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Performance Max campaigns launch to advertisers in Sub-Saharan Africa

The past 20 months have brought about unprecedented changes in both consumer and marketing behaviour. Whereas in 2020 people may have been searching for terms such as “DIY” or “home decor trends” to make the most of their time stuck at home, in the past few months we’ve seen a return to the type of searches we saw pre-pandemic. Globally, searches for “live music near me” have grown 400% year-on-year and searches for “healthy snacks for weight loss” grew 100% year-on-year.

Traditionally, that kind of change would have left marketers reeling to catch up. Thankfully, they no longer need a crystal ball to predict the latest consumer trends and demands. In a world where change is constant, automation is the solution. With that in mind, we introduced Performance Max campaigns in 2020. Performance Max is a new method for buying Google ads across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps from a single campaign.

After testing strongly, Performance Max campaigns will roll out to all advertisers in Sub-Saharan Africa and around the world this month. Within the next year, Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will also both be upgraded to Performance Max.

An illustration on increasing conversions with Performance Max Campaigns

Increase conversions across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory with Performance Max Campaigns

Meet your consumers on their terms
More consumers than ever before are looking online for buying inspiration. For example, 77% of South African shoppers research a product on their smartphones before buying and nearly half of the people buying consumer electronics in South Africa first learned about the product online.

Because Performance Max allows advertisers to market their businesses across the full Google Ads inventory, their ads can be visible to more customers. Performance Max can also help increase online sales, generate leads, and grow offline sales in several ways. By embracing automation, for example, advertisers can get better value from their budgets.

When COVID-19 lockdowns hit, the South African Reserve Bank responded by lowering interest rates in a bid to limit economic damage. These low interest rates alongside an increase in online shopping and contactless payments, led to a more competitive credit card market.

So when banking group Nedbank wanted to stand out in this competitive market, it used Performance Max to drive up conversions for its new, affordable, gold credit card via an online application process. The results were positive, with conversions increasing by 26% and the cost per conversion decreasing by 17%. “In just 10 days of running Performance Max, the platform achieved outstanding results on click through rates and cost per application, increasing campaign reach and driving the highest number of clicks to the website,” says Nedbank Performance Media Manager Adheesha Panday.

Advertisers can also use Performance Max to better understand how automation is working and where they can improve their campaigns.

An illustration of the Insights page

Explore the Insights page to understand your brand’s performance

An illustration of top image combinations

The combinations report allows you to see which assets perform best together and get ideas for future assets to upload.

Investment firm Old Mutual was looking to expand the customer base for its tax-free savings account (TFSA). After implementing Performance Max, TFSA sales increased by 185% and impressions increased by 260.75%. “The insights we gained from Performance Max have been instrumental in growing the tax-free savings account product and we plan to keep using the product for this reason,” says Zacharia Motsei, Digital Campaign Manager, Old Mutual South Africa.

When marketers combine high-quality creative assets and their expertise about which audiences are most likely to convert, they can make automation more effective.

As one of the continent’s largest retailers, Makro is well-established in the brick and mortar space. But with the local e-commerce sector growing rapidly, it has worked to grow its online offerings. These efforts have paid off, with online sales increasing by 40% in 2020.

“Performance Max has provided a new income revenue stream and an efficient and effective way of reaching our customers on different platforms while scaling performance and growth,” says Makro Search Engine Optimisation Manager Wasanga Mehana.”

Improvements and new features for local marketers and retailers

Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will both upgrade to Performance Max in 2022. To make the transition easier for you, we’ll take your feedback and use it to build the right tools for you. We’ll be sharing more information early next year so stay tuned for that.

We know that your business is probably ramping up its festive season marketing plans at the moment. So, for now, you can carry on using Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, but when the time is right, you can start testing Performance Max.

Posted by Alistair Mokoena, Country Director: Google South Africa