“Programmatic Advertising” has been touted as the “next big thing” for a few years, but Google’s new Performance Max campaigns are delivering programmatic results never seen before.
If you’re not familiar with the term “programmatic advertising” it refers to using automated technology for buying digital ad placements online.
That may sound a little confusing, so let’s start by looking at the opposite: Manual placement. Manual placement is where you choose which websites, or group of websites, you want your ads to show on. You might choose to show your ads on news sites, or MetService or Trade Me, or websites that talk about topics related to your product or service. Or alternatively your agency might create a remarketing campaign where they show ads to people who have previously visited your website.
When your digital marketing agency examines the results of your campaigns, they might find that certain times of day produce better results, or certain days of the week, or times of the year. In addition to that, certain demographics of people might be more likely to enquire or buy. Or they might discover that people who have an interest in particular topics are more likely to become customers.
With all these pieces of data there are opportunities to optimise the campaign by bidding more or less for specific conditions. But the reality is that manual adjustments can only allow for a small number of factors and we can never be agile and fast enough to respond to all the little signals that could indicate whether someone who is about to see an ad is more likely to be your perfect next customer.
Enter the world of programmatic advertising: The promise of programmatic advertising is that, instead of taking just a few signals into account, by using data insights and algorithms it can respond to thousands of signals to serve ads to the right user at the right time, and at the right price. The end result is that programmatic advertising should be able to produce better results – more leads and more sales – for the same ad spend.
The problem though, is that gaining access to programmatic advertising has been prohibitively expensive, and most results haven’t been as amazing as was hoped.
That is, until now, with Google’s brand new “Performance Max” campaigns.
Google have been making enormous strides in “smart campaigns” and “smart bidding” over the last few years inside of Google Ads. These campaigns and bidding strategies use increasingly powerful Artificial Intelligence to analyse thousands of signals when showing ads to users, in order to improve performance.
They have recently combined all of their learning into a brand-new campaign type called “Performance Max” and the results are leaving other programmatic advertising providers in the dust.
Performance Max campaigns allow advertisers to run ads across all of Google’s channels like YouTube, Display, Search, Shopping, Gmail, and Maps from a single campaign, and then uses Google’s incredible depth of data to get your ads in front of the right people at the right time. It’s designed to complement normal keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers.
Performance Max campaigns were only made available in January this year, but the results we have seen so far with Duoplus clients have been substantial.
In ecommerce campaigns the magic figure to measure is “ROAS” – which stands for “Return On Ad Spend”. If you have a ROAS of 8, for example, it means you received $8 in revenue for every $1 spent on ads. We had one client whose Shopping campaigns were only returning a ROAS of around 5. They are consistently hitting a ROAS of 10-15 with Performance Max. That means for every $1000 in ad spend, these campaigns are now generating $10,000 – $15,000 of ecommerce revenue!
Likewise, with non-ecommerce clients, we have seen Performance Max produce far more leads than their previous Display (image ad) campaigns. One client, who has very high performing Search campaigns, was getting only a small number of leads per month from their Display campaigns. With Performance Max they are now getting 600% more leads than their Display campaigns were producing.
(Note: It’s important to remember that Performance Max is a powerful replacement for Display and Shopping campaigns. It doesn’t replace Search campaigns that show text ads on Google’s search results pages.)
So, the promise of programmatic advertising being a gamechanger is now coming to fruition. Google’s new Performance Max campaigns are making programmatic advertising accessible to everyday businesses and are producing incredible results for many clients.
If you have Google Ads campaigns running, keep your keyword-based Search campaigns going, and test switching your Shopping, Display and even YouTube campaigns to Performance Max, and measure the results. It’s highly likely to leave your smiling.