Tech Stack PerformanceMax Campaign
Published May 6, 2024

Unlocking Success with Performance Max Campaigns

A Strategic Guide for Leveraging Performance Max Campaigns for Franchise Marketing by Location3, a Silver Partner of the FBR Summit 2024

At Location3, we specialize in full-funnel strategies for franchise corporations and franchisees, and we understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with managing multi-location businesses. Our mission is to empower your franchise network with data-driven solutions that drive growth, enhance brand visibility, and maximize ROI.

In this blog post, we delve into the world of Performance Max (PMax) campaigns and discuss our learnings and strategic insight on how to best use them (and not use them) to drive performance for your franchise brand.

What Are Performance Max Campaigns? 

PMax campaigns combine the best of Google’s machine learning capabilities with a performance-driven approach. We have activated PMax campaigns for a diverse set of franchise businesses and have developed a data-driven playbook on when, where and how to (and how not to) implement PMax for optimal results and longevity. 

One necessary factor to note is that PMax by itself isn’t an effective or scalable strategy for growing your franchise brand. While it delivers ads across the funnel within the Google ecosystem and can drive both brand awareness and conversions, it can’t reach people on digital channels such as streaming video and audio, social media, digital out of home (DOOH) or Microsoft Search. These channels are staple and necessary parts of the media mix when looking to generate demand and capture people’s attention in the moments they are receptive to hearing about what your brand has to offer.

Location3 will be at the FBR Summit in Denver, October 22-24, with more insights and advice on how to maximize your tech stack to add enhance and improve franchisee support and add value to your entire franchise network. Don’t miss it!

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At Location3, we are ad platform agnostic and believe in a holistic digital marketing strategy that encompasses every type of digital touchpoint. Additionally, as a best practice, PMax campaigns should be layered on to your traditional Google Search campaigns, not run instead of them.  We also recommend testing standalone Google Display, Demand Gen and YouTube campaigns alongside PMax to prove out efficacy of each because, in many cases, PMax isn’t the most efficient or effective campaign type, especially for lead gen goals where quality of leads hasn’t been fully finetuned. 

So, what can PMax do? It can enhance performance on Google properties like Discover, YouTube, Search, Shopping and Gmail and help to scale results within the Google ecosystem with its advanced AI algorithm and ability to optimize towards your business goals. If your KPIs include online transactions, leads or even store visits, PMax campaigns can optimize towards them. 

Scenarios Where PMax Excels 

1. E-Commerce: PMax campaigns thrive on data. If your franchise brand is e-commerce-focused, PMax can help to drive stronger sales outcomes (purchases, online orders) based on your transactional data. 

2. National programs: Utilizing brand fund or corporate budget to support the whole franchise system through a PMax campaign allows us to drive results where there is high brand and category demand and even generate brand and category demand in areas where they are lacking. 

3. Co-op or regional programs: Regional dominance is achievable through PMax campaigns with pooled local budgets or a corporate-funded initiative. PMax thrives on broader geo targeting and can optimize well at the regional level. Creative can also be tailored regionally for added locality. 

4. Higher-funded local programs: Leveraging PMax for franchisee-funded campaigns hyper-targeted to the local level can work very well if the budget is large enough. $1,500/month is required to make this work well because we are spreading the budget across so many Google surfaces – Display, Discover, Gmail, YouTube, Search.The key thing to note here though is that PMax campaigns are not the silver bullet to optimal performance on the Google platform. Like all other marketing tactics, it takes experience, testing and learning to determine whether it makes sense and how best to implement them. 

The Ideal Ingredients for Effective PMax Campaigns 

1. Search PLUS PMax:  As mentioned, PMax works best when layered on top of a traditional search program which is focused on maximizing brand terms and proven non-brand terms. We recommend restricting PMax’s search component to non-branded search so that it can deliver incremental results on unique or more elusive search terms. 

2. Good data signals:  For lead gen use cases, PMax works best when it is fed good data signals using Value Based Bidding with values applied to lead conversion actions or Offline Conversion Import – feeding your actual CRM sales data back into Google. This is the best way to get lead volume AND lead quality. 

3. High-Quality Assets: Believe it or not, the quality of your image and video assets can make or break a PMax campaign. We can recommend optimal asset combinations and help you to develop unique content leveraging our preferred AI technology. 

4. 30+ Conversions per month: PMax thrives on conversions. If your campaigns are driving more than 30 conversions monthly, you’re in a good position to reap great performance!


PMax reporting data will reveal how many leads, sales or other KPIs were generated through the campaign holistically but not by individual Google channel. So, we can’t tell which results were driven by Display or YouTube or Search etc. However, we can tell if PMax is performing better than a previously-run standalone Display, YouTube, Shopping etc. campaign. And in many cases, when set up properly, it does! While it is on the horizon, we are not currently able to report on PMax performance within LOCALACT, however we do present PMax reporting as part of a comprehensive media mix. This includes non-Google tactics such as Meta, CTV, and even SEO, so that we can attribute results across the entire marketing model and we also implement UTMs and leverage GA4 to get better visibility into granular reporting data such as which PMax asset group performed better.

Tech Stack Reboot: How to Remove Technology Roadblocks for Your Franchisees

Join the experts from Location3 at the FBR Summit this October for this hands-on, interactive workshop where you’ll learn how to identify the technology your franchisees really need and want and how to evaluate and streamline your tech stack (even if you’re not a tech expert).

Register now to save your seat!

In Summary

Performance Max campaigns can be an effective addition to the marketing mix for franchise brands, offering powerful opportunities for enhanced online performance. At Location3, we remain dedicated to full-funnel strategies, incorporating PMax as a key element in our playbook.

While PMax excels within the Google ecosystem, our commitment to a holistic digital marketing strategy extends across various channels, ensuring comprehensive audience reach. Though it’s reporting has limitations, our sophisticated measurement approach integrates non-Google tactics for a complete overview of campaign performance, incorporating your PMax data into the overall mix.

As we continue to innovate in franchise marketing, Location3 remains committed to empowering businesses with data-driven solutions, unlocking success through strategic and impactful digital marketing strategies. Contact us today to learn more on how PMax might be a good fit for you!

The ONLY Event Designed Just for Franchise Operations Teams

FBR Summit DENVERHow can you make an immediate and lasting impact on your franchisees’ success? Find out at the FBR Summit, October 22-24 in Denver, CO. The Summit is an intensive, event created just for franchise operations leaders and their teams that directly support franchisees. Don’t miss it!



About the Author: Location3

Location3 is franchising’s proven leader in driving digital transformation. We’re a catalyst for growth, and our expertise in data-driven marketing, technology and digital media helps our partners exceed business goals. Our platform (LOCALACT) also empowers franchise owners with powerful technology that optimizes their local digital presence and drives customer acquisition.
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