On January 29, 2022, Google announced that its new Performance Max campaign format, which was in a very limited beta last year, would quickly become the primary format instead of Smart Shopping. This while Google Shopping often represents 65 to 75% of the volume of e-commerce campaigns, and Google has so far forced advertisers to switch to the Smart Shopping solution instead of resorting to historical Shopping campaigns …
Performance Max, what is it?
Performance Max is a new Google campaign format that allows automatic distribution on all networks, all types of ads (text, display, video, use of shopping content), through one campaign: The launch of Performance Max is part of a new step towards multi-AI campaigns, more machine learning, more automation, with better results, but at the cost of losing visibility and control for advertisers. Indeed, many of the reports previously available with historical Google Shopping campaigns are no longer available for Smart Shopping and Performance Max formats; which implies a real difficulty in optimizing these campaigns. Advertisers will therefore need to adjust their working methods and structuring their campaigns to maintain control over the strategic elements for them.
The main risks when switching to Performance Max are:
-Transfer part of the scope of the “Brand” campaign (most profitable) to Performance Max (giving a false impression of cost-effectiveness)
– Appearing on the brands of competitors without desire and provoking their reaction to their own brand
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-No more opportunities to push strategic products, current promotions, etc.
-That Google’s algorithm is focused on reworking its customer base at the expense of gaining new customers
– That placing too long attribution windows on the Display and Youtube sections of Performance Max gives a false impression of profitability.
The transition from Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max is mandatory by the summer of 2022, so advertisers will have to learn to master this new type of campaign very quickly. After testing Performance Max in beta since the summer of 2021, here are some best practices you can share:
– Put your brand in the “broad negative” in the Performance Max campaign
– Put the brand of your competitors in the “broad negative” in the Performance Max campaign … and ask them reciprocally
– Design Max Performance campaign structures to maintain control over what is strategic in separating the products the advertiser will want to prioritize (current promotion, high margin products, etc.)
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-Fuel the algorithm with a “tag” strategy to push top products
-Optimize the balance between the strategy of winning new customers / re-engaging the customer base using the function for further evaluation of new customers
-Clean display and video-specific attribution windows (included in Performance Max) to take advantage of these levers without the risk of attributing sales to which they would not actually contribute.
This product is not yet mature, and many reports of it are still missing, but knowing that it will replace Smart Shopping in less than 6 months, it is imperative for Google AdS users to give priority to testing these new campaigns as an emergency. This is to better understand them and ensure a complete change by the end of the summer.