April 2 2024

4 minutes of reading

Performance Max – pros and cons


Aleksandra Dobrowolska

Performance Max is a type of advertising campaign created for advertisers who are focused on effective marketing. This format allows you to access the full range of Google Ads inventory within a single campaign. The primary goal of Performance Max is to achieve specific advertising goals. These types of campaigns complement traditional keyword campaigns and help you reach a wider audience across all Google platforms.

The advantages of the Performance Max Campaign are primarily:

  • Automation and Machine Learning:

    The Performance Max campaign uses advanced Google algorithms and machine learning, which allow for effective automation of advertising campaigns. It comes in especially handy when we want to optimize campaigns for conversions.

  • Optimization:

    Thanks to the use of learning systems and self-learning algorithms, Performance Max will enable you to fine-tune your advertising activities, which translates into better results.

  • Reaching new users:

    Large campaign reach: Performance Max helps you reach customers through various channels (search networks, display network, YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, and Discover cards) of Google, and in turn, it increases your chances of interacting with potential customers.

  • Budget Flexibility:

    Performance Max campaigns offer budget flexibility, as you can effectively allocate advertising funds following the assumed goals.

The disadvantages of such an automatic solution are:

  • Lack of full control:

    Performance Max campaigns are largely automated, which can lead to limited control over specific elements of the campaign. Some advertisers may feel the need for greater precision in ad management. We cannot choose the network where the ad is displayed. The system itself selects whether and what part of the ads to display on YT, the advertising network, or the search network. We also cannot control the frequency of ad display. We don’t know exactly what our ads will look like. PMax campaigns also do not cater to the need to view detailed reports on where and in what form the ads were displayed.

  • Need for Long-Term Optimization:

    Despite automation, effective use of Performance Max campaigns may require time to optimize and adapt to the specific needs of the advertiser. In some cases, results may only be visible after a certain time.

  • Costs:

    In some cases, Performance Max campaigns offer budget flexibility. They can incur higher costs than some traditional campaign formats, especially if not properly customized and optimized.

But is this type of campaign good for all clients? Can we offer this solution to both small and large clients?

Yes! However, our approach should vary depending on the size of the client.

Here are the main differences:

  • Complexity of campaign structures:

    Large enterprises usually have more complex campaign structures, which require a more advanced Performance Max configuration. This difference influences strategy and segmentation, allowing for adaptation to the specific needs of a large client.

    In the case of small clients. Performance max campaigns can often be treated as a collective action, without the need to separate all product categories.

  • Reaching the target audience:

    Performance Max allows small clients to effectively reach their target audience, even with limited budgets. The automated nature of these campaigns optimizes ad placements across Google’s platforms. Providing small businesses with the opportunity to connect with their audiences. We can feed the system with detailed guidelines regarding our “desired” audience. In PMax campaigns, we set signals about the audience. We can build them by selecting the data we care about most and narrowing it down to a selected group of recipients. For example non-standard segments, our individually sent data, interests, and detailed demographic data.

    For larger clients with a broad target group, Performance Max campaigns allow you to streamline your advertising efforts. Automation and a goal-driven approach enable large clients to maintain a consistent and effective presence across Google channels, ensuring maximum reach.

  • Budget flexibility:

    Performance Max campaigns are designed to be budget-friendly and accessible to small businesses. The ability to set specific campaign goals allows small clients to allocate budgets more effectively, ensuring that every dollar spent on advertising is optimized for the desired results.

    While Performance Max campaigns can be tailored to smaller budgets, they also offer flexibility for larger clients with significant advertising budgets. The automated system optimizes spend to maximize results, making it suitable for large-scale advertising strategies. The advantage of increasing budgets in PMax campaigns is that the campaign then gains more data. It reaches a larger number of users, acquires more information about their behavior and actions, collects material for optimization, and achieves even better results.

  • Adaptable to business goals:

    Performance Max campaigns can be highly customized to meet the specific goals of both small and large clients. Whether the goal is to increase website visits, increase sales, or increase brand visibility, the campaign type allows you to precisely define your goals, making it easier for companies to achieve them.

  • Maximizing return on investment:

    In the PMax campaign settings, we can choose one of two bidding strategies. Maximize conversions or maximize conversion value. If conversions have a value, selecting the latter will allow you to set the ROAS value. The more data it collects, the better the campaign will work. So at the beginning of its operation, it is worth not restricting its settings too much. If your campaign doesn’t have value-based bidding and all conversions are equally important, the ‘maximize conversions; strategy allows you to adjust your bids based on your target cost per action (CPA) setting.


Performance Max campaigns provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution that meets the unique needs of both small and large clients. The key is the ability to adapt the campaign and budget flexibility.

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