5 Reasons Why Google Performance Max Is The Future of Everything Online

Reason 1:

THE FUTURE OF EVERYTHING:

A PRIMER TO GOOGLE PERFORMANCE MAX

A dad fears traffic will make him late picking up his child from school…

… so he opens his Waze app looking for an alternative route…

A woman opens her period tracking app to discover she’s late…

… and suddenly, her online feed is filled with mother and baby advertisements…

A retired couple talks about growing a garden in their backyard…

… and are shocked when gardening supply ads follow them everywhere they go online.

What do all these scenarios have in common?

Algorithms.

Invisible blocks of code.

Much like the Wizard of Oz, algorithms pull the levers behind the curtains of our lives.

These algorithms have a tremendous influence on our decisions — persuading us when we are unaware of them, influencing us more than we care to admit. 

And this force has grown exponentially over the last decade.

When you stop and think about it, virtually everything we do has an algorithm attached to it.

  • The friends we stay in touch with online…
  • How much money we make and spend…
  • The economic ebb and flow of nations…
  • All the streaming videos and the music we enjoy…
  • Even who we’ll marry.

Amazon recommends (via the recommender engine) other products to accompany the one you’ve just loaded into your chart.

Netflix leverages recommender technology so much that recommendations drive 75% of viewers’ choices.

Spotify generates a new customized playlist for each subscriber called “Discover Weekly,” which is a list of 30 songs based on your unique music taste.

Even LinkedIn uses “You may also know” or “You may also like” recommendations.

With all this recommendation technology in every area of our lives, algorithms encourage us to delegate our decision-making to machines. 

Like it or not, artificial intelligence has influenced your life’s decisions for years.

And there’s no closing this Pandora’s box now.

Because Moore’s law — the theory of computer chip transistors will double every 18 months — must undoubtedly apply to algorithms.

Algorithms building algorithms are a perfect case in point.

Sure, it may sound creepy on the surface.

But when we look at things through a different lens — a marketer’s point of view — we can appreciate that our ‘always on,’ ever-convenient online world would not exist without algorithms.

Thought of differently, instead of robots killing humanity off, they are actually helping us grow our businesses.

We get more followers. We advertise en masse. We gain more customers.

And to that point, the growth of algorithms has massive implications for marketing.

Because as you already know, algorithms run the engines behind the advertising platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Google.

But what you may not have considered is this.

The day is soon coming when recommender engine algorithms will replace traditional mass advertising as a customer’s primary source of discovery.

An example of recommender engines is those found on Amazon. You’ll recognize it when you see Amazon recommending other products, “Customers who bought X also bought Y.” 

Recommender engines are powerful because algorithms constantly work to show users additional products they may not have considered.

They show ads to us based on our online behavior, as well as others in the likelihood that we’ll find the same ads relevant.

As the future unfolds before our very eyes, artificial intelligence will ensure ads are even more predictive in nature.

And as a digital marketer yourself, you already depend on these predictive algorithms to deliver what your customers want before they even know it.

Unsurprisingly, digital advertising was one of the first industries to adopt AI.

Also, unsurprisingly, algorithmic changes are the bane of many digital marketers’ existences. 

As with Google’s Performance Max.

Performance Max allows you to engage customers across all of Google’s six channels in one easy-to-manage campaign.

With the algorithm’s real-time understanding of consumer buying intents and preferences, combined with your input data using audience signals, Performance Max can unlock new customer segments you may not have expected.

This seismic shift in the Google ad platform — and the loss of media buyer control — makes many marketers question Google’s motives.

Other media buyers, like those on the Tier 11 team, are not only excited about Google Performance Max, we embrace it with both arms.

Because it’s the inevitable next step in the evolution of marketing.

Most marketing-adjacent algorithms have often relied on a human’s help to learn, and that’s still the case in Google Performance Max.

And as an ultimate irony of sorts, the AI algorithm will prioritize ads that are more natural, empathic, and valuable to us humans.

You can assist Performance Max by paying attention to the tone of your messaging, the quality of design, and your prospect’s needs as you create new ads.

Because the key to winning is no longer technical.

It’s strategic.

It’s creative.

It’s human.

All this to say, the future success of your business depends on how well you can market your message through algorithms.

We’ll show you how to do that, but first, what exactly is Google Performance Max?

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Reason 2:

WHAT IS GOOGLE PERFORMANCE MAX?

THE FUTURE OF EVERYTHING ONLINE

"It's bigger, it's badder, ladies and gentlemen, it's too much for Mr. Incredible! You know, I went through quite a few supers to get it worthy to fight you, but man, it wasn't good enough! After you trashed the last one, I had to make some major modifications. Sure it was difficult, but you are worth it! I mean, after all, I am your biggest fan.”

Source: Syndrome, The Incredibles

As a seasoned and sophisticated marketer, you have an ultimate goal behind every campaign.

You’re hoping for a net result, whether that’s capturing new leads, selling products, building brand awareness, or perhaps something else.

You do everything you can to leave nothing to chance.

To help you obtain your goals, Performance Max (being a goal-based marketing platform) takes the goals you have for your campaign and infuses them with the power of Google’s artificial intelligence.

Google’s machine learning algorithms leverage the assets you give it to create and place ads in front of your most desired customers at exactly the right time.

That’s a bit of a mouth full, so let’s unpack it.

Performance Max is a…

  • Goal-based, machine learning algorithm that…
  • Leverages all six of Google’s channels (YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps), and…
  • Places your ads in front of your ideal prospects at the perfect time they need to see them…
  • No matter what device they are on, or where they are geographically located…
  • All from a single campaign inside Google Ad’s Manager.

Here’s what that ultimately means for you.

Performance Max is going to change digital marketing as we know it.

It’s how you are going to win in digital marketing in the future.

Because as you know, the internet moves at the speed of thought.

And since thought is always intent-based, all searches on Google are intent-based, too.

When you think about it, every search that has ever been entered into Google is seeking an answer to something that’s important to the searcher.

And the thirst for knowledge, products, and services is insatiable.

Google processes…

  • 2 trillion searches per year…
  • 6 billion searches per day…
  • 63,000 searches every second.

Remarkably, the average person conducts between three and four searches each day.

That means Performance Max’s automated machine learning algorithm has access to all those searches.

Every one of them.

Performance Max uses that search data to help you succeed.

It’s going to …

  • Take all the assets you upload into it, and then…
  • Match your assets with its trillions of online search results to…
  • Automatically create a perfect ad for your business, and…
  • Place your ads in front of your perfect prospect.

Google Performance Max is the ultimate market, message, and media match.

Here’s why it can be so effective.

Performance Max learns from people who are already buying offers like yours.

In other words, the best tool for getting new customers is your old ones.

Think about it like this.

Your existing customers won’t just drive your business — they’ll help grow it.

Here’s how.

YouTube and Display are traditionally top-of-funnel (TOFU) channels. They are outbound platforms looking to interrupt your prospects.

What Performance Max does is join those TOFU messages with customers who are already converting at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU).

It’s almost a reverse engineering of your funnel based on what’s already converting — a reverse scaling, if you will — where you leverage your BOFU clients to help convert your TOFU prospects.

Now, if you won’t read past that too quickly — if you’ll allow it to sink in — I think you’ll come to realize how powerful Performance Max can be to your business.

Because Performance Max is going to help you find new segments of customers that you probably don’t even know exist, still within your budget. 

Not only that — and this is remarkable in its scope — Performance Max even locates and picks your perfect avatar (read: customer) for you.

Here’s another thing to think about.

If you’ve ever advertised on YouTube, then you know how difficult the learning curve is, and how challenging it can be to gain a profitable return on investment.

But imagine this—with Performance Max, if Google thinks your product or service will convert best on YouTube, it automatically shows your ads on YouTube at no extra cost.

In other words, you get to use the rest of Google’s channels because you have a KPI goal set, and Performance Max will use the other channels as needed.

And all this power is just waiting on you to choose your conversion goals, load up assets, provide buying signals, choose your geo-targets, and set your budget in Performance Max inside Google Ad’s Manager.

All this is vitally important to the success of your campaigns because whoever uploads Performance Max with the best assets, based on what they know about the market and their customers, is going to win.

Reason 3:

GOAL-BASED, AUDIENCE-ORIENTED

"Studies show that when we're faced with difficult questions, our first reaction is to reach for our connected devices. What's more, when we expect to have access to information, we have lower rates of recall of the information itself, but enhanced recall of where to find it."

Source: Sparrow, Liu & Wegner [2011], "Google's Effect on Memory…"

In 2007, Google reported that 25% of all searches were considered ‘new’ and “never seen before” by Google.

Remarkably, 15 years later, on Feb 15, 2022, Google tweeted: Fun fact: 15% of all Google searches have never been searched before.   

EVERY SINGLE DAY, 500 MILLION NEW SEARCH QUERIES ARE BRAND NEW AND HAVE NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE BY GOOGLE AND ITS ALGORITHMS

Every day, 500 million searches (which make up 15% of all the queries submitted on Google Search) are new and have never been seen by Google and its algorithms!

Here’s why that’s important.

No business can keep up. Even Google can’t keep up!

That, in part, is why Google has invested $47 billion in its tech infrastructure — in the last three years alone.

Algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are Google’s answers to staying relevant.

And it should be yours, too.

That’s why you need to set your eyes on Google Performance Max.

Because Alphabet Inc., the holding company behind Google, isn’t moving away from its $47 billion investment anytime soon.

Performance Max is literally the future of Google, and if you’re paying attention, it’s also the future of your business. 

So, marketers and media buyers would do well to buckle up and settle in for the long haul.

Because the next few months with Performance Max will probably be a bit of a bumpy ride.

Especially when Google already makes 500 to 600 changes to its algorithms — each year.

That averages out to 1.3 to 1.6 algorithm changes every day.

Now, with the release of Performance Max, don’t be surprised if there’s an uptick in frequency, especially in the early days.

With stats like that, you could be forgiven if you felt somewhat overwhelmed with all the changes.

But with the rollout of Performance Max, there is also some excellent news.

The key to winning is no longer technical — it’s strategic.

 That means things shift to a creative and goal-oriented focus.

In other words, whoever provides the machine with the best avatar research, user experience, and creatives most in line with their business objectives, will win.

“The person with the best assets and signals wins.”

To do that, here’s how we have to understand this remarkable shift.

You have to shift your brain to think about people and not placements.

In the past, if you wanted to place an ad on YouTube, you created all the assets to launch a YouTube campaign.

If you wanted to run a Shopping campaign, you created a whole new set of assets.

Same thing with Search, Display, and Discover.

In other words, you created assets for each platform.

You’re now measuring something different, which means you’re targeting something different: PEOPLE.

The old way: Place an ad on YouTube, Google Search, Display, Discover, etc.

The new way: You’re seeking a PERSON wherever they are in the Google ecosystem at the moment, on whatever device, and whatever media they are on.

You’re looking for a PERSON, not a channel.

You’re seeking to be person-specific, not channel-specific.

Because as much as marketers and media buyers love doing things the old way, there’s only one person who gets to be selfish in the buying process, and that’s the buyer.

That means you must meet your customer where they are in their journey, not yours.

It also means that in the future, the survival and success of every brand in the world will depend on how well it can market using Google’s built-in algorithms.

You must think in terms of leveraging their billion-dollar technology to find people wherever they are and on whatever device they are using.

Think HUMAN NEEDS; then MARKET THROUGH THE MACHINES.

 First: Think Human Needs.

What is your prospect looking for when they do a Google search?

What pain, hope, or joy motivates them to make a purchase?

Is your prospect in a low emotion state, or a high-emotion state?

Low emotion searchers are typically sad, depressed, and lonely, and their search terms reflect their current state of mind.

You’ll know them by their use of the word “why” in their searches.

  • Why can’t I lose weight?
  • Why can’t I find a date?
  • Why am I lonely?
  • Why me?

Low emotion state prospects are problem-focused.

High emotion searchers, on the other hand, rarely use the word why when they search.

Instead, they use the word, “how” when they search online.

  • How do I lose weight?
  • How can I find a date?
  • How can I stop being so lonely?
  • How can I make more money?

High emotion state customers are solution-focused and are looking to buy from well-known brands they can trust.

Your avatar’s state of mind matters because although Performance Max is goal-based, those goals must be audience-oriented.

And Google, with its 72,000,000 data points on each user, is exceptional at handing you clients in their current state of mind as they search.

Because in the majority of cases, Google knows what you’ll buy before you buy it.

Or, as in the case of one well-known story, in April of 2015, Google apparently told a woman she was pregnant before she knew it, based solely on research and communication patterns.

Stated differently, Google knows everything. About everybody. Everywhere.

And how do they know all this?

Algorithms.

Algorithms are why you need to be marketing through the machines.

Second: Market Through the Machines.

You need to view working with Performance Max as your partner — and not a threat — and start thinking about Google’s ‘Hierarchy Of Needs.’’

What does Performance Max need from you to help you succeed?

And in what hierarchy?

If we treat Performance Max as another audience — another persona — we can begin to meet its needs in sequential order.

Which brings up the question, how do we meet Performance Max’s hierarchical needs?

What does the machine need to make the sale?

Reason 4:

MARKETING THROUGH THE MACHINES

PERFORMANCE MAX’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

Source: Charles Darwin, Origin of Species

If you are willing to adapt to the change, the algorithm suddenly becomes your friend.

Because as we’ve already seen, even Google can’t keep up with all the searches that come across the platform.

And you’re going to need its algorithmic power working for you because the customer’s journey is more complex than ever before.

GOOGLE NOW ASSUMES A 500 TOUCHPOINT SALE

In fact, Google is operating off of the assumption that it can take up to 500 digital impressions before a buyer makes a decision.

That creates quite the challenge for brands and small businesses when dealing with the unpredictable, online and offline behaviors of their prospects and customers.

The good news, though, is that because there are so many touchpoints on the path to purchase, marketers have multiple opportunities to be noticed and considered.

But 500 touchpoints? Really?

Well, it’s true if you consider a 2019 blog post on Think with Google, when the company shared samples of purchase paths for makeup, headphones, flights, and candy bars.

A candy bar took 20+ touches to get the sale. Airline flights took 500+ touches to get the sale.

Apparently, the more complex and expensive your product or service is, the more touch points will be necessary to get the sale.

That’s just one more reason why you should be using Performance Max.

Because if you’re not, you’re leaving the best of Google’s automation capabilities off the table when it comes to finding those customers across the six channels. Thanks to Google’s vast digital inventory, you have more opportunities (and more moments) to connect with your customers than ever before.

And by now, it should be clear that Performance Max is different from Google’s other ad offerings.

That’s to your advantage because the focus becomes on people, not placements, which makes it perfect for businesses focused on growing online and offline sales.

And if you’ve been paying attention, before Performance Max, the only way to reach customers was to manually create a campaign for each channel you wanted to advertise on.

Want to find customers on YouTube? Then you take the time to create a video campaign specific to YouTube.

Want to sell products or services using Google Search? Then create a search campaign.

If you’ve been a marketer for at least 5 minutes, you know how tedious and time-consuming that process becomes.

How to Market using Performance Max

Remember, whoever provides the best research, creatives, and copy to the machine — based on what they know about their market and customers — wins.

So you’ll want to provide the algorithm with high-quality assets, such as:

  • Your marketing objectives
  • Budget
  • Creative assets
    • 20 images
    • 5 logos
    • 5 videos
    • 5 headlines
  • Geo-targets
  • Feeds
    • Google My Business
    • Google Merchant Center
    • Dynamic Ads feed
    • Business data feeds
  • Audience Signals
    • First-party Audiences (including remarketing lists)
    • Google Audiences (including custom audiences)

Once you’ve taught the machine what your goals are, the automation begins to show your ads where (and when) it expects it can best get you a conversion.

That means it will automatically jump across as many of the six channels as needed to find your customer without you doing any extra work.

In another dimension, they’d call that a miracle.

In our dimension, you can call it cash in the bank.

And the best part is if you are an experienced marketer, media buyer, or business owner who has worked with Google Ad Manager in the past, setting up a Performance Max campaign is going to be easy peasy.

That’s because it’s almost the same as creating any other campaign.

Here’s how you are going to start marketing to the machine.

Jump over to the dashboard of your Google Ads Campaigns to create a new campaign

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to choose your objective:

Sales | Leads | Website traffic | Product and brand consideration | Brand awareness and reach | App promotion | Local store visits and promotions | or Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.

For the sake of argument, let’s agree that your objective is to get more Leads. 

Once you’ve clicked on Leads, you’ll need to tell Performance Max what you want the call to action to be — that is, what your conversion goal/action will be for your campaign.

Keep in mind that you’re training the machine on your goal-based campaigns.

That means you’ll want to add specific conversion goals to drive the performance you want.

Next, choose your campaign type: Search | Performance Max | Display | Shopping | Video | Discover

This is where you’ll want to choose Performance Max.

Naturally, you’ll want to name your campaign.

Next, add a budget.     

Choose the locations you want to target.

Select the language.

Ok, phase one of setting up the machine is done.

Next, let’s give Performance Max the assets we want to present to the world.

Building Your Asset Group (Ad Group)

If you’ve created campaigns before, then you already know what an ad group is.

In Google Performance Max, an Asset group functions the same way.

It’s also where you can create multiple asset groups for each campaign.

As a reminder, each asset group can have 20 images, 5 logos, 5 videos, and 5 headlines. Each campaign can have up to 100 asset groups.

All you need to do is add as many assets as you’d like, and let Google dynamically create your ads across their inventory.

If we were somehow transported back to the Salem witch trials, we’d certainly be burned at the stake for such wizardly.

Because there’s simply no explaining the magic.

All you have to do is follow the setup steps and provide the machine your assets so that it knows how to work its magic for you.

Step 1: Name your asset group

Step 2: Include a final URL 

Step 3: Add up to 20 images

You can either upload images or get Google to scan your website. If you choose to scan your website, Google will pull up images from your site and social media.

Step 4: Add up to 5 logos  

You can either upload or scan your site for logos. If you choose to scan your site, Google will get your favicon and use it as your logo.

Step 5: Add up to 5 videos

You can either upload videos from your computer or from YouTube. Just add the URL and Google will pull up those videos.

Step 6: Add up to 5 headlines

Notice the “view suggestions” link. The way “suggestions” work is that Google will create your headlines based on your site.

Whether you’re using suggestions or not, it goes without saying that to make sure that your headlines are really good and can capture your users’ interest.

Step 7: Add up to 5 long headlines

Step 8: Add descriptions

Step 9: Add a call-to-action

Under call to action, in the dropdown arrow, we highly recommend you use the automated choice as your call to action. Here’s why. Remember we are in a machine-learning world, and it’s best to stick with Google’s choices at least for this section.

Step 10: Add your business name

Step 11: Add a display path

Pro Tip: Always use a display path. This helps you to manipulate the Final URL to reinforce your offer.

Before you continue, take a look at what your ads might look like in the preview mode and see if there’s anything you need to change.

Once you’re done, it’s time to create an audience signal.

Building Your Audience Signals

Up to this point, you’ve put in a lot of thought and effort in marketing through the machine.

You’ve selected your goals, adjusted your settings, and created your assets.

Now it’s time to train the machine on how to choose the right audience to target with your campaign.

In your audience signal, you have the option to tell Google who you want to target with your ads.

When you hear the term, audience signal(s), this is part of what they mean.

By creating an audience signal, you’re giving Google the type of audience profile you want to target.

This is a starting point for machine learning. As it develops a better understanding of your customer, it’ll often expand into new and undiscovered avatars.

Your audience signal(s) include your data (this includes your remarketing and customer match lists) or any custom segment(s) you’ve curated.

Custom segments. This allows you to search users’ search activity. It also allows you to search for any downloaded apps. You can also search for website visits that you don’t own. Plus, if you’ve built your custom segments before, you can add those segments here. Or, you can add a new custom segment and build it from scratch.

Your data. While custom segments are prospects who have interacted with someone else’s website, your data is the list of people who have interacted with your site. You can think of it as your remarketing and customer match list.

Interests & detailed demographics.  This allows you to choose your audience based on demographics (e.g. parental status, marital status, education, employment, etc.) or the industry they’re interested in, like business services, consumer electronics, apparel, etc.

Demographics. This is a deeper dive into the details of your demographics. It allows you to choose the gender, age, parental status, and household income of your target audience.

Adding Your Extensions

Just like adding extensions when creating a search, you can add extensions in Performance Max to show pieces of information about your business that you can tack onto your ad. This includes your address, phone number, direct page links, coupons, or even additional websites.

And there you go — you’ve begun the process of marketing through the most powerful platform in the world.

Reason 5:

OMNICHANNEL PORTAL

"Ultimately, customers don’t care about what channel they’re shopping in or about how we deliever them a product or service. They simply know they are shopping with Walmart."

Source: Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart

In marketing, everyone faces the same dilemma.

The problem is how to reach the right customer at the right place at the right time.

So we advertise across multiple channels, like YouTube, Google Search, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

In other words, we’re functioning as multichannel advertisers.

There are a lot of challenges with multichannel attempts, however.

Manpower, capacity, talent, and time to name a few.

Other challenges include:

  • Style inconsistencies between channels
  • Miscommunication between channels
  • Frustration of customers forced to use multiple channels
  • The right tech stack

Multichannel efforts require juggling more balls than a circus clown.

What we need is an omnichannel portal.

Because integrations between multichannel and omnichannel are different. 

 

Multichannel efforts look like the image to the right. You have a business that has a website, an email list, social channels, and perhaps a physical store.

That means you’re using multiple digital channels to communicate and advertise to your audience.

This traditional, digital business model places your company at the center of the strategy. It also means a lot of manual work for your marketing team.

Because with a multichannel marketing effort, you’re forced to create assets for each channel… while trying to stay on brand.

The marketing team is constantly pushing, pushing, pushing messages out into the internet with each new campaign.

An omnichannel marketing approach, however, pulls your customer into the center of the strategy.

Your customer, in essence, becomes the magnet that draws your messages to them. Think of it like this.

Let’s imagine that Jane wants to buy a new purse and she begins her search online. In the process, Performance Max recognizes her search query and delivers the content she needs at the precise moment in time she needs it—no matter what device she’s using.

Jane’s search has, in effect, become the magnet that draws all results to her; Performance Max is the portal that allows purses to be drawn to her — no matter what device or channel she’s on.

With this kind of omnichannel advantage, Performance Max not only keeps your messages on brand across all channels—it adapts to each touchpoint your customer has with your brand.

This means that the messages your customer sees are automatically updated once she has taken an action — like when Jane has made a purchase, as an example.

That’s deep personalization at scale, and it’s impossible with a multichannel-only strategy.

Because there’s simply no way to create different assets for each channel fast enough.

No one has to tell you that optimizing your campaigns manually is time-consuming. When tasks require individual attention, they pile up and are left undone — resulting in missed opportunities.

That’s why Google Performance Max is an omnichannel godsend for advertisers.

Simply load your creative assets into the campaign, and Google’s algorithm decides when and where to show your ads across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps.

The magic in all this is that Google serves your ads to your ideal audience when they are most active.

And you can’t afford to miss that window of opportunity, because, in a recent study, Google found that immediately following the discovery of new products in their feed, a staggering 91% of those users made a product-related action.

If you’re selling anything online, you are derelict of duty if you don’t increase your chances of tapping into that 91% using Performance Max.

Especially when you consider that by combining the algorithmic power of Google’s 72,000,000 data points on each person, with a global network of billions of products and services, Performance Max can place your product front and center of your customer.

Once you have your creative assets loaded into a goal-driven campaign, the algorithm decides when and where to show your ads.

One campaign; omnichannel delivery across all of Google’s inventory.

Naturally, this means Performance Max relies heavily on the data you provide. Remember, you’re thinking human needs, but you’re marketing to the machine — feeding its hierarchy of needs.

Because once you’ve uploaded your marketing assets ( logos, images, videos, ad copy), Performance Max does two miraculous things for you:

  • Performance Max creates optimized ads for you.
    1. You build your conversion actions
    2. You feed the algorithm the creatives it needs to learn your campaign goals
    3. Performance Max analyzes your data (creatives) and creates optimized ads
  • Performance Max chooses the destination for you.
    1. You make sure URL expansion is on and filled out
    2. Performance Max decides when and where to show these ads
    3. Which may not be where you think the customer should go

Because here’s the thing to keep in mind:

Performance Max is similar to a Smart Shopping campaign, in that it dynamically creates ads for you, using the assets you provide — logos, images, videos, and ad copy.

And the AI automatically creates these ads based on the quality of your campaign data and the audience you’ve chosen to reach based on your goals.

As you provide more creative assets, the algorithm generates a wider range of ad formats to appear in more places within Google’s network.

So here’s how you should think about this: Instead of giving Google Performance Max a bunch of ads, you’re giving it assets. In essence, you’re saying…

“Ok Google, here’s a bunch of headlines, short headlines, images, and videos. I’ve given you everything you’ve asked for to meet your hierarchy of needs. Now, go create my ads.”

From there, let the algorithm do its thing, because Google knows exactly where your customer is on their buying journey.

Performance Max knows the device they are on (not that it matters), creates the perfect ad for your prospect — and delivers it in real-time.

In other words, the algorithm matches the right creatives with the right audiences, dynamically resizing and orienting your assets to better fit where they appear online.

All you do is provide your highest-quality text, image, logo, and video assets. Google’s machine learning will then find the best-performing combinations that are optimized to a user’s intent, preferences, and context.

It’s a beast of a machine, but automated solutions like Responsive Search Ads and Responsive Display Ads only work as well as the assets you provide.

That’s why you’ll want to use Ad Strength Reports to check how your assets are performing and refresh them where needed.

If you’re finding all this hard to believe, you’re not alone.

After all, you may think that after seeing your ad, a customer needs to go to a landing page to make a sale.

Performance Max, however, may see things differently, and counterintuitive to what you think should happen.

For example, the algorithm may send your prospect to a blog, or a video to get more information, because that’s what Google says they need at their current awareness level and buyer’s journey.

And because we are not smarter than the machine, the algorithm serves these ads to wherever your ideal audience is most active at any given time.

The point: Google is building your conversion path for you using an omnichannel approach.

Which is what you really want when you think about it.

Because marketers who use three or more channels in their strategy see a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign strategy.

Plus, if you have several advertising goals in mind, Performance Max reduces the number of campaigns you need to accomplish them.

For example, let’s say you have a campaign goal to generate leads, another campaign to drive sales, and a third to promote your brand.

Performance Max allows you to combine these goals into a single campaign.

You do this through Audience Signals.

And if you have a large customer list, you’ll definitely want to upload it because Google will effectively create its own lookalike audience using that data.

This is highly advantageous because your current customers are the best starting place you can have.

The exciting part is, anyone who has gone to a particular page on your website, your remarketing list, insights you’ve gleaned from your analytics… virtually any audience you can build can be uploaded into Google Performance Max.

But the most exciting thing is Google’s custom segments.

This is such a powerful tool because if you can identify a prospect’s interests — or better yet — their purchase intentions, and extract keywords from them, Performance Max will target anyone who searched for any of those terms on Google.

The real trick here is to not think about searches related to your product or service.

Instead, think about searches related to your avatar’s needs.

Remember, think about human needs, then market through the machines.

What pain points, what problems, what experiences are prospects typing into the machine?

What is the undesirable before-state they are experiencing right now that would lead to a Google search?

Find that, and you’ve captured lightning in a bottle.

Because the expansion opportunity with Performance Max is unbelievable.

Google is rolling out something called New Customer Acquisition inside of Performance Max.

This is going to be the preverbal game changer, because it helps make sure you’re not cannibalizing your existing ecosystem while generating leads or increasing sales.

Because according to Google, New Customer Acquisition will allow you to bid more for new customers than for existing customers.

Or you can focus your optimizations on new customers only — while maintaining your cost efficiency.

You’ll also have more flexible ways to identify new customers, like providing your own first-party data through Customer Match lists, setting up conversion tags, and using Google’s autodetection method. 

All of this matters because when you think about it, Google has always been most useful at the extreme bottom of the funnel.

But now, Performance Max is going to open Google up for things like list building, organic email list building, and even identify an audience — all top of funnel activities.

Google even allows you to target people who browse competitor’s websites… and this incudes apps similar to a competitor’s app.

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