Customer Match Targeting: The Next Generation of Ads

Category: Paid Search

Customer Match Targeting

For over a decade, marketers have been dreaming about achieving the holy grail of customer targeting: one-to-one marketing. When it comes to creating advertising messaging geared towards specific people, we’ve previously been limited to setting up demographics, or using cohorts to reach our target customers. However, this all changed when Google announced Customer Match Targeting, taking us above and beyond just B2C or B2B marketing, and instead shifting the paradigm to H2H: human to human.

What is Customer Match Targeting?

Customer Match Targeting is a new AdWords targeting feature that gives advertisers the ability to upload email lists and create customized ad messaging for those emails across Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube. Customer Match Targeting also has more benefits, such as being able to update customer and promotional email address lists into Google AdWords, reach customers and build new audiences more effectively, and gain enhanced cross-device targeting. As long as you have a user’s email address, you’ll be able to enter it to create a message geared towards them, no matter which Google service they’re using online.

How Does It Work?

All you need to do is upload a list of email addresses to your Google AdWords account as an audience list. This feature allows you to cater to specific users from the moment they search to the moment they buy. AdWords matches email addresses to Google accounts and discards the data once the audience list is created. From there you can target or exclude new audiences across devices and channels. When eligible, AdWords also generates “Similar Audiences” lists. Utilizing the demographic and online behavior of your existing list, the Similar Audiences feature helps you find similar people so you can target them, as well. This will help you reach even more customers and continue to help build your brand.

What Are The Benefits?

With Customer Match Targeting, now advertisers can reach specific people (as long as they have their email address), where before they were limited to targeting only groups of people. Now, you can create ultra personalized ad messaging, which you can use to speak to key customer groups, such as subscribers to your email list, previous shoppers from your website, and potential customers or prospects.

If you’re not convinced, we have some additional reasons on why you should use Customer Match Targeting. With this neat new tool, you can:

  • Generate awareness with customers who may not know about your brand or product

  • Influence consideration of your product through tailored messaging

  • Drive purchases by connecting with your customers when they show intent to buy

  • Increase loyalty and drive repeat purchases

  • Connect offline customer interactions with online behavior

Ensure Data Confidentiality

We recommend that email addresses be hashed to ensure confidentiality of the data. Hashing is one of many ways to encrypt data related to an email address into a hexadecimal string. Google will match uploaded emails to their own database of hashed users, without using the unhashed data. Keep in mind that Google only uses uploaded emails to create a matched list for marketing use. Once the lists are matched to Google accounts, the original CSV files are deleted by Google after a maximum of seven days. Emails that do no match to a Google account email address, as well as a duplicate email address, are ignored.

How To Get Started

Now, when it comes to targeting your customers, you can finetune your advertising messaging better than ever before, no matter if your customers are searching, checking their Gmail, or watching videos on YouTube. If there are specific people you want to reach through AdWords, this is one targeting feature you’ll want to take advantage of ASAP.

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