.

Results? 22% increase in lead generation. Much higher quality leads too. Now for the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t competing Performance Max against campaigns I had set up, I would have rated the campaign competing against Performance Max as average. Spend was 9% higher and utilised the budget far more against other campaigns. Very promising results nevertheless.

Industry #2: A FMCG company that provides an alternative product to the mainstream supplier, they aren’t wholesalers but manufacturers. I’ve used Performance Max to target users in specific journeys to turn their heads when they are searching for competitors, alternative brands, or actively in the market.

Results? 30% decrease in CPC and 14% increase in CTR. This test is still under 7 days old but is tracking revenue similar to that of SMART shopping. What I have noticed is an upturn in the number of leads coming into the business, it is only showing 5% increase but with a reduction in spending, higher engagement, it certainly looks promising. There is still a little bit of cannibalisation with other campaigns but I’m really hopeful this will start and show some solid traction over the next few weeks.

So, would I recommend Performance Max? In the right industry, with the right customer behavioural targeting, I think it could work under the right management. It’s ability to target users based on controlled behaviour as opposed to giving managers the choice between keywords or no control with smart. I think there is a long way to go with Performance Max but I’d certainly think it would help to try and kick the tyres with it internally.

I’d also recommend clients to have pre-made videos, as Google can create these for you with generic background music (not good if someone is listening to YouTube, no idea who you are), and also create a content plan for writing ad copy which matches the signal criteria. If you need some help with PPC, please do have a browse over my freelance PPC services.