Google Ads: Performance Max vs Demand Gen

Google Ads: Performance Max vs Demand Gen
Performance Max

Performance Max and Demand Gen are both Google Ads campaign types that can be used to reach potential customers across Google's network. However, they have different goals and target different stages of the customer journey.

Performance Max is a fully automated campaign type that uses machine learning to optimize for your chosen conversion goals, such as sales, leads, or website visits. It can target people across all of Google's properties, including Search, Display, YouTube, Gmail, and Shopping.

Demand Gen is a more traditional campaign type that allows advertisers to manually select the channels where they want their ads to show. It is designed to reach people who are at the top of the funnel, such as those who are researching products or services but are not yet ready to buy.

Ad formats


Performance Max supports a wider variety of ad formats, including:

  • Images (landscape, portrait, square)
  • Videos (short-form, long-form)
  • Text ads
  • HTML5 ads

Demand Gen supports a more limited set of ad formats, including:

  • Images (landscape, portrait, square)
  • Videos (short-form only)
  • Text ads

Ad inventory

Both Performance Max and Demand Gen campaigns can run on the same inventory, which includes all of Google's owned and operated properties, such as Search, YouTube, Display, Gmail, and Shopping. However, the way that each campaign type targets inventory is different.

  • Performance Max uses machine learning to automatically select the best inventory for your campaign based on your conversion goals. This means that your ads may show on a wider variety of placements than Demand Gen ads.
  • Demand Gen allows you to manually select the channels where you want your ads to show. This means that you have more control over where your ads appear, but you may also reach a narrower audience.

Performance Max generally has more reach than Demand Gen because it is an automated campaign type that uses machine learning to optimize for your chosen conversion goals. This means that your ads may show on a wider variety of placements than Demand Gen ads, including all of Google's owned and operated properties, such as Search, YouTube, Display, Gmail, and Shopping. Additionally, Performance Max can use your first-party data to improve targeting, which can help you reach a more relevant audience.

Here are some specific reasons why Performance Max has more reach than Demand Gen:

  • Automated targeting: Performance Max uses machine learning to automatically select the best inventory for your campaign based on your conversion goals. This means that your ads may show on a wider variety of placements than Demand Gen ads, which can help you reach a larger audience.
  • First-party data: Performance Max can use your first-party data to improve targeting. This means that your ads can be shown to people who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.
  • Dynamic formats: Performance Max supports a wider variety of ad formats, including images, videos, text ads,and HTML5 ads. This means that your ads can be more engaging and dynamic, which can help you capture attention and drive conversions.

Both Demand Gen and Performance Max can run on the Google Display Network. The Google Display Network is a vast network of over 2 million websites, apps, and videos that reaches over 90% of internet users worldwide. This means that the ads can appear on a wide variety of placements, including popular websites like YouTube, Gmail, and CNN.com.

However, the way that each campaign type targets the Display Network is different.

  • Demand Gen allows advertisers to manually select the specific placements where you want your ads to show. This gives advertisers more control over where the ads appear, but it can also limit the reach.
  • Performance Max uses machine learning to automatically select the best placements for your campaign based on your conversion goals. This means that the ads may show on a wider variety of placements, but you may have less control over where they appear.

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