A Comparative Look at the Value Gained Across pMax Channels (Shopping, Search, Display, and Video)

Google’s Performance Max (pMax) campaigns allow advertisers to optimize their ad spend across all of Google's channels to achieve maximum conversion value. We (and many digital marketers) wanted to know how our campaigns compare in terms of spend across pMax Shopping, Search, Video, and Display channels, so we analyzed 61 ad accounts to understand the spend, conversions, and overall value split across pMax channels.

Spend Allocation

When it comes to spend, our analysis shows a distinct preference for Shopping ads. On average, 58% of pMax spend is dedicated to Shopping ads, followed by 34% for Search.

Video and Display ads each received an equal share of 4% in terms of spend.

Here’s a breakdown of each account’s spend allocation:

A graph showing a breakdown of each account’s spend allocation across pmax ad types

Conversion Performance

The conversion data echoes the spend allocation, with Shopping and Search ads taking the lead. Shopping ads account for 60% of conversions, surpassing their spend allocation slightly. Search ads follow at 38%.

Video and Display ads trail significantly, contributing to only 1% each of conversions.

A graph showing a breakdown of each account’s conversions across pmax ad types

Overall Value Assessment

Evaluating the overall value derived from each ad type, we give the following scores based on spend and conversion performance:

  • Shopping: 61%
  • Search: 37%
  • Video: 1%
  • Display: 1%

Here’s the breakdown of the overall value for each account:

chart showing overall value across pmax campaign ad types

These numbers reflect a clear trend: Shopping and Search ads are the powerhouses of pMax campaigns, with Shopping ads being the most valuable type of ad in the pMax suite.

What Does This Mean for Advertisers?

It's important to note that this isn't a great apples-to-apples comparison, given that we didn't assess whether these accounts included sufficient image and video assets that can drive more cross-channel activity (Display - YouTube). But advertisers should take note of these trends when allocating their pMax budgets. While Shopping and Search ads currently present the greatest opportunity for return on ad spend (ROAS), it's important not to discount the role of Video and Display ads completely. They may serve as important touchpoints in the consumer journey, contributing to the final conversion in less direct but still significant ways.