From Spray and Pray to One-to-One Marketing

Advertising is everywhere, which is one reason why audiences are increasingly tuning out marketing messages that are not relevant to them. It’s estimated that no one ever sets eyes on 77 percent of online display ads!

This week, we learned about new Google ad products as the company announced it was taking a giant leap forward to one-to-one marketing. In a blog post, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s senior VP of ads and commerce announced the launch of Customer Match, a Custom Audiences-like feature designed to better target ads across Google’s platforms. "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," Ramaswamy said.

At AdParlor, we’ve run thousands of Custom Audience campaigns on Facebook and Twitter. From our experience, these ad product additions are very positive moves for Google.

Here’s how Google Customer Match works:

  1. Brands import their customer list and match it against signed-in users on Google.
  2. Similar to Facebook’s Custom Audiences, Google’s Customer Match enables a brand to build campaigns specifically to target their existing customer base.
  3. The brand can run this new list across Google’s biggest properties: YouTube, Gmail and search.

Leveraging Data to Drive Sales

Customer Match makes it possible to target online audiences based on advertisers’ CRM data. Brands can now target existing customers based on items they’ve viewed, or by website actions.

Google has added even more awesomeness to its offering. Consistent with Facebook Lookalike Audiences, Google’s "Similar Audience" feature allows brands to reach new potential buyers with similar interest profiles. Specifically, signed-in Google users may not be on a brand’s initial customer list, but may match a profile similar to those interested in your brand.

Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy uses an airline ticket example to make the point: when frequent flyers do a Google search of "non-stop flights to New York", they can see the airline’s offers at the top of the search results.

Using those same frequent flyer demos, an advertiser can also generate "Similar Audiences" to reach new prospects on YouTube and Gmail, for example. "With Customer Match, your brand is right there, with the right message, at the moment your customer is most receptive," Ramaswamy wrote.

Of course, these features sound a lot like Facebook’s Custom Audience ad product. And why not? They’ve been fantastically successful for Facebook.

From our view, there are some really important benefits to this offering.

  • Scale – With this move, Google leverages its massive audience, including over 900 million Google email addresses.
  • Precise targeting – Most brands have spent the past few years focusing on building their CRM profiles. This development enables them to reap the benefits of their efforts.
  • Lower purchase funnel – Consumers tend to use Google search at all stages of the purchase funnel, including lower funnel buying. The Customer Match feature allows brands to better target potential customers closer to the final purchase decision.

"This is a big move by Google," AdParlor VP of Engineering CJ Murphy said. "We have seen the incredible effect Custom and Lookalike Audiences have had for our clients on Facebook and we look forward to applying our expertise on Google."

Right Customers, Right Place, Right Time

Google says the Customer Match and Similar Audiences products will be available in over the next few weeks.

On the topic of now, that’s really what these Google ad enhancements are all about: we’ve all become less-bratty versions of Veruca Salt. As the movie character walked around Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, she made it clear that she wanted it now!

As modern day consumers, mobile phones in hand, we’re a bit like that now. Whether we’re searching for a new shirt, laptop or even a car, we want unobstructed pathways to those items—with free shipping, of course.

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