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Rodney Ip (Google)

Rodney Ip is Global Product Lead at Google and working on the product strategy and go-to-market of Performance Max campaigns, Google’s newest campaign type within Google Ads that leverages the best of machine learning. It helps capture customers across all Google Ads channels from a single campaign.

What does a day in the life of a Global Product Lead at Google look like?

One of the things I love about working at Google in a Global Product Lead role is actually that every day is vastly different. One thing that remains consistent is that we’re always working on initiatives that help our advertisers drive growth for their businesses via Google Ads. Being in a global role, more often than not it can start early and can end late, checking in on the latest product improvements from our Engineers & Product Managers in Zurich or New York, working on the next Keyword Blogpost with our Marketing team in San Francisco, or getting feedback from our regional go-to-market and sales teams in London, Singapore, Chicago to ensure customers globally are offered the best Google Ads experience. Google is dedicated to ensuring employees have a strong work-life-balance and as such our team is supportive of flexible work hours, so throughout the day I try to take a run or bike-ride around Downtown Manhattan (New York) to maintain energy for the rest of the day.

Performance Max is a new campaign type within Google Ads. Can you briefly describe what this campaign type does and why advertisers need this?

Performance Max is our newest campaign type that aims to deliver better ROI and the greatest channel coverage of any other Google Ads campaign.

It brings together the best of Google’s automation to help our advertisers grow conversions across our full range of ad inventory and stay ahead of ongoing changes in consumer behavior. Due to the automation, it’s super easy to use and saves our users a lot of time during campaign setup, reporting and optimization so our users can spend more time on experimenting and identifying strategic opportunities to grow.

Performance Max takes the guesswork out of figuring out the right mix of channels, inventory and formats by optimizing these in real time to help advertisers capture conversions they otherwise would have missed. On average, our advertisers are seeing conversion uplift of +13% when they launch a Performance Max campaign alongside existing campaigns.

Many agencies and ads specialists are in the middle of sorting out how to approach Performance Max for their accounts and what place it must have within their current campaign setup. Do you have valuable best-practices and recommendations for them? 

Before Google, I worked at WPP in Australia, so very cognizant there may need to be some planning required when Performance Max is implemented. However, Performance Max performance uplift is strong and we’re working to help our customers adapt . What we’re seeing a lot is advertisers carving out channel agnostic performance test budgets to run Performance Max. Channel budgets are still used for existing channel-based campaigns. On average, advertisers testing Performance Max alongside existing campaigns are seeing great uplift in conversion performance.

From a technical perspective, Performance Max currently supports lower-funnel conversion goals so many of the best practices that our experts use for these types of campaigns are transferable. A few easy principles to remember is that 1. Performance Max is goal based and automation will maximize results if you define the goal and it’s value to your business, so ensure Performance Max is set up to target goals important to your business with defined values so automation can prioritize these. 2. Add as many assets as you can to your Performance Max campaign so automation can create the strongest creative and optimize these if you see any with a ‘Low’ performance score. 3. Lastly, Performance Max automation works more effectively when it has more data, so use features like Audience Signals and URL Expansion to help your Performance Max campaign use your data to learn. There’s a link here for more best practices for Performance Max. As a teaser, I’ll also be sharing more best practices at the Friends of Search conference in Amsterdam and Brussels in June!

What do  you recommend to Smart Shopping advertisers who have not yet begun upgrg their existing campaigns to Performance Max? 

We just launched a Performance Max migration tool in Google Ads to eligible advertisers and have been encouraged by the advertisers who have already started upgrading their campaigns. Smart Shopping advertisers that see these Recommendations in their accounts can see a forecast of the sales uplift from migrating Smart Shopping to Performance Max and easily upgrade their Smart Shopping campaigns. So far, SSC advertisers migrating to Performance Max are seeing a 12% increase in conversion value so it’s recommended that advertisers take advantage of this feature where it’s eligible.

With Performance Max, Google has migrated all advertising possibilities in one campaign. Medium/Large advertisers will probably not settle with the idea of just having one campaign. What kind of Performance Max campaign segmentations do you see emerging (in the future)?

In Google Ads, we have not seen a correlation between a higher number of campaigns getting better campaign performance. What we have seen at scale is that those advertisers that leverage automation features x-channel are getting strong performance uplift. Based on this insight, we are investing in more sophisticated features within Performance Max, such as expanding on the marketing objectives and goals that you can target with Performance Max, and developing more Insights and Optiscore Recommendations so our advertisers can continue to learn more about automation and provide inputs to grow performance.

Any new features for Performance Max that Google is working on where you can already give us a hint about?

An upcoming feature I’m super excited about will be updates that we have coming for Performance Max Insights. Advertisers have been asking us for more insights so I’m excited about the new Audience/Assets insight card to see which ads are resonating with which audience.

As well as this, being a data nerd myself, A/B Experiments for Performance Max will be a great way for advertisers to easily test the impact that Performance Max has on their results and the best set up moving forward.

What can people expect from your session at Friends of Search?

I mentioned earlier in the ‘day in the life of a Global Product Lead’ question, all the initiatives I work on revolve around helping advertisers drive growth for their businesses – my session at Friends of Search will be no different. You can expect to hear about Google’s latest innovations to help your business grow and how you can leverage best practices to maximize this. I’m looking forward to meeting all the brilliant experts in the EU and hearing the feedback on Performance Max.

Bob Younge

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