top of page

Demand Gen vs. Performance Max

What is Demand Gen?

In response to the surging demand for automated, data-driven advertising, Google introduced Demand Generation campaigns, an evolution of Discovery campaigns. This innovative format focuses on the top of the marketing funnel, seamlessly blending brand awareness and consideration efforts. Demand Gen nurtures potential customers across their buying journey, ultimately converting them into qualified leads.

Demand Gen campaigns leverage multi-format storytelling by delivering ads across various formats on Google’s Display Network, including YouTube, Gmail and Discover.  There is now more control over ad placements as well as introducing automated targeting with Lookalike audiences, which helps reach a wider pool of potential leads who share characteristics with your ideal customer base. 

When To Use PMAX vs. Demand Gen

Performance Max Campaigns leverage the power of AI to optimize your ads dynamically

Performance Max is a fully automated campaign type that leverages machine learning/AI to optimize campaign goals. Due to the automated aspect of this campaign, your ads may show on a wider variety of placements compared to Demand Gen.  

Demand Gen is more traditional and allows advertisers to select which channels you would want the ads to show. This gives you more control on where your ads will be placed, but may limit overall reach.

Use PMAX for:
  • Broad reach and conversions: If you want to reach a large audience and drive conversions across the entire sales funnel, then PMAX is a good choice.

  • Multiple conversion goals: PMAX can handle campaigns with various goals, from brand awareness and website traffic to lead generation and sales.

  • Limited campaign management time: PMAX is automated, so it requires less ongoing management than Demand Gen campaigns.

  • Large product portfolios: PMAX works well for businesses with a wide range of products or services.

Use Demand Gen for:
  • Brand awareness and engagement: If your primary focus is on building brand recognition and getting people interested in your product or service, Demand Gen is a better option.

  • Targeted audiences: Demand Gen offers more control over where your ads appear, allowing you to target specific audience segments and even expand past your current audience segments to amplify reach.

  • Content-driven campaigns: Demand Gen supports traditional ad formats like images and videos, which can be effective for content-focused marketing and curate strong story-telling for your product across channels.

  • More control over ad placements: You have more control over where your ads show up with Demand Gen compared to PMAX's automated approach.

In some cases, you can even use both together:
  • Demand Gen and PMAX can be complementary tools in your marketing strategy. Demand Gen cultivates potential customers throughout the awareness and consideration stages by fostering brand recognition and generating leads, while PMAX swoops in at the later stages to streamline the purchase process.

Ultimately, the best choice depends on your specific marketing goals and preferences. Consider your budget, resources, and desired level of control when making your decision.

Wondering what campaign style works for you? Ask your Paciolan Digital Marketing Rep for more information today!


Related Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page