Ever wondered what it would be like to be able to predict the future? Ever got the infamous “What budget do you recommend?” question from a client? Ever been unsure of what the trends are like for your industry?

Well, as always, the granddaddy overlord Google came through once again and created something you might just find INSANELY helpful – the Google Ads Performance Planner.

All right, now that you’re hooked, let me explain what the Performance Planner is and how it works.

What Is the Performance Planner Anyway?

The PP – for short (and yes, I will keep on calling it this, because it is funny and I have the mind of a 5-year-old) is Google’s response to the demand in predictability for the spending of your advertising bucks. It allows you to create data-based plans on your advertising spend and how changes to your campaigns might affect future performance.

You can use it to:

  • Forecast future campaign performance
  • Explore how changes to campaign settings would affect them
  • Understand seasonality and upcoming trends
  • Manage and calculate budgets for optimal performance

Now, how the heck does one program do that? Well, my friend, we’re living in the future now –I’m also disappointed by the lack of jetpacks – but what does excite me is AI. PP is able to use billions of search queries – usually updated every 24 hours – to run simulations against your current campaign performance and use that data to guide you in key decisions on your next steps of optimization.

PP simulates relevant ad auctions over the last 7-10 days while taking into account variables like seasonality, competitor performance, and the quality of your landing page.

If you’re unsure where to find it, worry not, we got you. You can either go to Google’s learning resource Skillshop or to make things easier here’s a simple graphic pointing you in the right direction.

Now, let’s get to what this title of the article promised – how do you use it, and more importantly how accurate is it?

The Top 3 Practical Ways You Can Use the Performance Planner 

1. Budgeting 

  • If you keep on getting the infamous “Limited by budget” marking on your campaigns, well good news – now you can actually see where Google thinks your spend needs to be to reach your goals. Simply select the campaign that’s struggling and create a plan for the period you want to forecast.

  • Then pick and choose what your main goals are – think of what the purpose of your campaign will be. Is it more top-of-funnel oriented? Choose Impression share. Mid funnel? No sweat – just pick clicks. You get the picture, but if you don’t – here’s a somewhat cool graphic to illustrate.

2. Increasing Your Results

  • Clients always want more results. It’s the nature of the marketing game. Sometimes you just can’t be sure what it’s going to take to get to those 30 leads per week. Luckily, PP is here to help out. Just select Conversions or Conversion value as your main metrics to focus on and let the magic commence. You don’t even have to say ABRACADABRA (though you can, it’s more fun and we won’t judge you).
  • If you need to stay within specific targets just select the one most important to you – spend, volume, or cost per acquisition. Google’s AI will take that into account while creating your custom plan.


3. Generating Different Scenarios

  • So you’ve created your perfect scenario – great! It’s going to be there as your main plan in the Explore Forecast tab. The gray dot on the line will represent your existing setup and the blue one your forecast. Now, here’s the wonderful thing – instead of creating a new plan, you can just glide along the line to see even more scenarios. Find the perfect sweet spot in seconds.

Important note: While Google does pull A LOT of data, however, your campaigns need a certain amount of data for this tool to be useful to you. If you don’t have any campaigns available, just come back in a month or so and check if you have enough data to start planning!


Final Thoughts 

Now, I may have overhyped it by a bit (okay, a lot – sue me) but that doesn’t mean this tool isn’t really helpful right now – and it’s only getting better with time. The AI prediction models are improving day-by-day, and more data is the one thing Google for sure isn’t lacking in. So why not give it a shot and see how you can start utilizing it in your daily work!


Want to learn more? Check out our previous blog posts:

Srđan Radaković is a Digital Marketing Manager at Will Marlow Agency. Srđan is agency’s sweet talker, and his communication skills are our secret sauce when it comes to client relations.

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