New Performance Max features to help you this holiday season

October 26, 2022

It’s been nearly a year since Performance Max campaigns launched to all advertisers around the world to help you increase conversions across Google’s full range of ad channels and inventory. Since then, we’ve added more and more features based on your feedback. In July, we announced the addition of optimization score, seasonality adjustments, and more. With the holiday shopping season coming up, it’s an important time for many businesses. Last year, 54% of shoppers used five or more channels—like search, video, and social media—to shop over a two-day holiday period1. That’s why today, we’re excited to share additional new features to help Performance Max meet your business goals in three key areas:

  • Plan your campaigns more efficiently
  • Customize your asset strategy
  • Evaluate your results
     

1. Plan your campaigns more efficiently


Forecast the impact of Performance Max using Performance Planner

With the holidays fast approaching, we know this is a critical time for businesses to plan their seasonal strategies. Use the new Performance Planner tool for Performance Max to create plans and understand how you can invest your budgets to maximize ROI. Performance Max in Performance Planner is rolling out now and will become available to all advertisers in the coming weeks.
 

Screenshot of the menu to create a plan in the Google Ads UI


You can forecast how your campaign may perform in the future and simulate what could happen when you adjust elements like your campaign budget and ROAS or CPA targets. Assess how changes to campaigns could affect key metrics like conversion value. Performance Planner’s forecasts are also adjusted for seasonal events so you can explore your potential holiday opportunities in the upcoming weeks. 
 

Graph showing logarithmic growth in conversions as spend increases. "You could get an estimated 1.4K conversions at $2.66 CPA for $40K"
 

Keep in mind that planning ahead and pivoting quickly should go hand-in-hand. Learn how agile marketers help their teams move faster and how they’re using AI-powered solutions like Performance Max to capture new conversion opportunities across channels in real time.
 

2. Customize your asset strategy


Plan and organize your campaigns with asset group scheduling

Asset group scheduling is another great tool for holiday campaign planning that rolled out earlier this month. Now you can add automated rules to your Performance Max asset groups. These rules allow you to schedule asset groups so that they are paused and enabled, as needed. Use these rules to run ads at specific times of day, or to create and schedule asset groups ahead of time. This is especially helpful to make sure your creative assets are approved in advance, which you can do while an asset group is paused. For example, you could schedule a new set of holiday-themed assets ahead of a special sitewide sale or promotion. Or maybe you’re hosting an in-store special event and want to schedule some assets to help promote it. 

Learn more about notable dates for this upcoming holiday season and how you can prepare ahead of time. 
 

Add more text assets with an increased number of headlines

To further enhance your asset strategy, towards the end of the year, the number of text headlines you can upload to your Performance Max asset groups will be increasing from 5 to 15! By adding more headlines, you can take advantage of machine learning’s ability to create and test even more combinations to find the best-performing variations. 
 

Illustration of 3 different people looking at shoes on their devices. Headlines are combining and then floating toward them.
 

3. Evaluate your results


Understand your performance with explanations

As you try new features in your campaign, you’ll also want to better understand your results and what’s impacting performance. Use explanations to quickly identify what’s driving performance fluctuations, diagnose issues, and view recommendations. You can see this easily in the explanations panels without having to spend hours manually cross-referencing reports and spreadsheets.

Explanations are available for all Performance Max campaigns, but there are some new explanations specifically in Performance Max campaigns for online sales with a product feed. For example, you might see explanations that offer analysis on your product status and your top-moving products, listing groups, and product types. A retailer could use these to understand which products saw the biggest changes in performance during the holiday shopping season. 
 

Learn more about your customers with first-party audience insights

To help you gain more insights into your existing customers and website visitors, add your data segments as audience signals* in your Performance Max campaigns. This also speeds up automation’s ability to find you more of these valuable, converting customers. In the coming weeks, your data segments will be added to audience insights in the Insights page. Use these insights to understand the value of your first-party data and see which of your customer lists may be converting best. 
 

These new features in Performance Max will help you further improve your campaigns and drive even stronger results this holiday season and beyond. Keep these three best practices top-of-mind as you plan your holiday strategies:
 

  • A few days leading up to peak holiday periods, make sure to adjust your Performance Max campaign budgets and ROAS or CPA targets to maximize your visibility when consumers are shopping. For example, decrease your target ROAS before key holidays to show your ads more frequently during relevant moments. This will get your campaign ready to capture additional conversion opportunities. During the peak periods, make sure to monitor performance often and adjust as needed. You can also refer to recommendations for more specific guidance on where to make adjustments.
     
  • Consider using seasonality adjustments if you have a promotion, sale, or event where you expect to see drastic changes in conversion rates or values over a short period of time. You should only use seasonality adjustments for brief, infrequent events where you expect a temporary, but significant change (e.g. greater than 30%) that will last less than 7 days. 
     
  • If you want to prioritize certain products this holiday season, you can create a separate Performance Max campaign with its own target and budget to promote these products. However, if you just want to highlight new holiday creative assets, you can create a new asset group for these in your existing Performance Max campaigns and pause your evergreen asset groups, if needed. 


To get more tips on how to optimize your Performance Max campaigns, check out our complete best practices guide and our holiday best practices.

*Audience signals and audience insights, including first-party audience insights, are not available for store goals.

Posted by Sagar Shah, Product Manager, Performance Max campaigns

 

 

1. Source: Google/Ipsos, U.S., Holiday Shopping Study, online survey, n=7,253, Americans 18+ who conducted holiday shopping activities in past two days, Oct. 2021–Jan. 2022.

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