Digital Marketing

Google Ads Performance Max - new smart shopping

May 8, 2022
5 min

Performance Max (PMax) launch of Google has been a hot topic among digital marketers recently. Not only the fact that PMax is replacing Google Smart Shopping but also its performance optimization features made a splash. In this blog post, we will have a brief look at PMax.

What is Performance Max?

PMax is a new type of campaign which Google aims to enable marketers to reach the full range of advertising channels: Youtube, Display, Search, Shopping, Discover, Gmail and Maps. Experienced digital marketers’ bidding and targeting strategies are combined into scenario based optimization and maximization campaign actions across the Google Network, so that digital marketers can focus on the marketing objective easily such as conversion or ROAS.

Google Network

How does it work? How is it different from Smart Shopping?

PMax automatically pulls the images, logos, videos, headlines, descriptions, audience signals and combination of these from your assets to create ads for each channel to maximize your ROI and ROAS for multiple channels. So, instead of ad groups, a new campaign structure comes into our lives - asset groups. 

Asset Group

An asset group is a collection of creatives centered on a theme or related to a target audience. The creatives of your asset group are used to assemble all of your ads and build an inventory for all applicable ad formats for your advertising objective. Video assets were optional at Display campaigns. In PMax, it is not optional -plus, if you don’t provide any video assets, then Google Ads will create them for you. You might want to give a shot to auto-generated video before creating a desired one.

Speaking of asset groups, product feed management is now more important than ever. Including as many attributes in your product feed such as Title, Brand, Price, Images, MPN/ SKU, Product_Category, Product_type, Custom Labels and providing the most explicit content with these fields are really helpful for Google to gather all of the information and combine them to find what is best for you. 


We have got another new concept of an audience signal with PMax. 

Typically, when you add audiences to your campaign, you specify exactly which type of users Google Ads should target with your ads. In other words, the targeting is under your control.

You can tell Google Ads the types of users you're interested in reaching when you build an audience signal in Performance Max and PMax will only deliver advertising based on these target categories as a starting point, though. Then, after it starts gathering data, it will spread out outside your signal and show advertising to those who exhibit behavior that implies they are likely to convert.

Performance Max automates bidding and budget strategy

As machine learning and automation substitutes heaps of processes, Google utilizes it to get the most value out of your budget. Yet, manual bidding is quite out of the question. You should keep in our mind that you don’t have control over your bids while giving a direction to Google for preferred bidding strategy.

  • Set a target ROAS - the campaign will try to meet the Target ROAS you enter
  • Set a target cost per action - the campaign will try to meet the Target CPA you enter 

Pros and Cons

  • Better performance results - Check Google’s case studies
  • Easy to set up a campaign - really helps to new users with less manual work
  • Conversion and ROAS focused optimization
  • PMax campaigns operate not as clear as Smart Shopping - “black boxes”
  • Automated campaigns mean less control over campaigns. Utilizing CRwizard’s dynamic optimization rules via Google Analytics integration can increase the control.
  • Even though Google gives a snapshot of performance assessment for each campaign, it is hard to analyze channel specific campaign performance, for now.

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