Google AdWords Introduces Customer Match

Google have announced another new feature in AdWords that falls further into Facebook-style targeting – Customer Match.

This new tool will enable advertisers to target email lists on Search, Gmail and YouTube, these lists can then be uploaded manually or through the AdWords API.

It works by matching the email addresses against Google sign-in emails, with individual addresses being anonymised to ensure the product is “privacy-safe”, as Google stated.

Customer Match lets advertisers work off any previous contact they have had with their customers, and can go as far back into emails and their relationship as they wish. Advertisers can use newsletter subscribers, recent shoppers, loyalty scheme customers, or any other list and tailor ads to these audiences.

For example, if an online clothing retailer has a list of past customers, it can display relevant ads to them when they search for a product it sells on Google. Effectively, this allows advertisers to set bids and create ads specifically targeted towards predetermined audiences. This ultimately creates more valuable and compelling advertising, as you can appeal directly to your audience, rather than relying purely on site visitor behaviour.

Google Customer Match Ads - retail example

Google provided the following example on their blog to explain the tool:

Let’s say you’re a travel brand. You can now reach people who have joined your rewards program as they plan their next trip. For example, when these rewards members search for “non-stop flights to new york” on, you can show relevant ads at the top of their search results on any device right when they’re looking to fly to New York. And when those members are watching their favourite videos on YouTube or catching up on Gmail, you can show ads that inspire them to plan their next trip.

Google ads and commerce head, Sridhar Ramaswamy stated: “70% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, and relevance of a brand’s message influences their perception of a brand.” With this in mind, it’s likely that the tool will prove very useful to advertisers in helping them reach their most valuable customers in ways that are most relevant to their intent and context.

Facebook and Twitter currently offer similar products (and have for some time) which have seen great success; Custom Audiences and Tailored Audiences, therefore it’s par for the course that Google introduce a comparable tool.

Alongside this new feature, Google is expanding Similar Audiences. Similar Audiences have been available on AdWords for some time and involves Google using existing remarketing lists to characterise the types of users within them, it then makes its own audience lists based on users that have the same interests and characteristics. This list is made up only of people who have been browsing the Google Display Network (GDN) within the last 30 days. You can then use these lists to show both text and image ads to these audiences across the GDN.

Now as an extension to the original feature, you can generate Similar Audiences using Customer Match, to reach new customers with similar interests and behaviours as those whose email addresses it has, even if they haven’t interacted with your site.

The ability to obtain new customers based on the activity of existing CRM customers or users could prove to be a very valuable asset in finding new users, with targeted ads that are more likely to result in conversions.

Customer Match and Similar Audiences will be rolling out to all advertisers in the next few weeks.

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