Performance Max Drives Leads For GMC Dealer

Performance Max Drives Leads For GMC Dealer

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Date Published:
Saturday, March 5, 2022

Google introduced Performance Max at their 2021 Marketing Livestream event as a multi-channel, automated campaign designed to complement keyword-based paid search. While this may sound similar to campaign types launched in the past, such as Smart campaigns or Local campaigns, Performance Max stands out with the ability to engage users across all of Google’s inventory under one campaign.

But why is this important now?

In a November Ads & Commerce blog post, Google states, “Consumers are moving seamlessly between online experiences to find buying inspiration. 70% of U.S. shoppers report buying from a brand after seeing it on YouTube, and 91% of Google feed users say they took some kind of shopping or product-related action immediately after discovering new products, services or brands on their feed.” (1) Performance Max opens the opportunity for advertisers to take advantage of this and find more shoppers beyond the search results page. By doing so under one campaign, advertisers can leverage Google’s machine learning capabilities to optimize budgets and bids across channels in a way that was unavailable until now. 

GMC dealer gives it a test drive

The TMG team was eager to put Performance Max to the test with a specific automotive client in mind. In August, this Texas-based GMC dealer joined the beta test to uncover more customers located right in their backyard. The primary KPIs measured to determine successes were cost per lead and total lead volume. 

Though Performance Max relies heavily on automation, campaign inputs are available to steer automation and deliver improved results. We used custom geotargeting layered with audience signals to reach shoppers actively searching for GMC trucks and SUVs for this beta test. Google uses these audience signals to find consumers with similar behaviors and interests that are most likely to submit a lead or call the dealership.

Evaluating the results 

Following a four-week learning period, performance max generated significant value for our client, with leads captured at a 42% lower cost than keyword-based search campaigns alone. Total leads increased by over 70% as both calls and forms began to see improved volume just after two weeks. With the delivery scaled to include YouTube, Gmail, Discovery, Display, and Maps, impressions grew by 52%, while smart bidding helped to drive a 22% lower average CPC. 

After seeing such positive impacts within a relatively short ramp-up period, we adopted Performance Max as part of this client’s paid search strategy through the end of the year.

  • Performance Max generated 47% of all leads in Q4 but only represented around 9% of the total paid search spend during that time. 
  • Total leads in Q4 were 43% higher year over year, with a 24% lower cost per lead in 2021.
  • Q4 cost per lead from performance max traffic was by far the lowest of all campaigns.


All in all, we found the new campaign type to be highly efficient at driving incremental growth in lead volume through dynamic cross-channel budget and bid optimizations. Our team learned Performance Max is an excellent complement to keyword-based search to uncover highly relevant traffic and converting customers within our target geo. Although the campaign type is now available to all advertisers, it fits best within a strategy geared towards lead generation and may not be the best solution for an advertiser with awareness as the primary objective. Contact the team at The Moran Group to learn if Performance Max should be a part of your overall paid search strategy in 2022.

Call The Moran Group at 225-769-1059 or schedule a meeting online today!


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