The Great Potential of Google Customer Match

Google Customer Match

Google recently released a new AdWords feature called ‘Customer Match’. Like other customer match programs, marketers can now upload customer email lists into AdWords’ campaigns and create their own custom audiences.

Customer match programs allow marketers to use existing customer data to better personalize ads and promotions. Prior to their evolution, reaching customers searching and viewing content within the Google network relied on customer interactions via one’s site and was dependent on cookies.

Now, marketers can gain insights into ad performance based on the customer segment, build loyalty with targeted customers, and ultimately increase lifetime value. These audiences can also be segmented and served specific ads.

Why Is Google Customer Match Important?

Customer Match custom audiences are more targeted, and marketers can directly reach the audiences in which they are most interested. Custom audiences let marketers:

  • Create synchronized messages across search, social, video, and display: Targeting emails is not new to venues such as Facebook or Twitter; it has been around for years. Google’s Customer Match, however, extends this targeting to reach beyond the venue and into a larger network of sites, Gmail Native Ads, and videos on YouTube Trueview. With Customer Match, Google Search allows advertisers to deliver smarter interactions and improve ROI.
  • Use your first-party data to find new customers with similar interests and behaviors with Gmail and YouTube: Not only does Customer Match allow marketers to directly target contacts with ads, they can find also new prospects with the “Similar Audience” feature.

Considerations Prior to Using This New Feature

While Customer Match might be a game-changer, marketers still need to keep a few considerations in mind. The percentage of users in your CRM database that have Google email addresses (Gmail) may affect your strategy, as it’s unclear whether Google will look at alternate email addresses associated to a Google account.

Also consider what percentage of users are actually signed into their accounts when actively searching. Many people still don’t sign into their Google account if they’re not using Chrome. Google uses both emails and user sign-ins in Customer Match.

Marketers should also note the following:

Fraud is still a large obstacle for embracing programmatic. Marketers may fear that impressions are not actually being served to actual humans. They also worry about the percentage of real people that have the potential to see the ad.

Unlike other venues, however, Google is great at filtering fraudulent traffic through sophisticated algorithms that detect suspicious activity and automatically credit your account. In addition, they claim to have teams of individuals proactively monitoring traffic to ensure quality and provide credits back to advertisers.

Recommendations to Marketers

Programmatic is relatively small in search, but it is growing steadily – and so are the opportunities to take advantage of it in Google. Beginner marketers should start by duplicating campaigns into customer and prospecting lists, and develop separate messaging and bidding strategies based on the audience.

Consider bidding more for customers and less for prospects. Since customers are already aware of your brand, offer them different promotions and incentives for up-sell purposes. Prospects could be served introductory offers as well as branding messaging.

The combination of Google Customer Match and Google Analytics remarketing is a great way to create highly refined segments. These segments will not solely be based on customer purchase history, but also their affinity for certain sites and the content that they have recently consumed at a website. This level of precision has never been available before and represents an evolutionary leap in marketing.



Photo: Christian Rivera, Flickr