The Bull’s-Eye Just Got Bigger for Targeted Ads

With users providing vast amounts of data while using Google’s services, the company has slowly rolled out more specific ways to direct targeted ads to its users, while also being mindful of their privacy.

Google’s most recent efforts comes to us as Customer Match, which allows advertisers to deliver personalized ads across devices when users are logged into their Google account. This not only means that advertisers now have direct access to current customers, but it also helps promote brand awareness during moments when conversion is more likely.

For example, imagine there is a shoe store with a loyalty program that customers can enroll in by providing their email addresses. With Customer Match, you are able to create ads specifically for these customers and can test broader keywords (e.g., “loafers”) that you might usually avoid. By doing so, you are more likely to get a conversion when someone searches Google to purchase this product because of your pre-existing relationship with the customer and the perfect timing of the ad.

(Keep in mind though, in order to take advantage of Customer Match, advertisers will need to have  at least 1,000 email addresses subscribed to their list. So if you aren’t there yet, start collecting those email addresses!)

Based on Customer Match, you can also create Similar Audiences based on the profiles of those who are part of your Customer Match campaign. Similar Audiences will allow you to target users with interests and personas resembling your current customers and to serve them ads on YouTube and Gmail.

The full benefits of these tools for advertisers is yet to be seen, but immediately identifiable ones include:

  • Raising Brand Awareness. If you’d rather use your ads to target new customers, you can use Customer Match exclude existing customers and only target those who have not opted-in to your mailing list. Similar Audiences will also help reach new customers that are similar to your current target market.
  • Reengaging the Disengaged. You can reach customers who haven’t visited your site or converted in a while by reminding them what you have to offer and why they joined the mailing list in the first place.
  • Upselling/Cross-Marketing. You can suggest complementary products based on search behavior. For example, if a customer is searching for shoes, they may also be interested in shoe trees, organizers, or cushioned insoles.

Although this may seem like advertisers now have access to a significant amount of user data, Google remains careful about choosing what information they’re able to obtain while maintaining a positive experience for its users. To support these efforts, people still have the opportunity to decide what interests for which they will be targeted.

To learn how to create your own Customer Match list, visit Google’s Adwords Support Page.

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