Do you feel like your paid media efforts are stuck at a standstill? Do you hear talk of new campaigns but don’t know how they could work for your destination marketing organization (DMO)? You're not alone — and this article is here to help.

While Performance Max dominated the paid media conversations in 2023, the landscape is ever-evolving. Enter Demand Gen: a new campaign type designed to help destinations like yours navigate every stage of your user journey. 

Whether you're seeking a surge in website visitors or want to build lasting brand love, understanding the key differences between Performance Max and Demand Gen and determining which is better for your DMO will get you on the right path to paid media success. 

Here's a breakdown.

  • Performance Max: Aims for broad conversions across the entire traveler journey — think purchases, leads, and website visits 
  • Demand Gen: Focuses on top-of-funnel goals like brand awareness, consideration, and lead generation for early-stage travelers
  • Performance Max: Leverages automatic targeting based on your goals and assets, reaching users regardless of intent

  • Demand Gen: Offers granular targeting options like keywords, interests, and in-market audiences, zeroing in on travelers showing early purchase intent

Ad Formats:
  • Performance Max: Utilizes a diverse mix of text, image, video, and interactive formats, adapting to different placements
  • Demand Gen: Primarily uses static image and video formats, highlighting clear brand messaging and captivating storytelling
Reporting & Insights:
  • Performance Max: Provides standard Google Ads reports on overall campaign performance metrics like clicks, impressions, and conversions
  • Demand Gen: Offers deeper insights with conversion path reports and data-driven attribution, revealing specific audience segments and touchpoints
  • Performance Max: Offers less control over individual ad elements and targeting
  • Demand Gen: Allows more customization for ad formats, targeting options, and campaign settings
Choosing Your Path:

The best campaign for your destination depends on your specific goals. Here are the main points to consider depending on your end goals. 

If you want … 

  • High volume of conversions: Opt for Performance Max to reach travelers across the journey.
  • Brand awareness and early-stage leads: Choose Demand Gen for targeted storytelling and nurturing connections.

Ready to chart your course?

Contact us today to start exploring how we can tailor a Google Ads strategy to take your destination’s paid media strategy to new heights.

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