Over time, Google has been moving away from manually created ads and has been making ad creation, optimization and bidding increasingly automated. Automation is already present in Dynamic Search and Dynamic Display ads, however Google is taking automation one step further with Performance Max. Performance Max is a new campaign option that fully automates ad creation and optimization across all of Google’s different channels.
How it works
Through Performance Max, Google uses machine learning technology in order to automatically create and distribute ads across their different channels. For Performance Max to work, advertisers need to create “Asset Groups” by adding different assets such as images, videos, copy, call-to-actions and well defined marketing objectives/conversion goals. Once these assets are supplied and goals are defined, Performance Max will automatically generate ads across all channels (Search, Display, Youtube, etc.) in order to touch the right audiences at the right time with the right ad. As Performance Max campaigns run, data is collected and the campaign automatically optimises itself to hit conversion goals in the most efficient way possible.
Advertisers also have the possibility to supply Performance Max campaigns with other data such as product feeds, first party audiences, Google audiences and Dynamic remarketing tags to create an optimal campaign. In addition, Performance Max also lets advertisers create ad extensions. Based on your goals, the campaign will suggest different ad extensions such as price extensions, sitelinks, promotions, callout and call extensions.
Although automation has the potential to save advertisers large amounts of manual work, automation does have its limitations. Artificial intelligence will create the ads and test them which means that there is no control over what ads are presented. Therefore, automation at scale like Performance Max is less suitable for brands that are keen on their brand image as it is difficult to achieve brand safety. The lack of segmentation and visibility of granular data makes it difficult to see how KPIs can be improved. As with every new product or industry development, Hide and Seek will test out Performance Max campaigns but will not stop using proven campaign strategies overnight. Time will tell how effective Performance Max campaigns really are and how they can be applied within the consumer journey. Testing is the key.