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Google Adwords Introduces Customer Match

Google AdWords Introduces Customer Match

02-10-2015Tags: PPC

At the end of September 2015, Google announced the latest targeting tool for their AdWords advertising platform. This feature, called Customer Match, enables advertisers to tailor ads based upon email addresses.

After much speculation, Google has introduced its next step in the personalisation of its advertising products. Customer Match is Google's equivalent of Facebook Custom Audiences, helping advertisers segment advertising for existing customers.

Thus enabling advertisers to be present and relevant in those intent-rich moments that truly matter. The new segmentation tool means highly targeted adverts can be displayed to the most valuable customers.

According to Google, 70% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing and relevance of a brand's message influences their perception of a brand. With the majority of search engine market share, Google is in a unique position to connect with consumers, whether searching on Google, checking emails with Gmail, or watching videos on YouTube.

In Google's own words, "Customer Match is a new product designed to help you reach your highest-value customers on Google Search, YouTube and Gmail - when it matters most".

How it works

Firstly, Customer Match requires a minimum of 1,000 email addresses. If your SME has over 1,000 targetable customers, then you're in luck - otherwise, you'll have to wait until Google move the goalposts.

The targeting tool then matches the email addresses to signed-in users on Google in a "secure and privacy-safe way".  From there, advertisers can create campaigns and adverts specifically designed to reach that audience.

Potential tactics

Customer Match is similar to remarketing, targeting email address instead of previous visits to your website.  Here are some tactics that your SME could consider:

  • Revive lapsed customers: Providing your content management system has previous customer records, Customer Match means you can target customers who haven't visited your website or purchased recently.
  • Exclude recent customers: If there's an expensive, non-brand keyword specifically targeting new customers, advertisers can exclude existing customers. Alternatively, if your product/service has a long life cycle, you may not wish to advertise to recent customers.
  • Cross or up-sell existing customers: Customer Match enables advertisers to expand their services by showing content for supplementary or complimentary products/services.

Privacy concerns

Customer Match is Google's first entrance into the personalised targeting arena, which could be alarming to many users. Therefore, Google has mandated that advertisers can "only upload customer information they've obtained in a first-party context". Secondly, Google insists that advertisers provide an email opt-out link when uploading the email database.


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