PMax Campaigns

PMax is Google Ads’ newest, and most automated ad type.  Microsoft Ads has followed suit recently, replacing its Smart Shopping campaigns with their version of PMax.


Our shopping campaign performance management reports are designed to fit your eCommerce business objectives, product line(s), and campaigns. We include standard key performance indicators (KPI's), or we can implement custom KPI's most closely aligned to your business objectives.  One difference with our shopping reporting is our segmented performance tables. Many shopping campaigns advertise thousands of SKU's so it can be quite helpful to view performance in tabular form, with sorting. Our tabular reports can be segmented and summarize performance by product line, ad group, product type, product group, or custom label parameter - whichever is most useful to your business.

Configure PMax Asset Groups

Asset Groups in PMax are containers populated with images, video, ad copy, and targeting information. This facilitates advertising SKUs on a product feed on advertising channels other than Shopping.  Each Asset Group is attached to a Listing Group - a collection of SKUs from a product feed.

Listing Groups in PMax are similar to Product Groups in Shopping. They consist of a sub-group of products from a product feed.  A listing group could contain an entire feed, but in most campaigns, it will be a subset or category of products.

The first objective when setting up Asset Groups is to populate them with assets representing the cross-section products in an underlying listing group. Along with good ad copy in a range of formats.

PMax Product Feed Optimization

In eCommerce Shopping campaigns, the quality of product feed optimization is critical to success. It's an underlying foundation upon which everything else in a Shopping campaign will depend.

Without a well-optimized feed the campaign will never reach its potential. Shopping campaigns with weak feeds in competitive markets will reliably fail.

We’ve since tested in practice a number of methods of creating, improving, and optimizing shopping feed performance. The workflows, creative methods, and feed engineering practices we currently use are discussed in more detail in other articles.

PMax Campaign Optimization & Monitoring

Once a PMax campaign is launched, we watch its performance closely. We monitor serving momentum, PPC metrics, and audiences to optimize the campaign.

This optimization leads to the transition of the campaign from manual bidding to automated bidding. From then, we continue to manage the campaign from disapprovals to other critical issues that may arise.

PMax campaign optimization is different from other types of paid search campaigns. It's more automated and more data is hidden from the advertiser. Some refer to it as "a black box". So reporting beyond the basic metrics can be a challenge.

PMax Campaign Launch

During the period immediately after a shopping campaign launch, we're monitoring impressions and CPC's. We're also on the lookout for major issues such as a single product group consuming excessive ad spend.

Conversion tracking is checked for functionality and accuracy. Geo-targeting is monitored for any anomalies, CPC’s are checked for any out of line behavior, and the campaign is scanned for errors or warnings.

This post-launch optimization phase typically lasts 3 to 6 weeks for an average scale shopping ad campaign. A Shopping campaign enters semi-automated "orbit" once it has transitioned onto automated bidding

Target PMax Asset Groups

PMax campaign structure is defined within the campaign on two types of "Groups". Both types of groups are just software objects, or containers that aggregate other objects within a PMax campaign.

PMax Listing Groups: Provide a mechanism to group together similar products within the feed. You can create product groups using various attributes present in the feed. Typically this is used to bid similar products and product variants at the Product Group level.

PMax Asset Groups: Listing Groups are subgroups of similar product SKU's within the product feed. In small campaigns, a listing group could contain all SKUs in the campaign, but usually, it is a subset, and multiple Asset Groups are present.

In PMax the campaign targeting criteria are treated as "suggestions". The suggestions do have an influence, but the automation built into PMax is the ultimate arbiter of where the ads show up. Targeting is automated to deliver ads across all channels available to the platform.

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