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Rolling Out Customer Match Lists to All Accounts and What This Means for Targeting

Advertising customer match lists

Proper targeting is a fundamental piece of the marketing equation. It’s great to craft creative, impactful messages about your products and services, but those messages are only going to convert into sales if they are presented to the right people. That’s where targeting comes into the picture. You’ll need to use a detailed plan to target the right segment of the market with your message, and Customer Match from Google can help you do just that. 

This article is going to explain what Customer Match is and why it is so powerful. Also, we’ll get into some of the basics of how you can use it so you can get started leveraging this technology right away. Let’s get started!

The Basic Concept

As a business, you likely work hard to collect information about your customers and prospects. You build a database of information that these people have chosen to give to you, and you can put that information to use in a variety of marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, that data is often left behind when doing digital forms of marketing, as you might not have a good way to leverage things like phone numbers, addresses, etc. 

Customer Match allows you to get around this problem. Now, by uploading this information to Google, you can use it to find matches on various Google properties and advertise directly to those people. We’ll get more into the benefits of this approach later in the article, but it’s good enough for now to say that this technique has the potential to make your digital marketing endeavors both more productive and less expensive at the same time. 

Without getting too far into the technical weeds, we’ll attempt to quickly explain how Google makes this happen. As an advertiser, you have already uploaded your data to the Customer Match feature and set up your ad campaigns. Then, when people sign in to Google while using any of a number of Google properties, the data that is tied to their account is compared to the data that you (and other marketers) have uploaded. When a match is found, that person can be presented with a relevant ad. It’s impressive technology, to say the least, especially considering how fast it has to work to be effective. 

Here’s a quick example just to drive home the point –

  • Imagine that your business sells snowboards and related accessories online to people across the United States. To reach your target audience more effectively, you upload a list of past customers and create a Customer Match campaign within Google Ads. 
  • Next, someone who is signed in to Google and matches a piece of information in your database – an email address, perhaps – searches a term that is relevant to your products. When that search is performed, your ad can be displayed because it is a match with the customer and is relevant to what you want to sell. 
  • Hopefully, users in this position will click on those ads at a high rate, and you may enjoy an elevated conversion rate on those clicks because you are dealing with an audience of past customers who have proven that they will buy from your brand. 

The Many Advantages of Customer Match

You might already have a list of ideas growing in your head as you think about how this system can be leveraged to put the right message in front of the right people at the right time. In many ways, it’s a marketer’s dream to have such access to this kind of qualified audience. The list below will highlight some of the many reasons Customer Match is well worth your attention. 

  • Utilize various properties. Google has a huge reach across the web. Not only is the Google search engine the most popular on the internet – by a long way – but there are also plenty of other Google-owned areas to display your advertising. YouTube is the obvious other example here, with it ranking as the second most popular website in the United States (behind Google itself). So, whether your audience is hanging out on Google or over on YouTube, you can reach them and present your message. 
  • Deliver the message. Even if you have a good email address for many of your past customers, some of those messages that you send out are sure to end up in spam folders. That’s just how email marketing goes. Likewise, many of the messages will just get deleted before they are opened, even if they do land in the regular inbox. By using Customer Match, you can still leverage the contact information you have to reach past customers, only in a different way. Now, you can present them with ads on Google properties that aren’t going to get filtered or deleted, and you’ll have the opportunity to make the offer that you’d like to be seen. 
  • Segmentation. One of the most powerful ways to target your audience effectively is by segmenting the audience into various groups. This can be done with Customer Match by creating various lists with portions of your customer base that are in different areas of the buying funnel. For instance, you might have a list of people who have downloaded a free offer of yours but are yet to make a purchase. These are leads that are well down the funnel, since they already took an action, and might be ready to be presented with an offer that could lead to a sale.

It’s no surprise that this is such a popular and useful tool for marketers who work with Google platforms to reach their audience. The deeper you dig into the possibilities here, the more you find that can be useful in the pursuit of your goals. Of course, you’ll want to continually customize the way you use Customer Match to fit the specific needs of your business, as no advertising method is one-size-fits-all. 

The Financial Impact

With an unlimited budget, marketing is easy. You could just saturate all of the available channels with your message, everyone would see it, and those who are interested would make a purchase. Of course, no one has an unlimited budget, so you need to be strategic with your advertising to get the best possible return on your investment. 

So, with that in mind, it’s important to look at how Customer Match can impact the financial side of what you do as an advertiser. One of the best ways to make this technique pay off is to dial in your bids perfectly based on what you know about various segments of your audience. If you have some good data on how much various types of customers will be worth to you when they make a purchase, you can easily optimize your bidding to make sure you aren’t spending more than you should for those types of buyers. 

You can also include expected conversion rate in this math to make things even more accurate. For example, imagine that you have a segment of your audience that is at a certain point in your sales funnel for a given type of product. That product is one with a higher margin than some of the others you sell, so these leads are worth more to you than average. But, you also know that the leads in this category convert at a lower rate than your overall average, due to the higher price point of the product in question. 

With all of this information rolled together, you can decide how much to bid and what keywords you can afford to target. Optimizing your bidding strategy based on hard data rather than educated guesses is obviously preferable, and with a little tweaking, you should find that your ad campaigns quickly become more profitable than ever before thanks to this process that is grounded in known numbers from past experience. 

Customer match lists financial impact

A Useful YouTube Strategy

With the massive audience waiting to be engaged on YouTube, you won’t want to ignore that piece of this puzzle. Using video ads allows you to deliver a different kind of message than what you can accomplish with a typical display ad, even if there is a little extra effort required to produce that video ad. If you’ve taken a shot at YouTube ads previously and were underwhelmed with the results, it’s possible that you need to take a more strategic approach to finding the right viewers. 

Customer Match can help you elevate your targeting plan on YouTube to a higher level. First, you’ll need to know what segment of your customer list is worth the most to you as a business. These are the people who buy your most expensive items, or they buy frequently – or both. Of course, you can use Customer Match on YouTube to make sure this audience sees your video ads, but that might not move the needle much. After all, those people are already buying from you, and if they are some of your best customers, there might not really be much room for them to buy any more. 

But that’s not the end of the story. Another way you can leverage Customer Match is by targeting similar audiences on YouTube to the people that you have added to your list. So, make a list of those best customers and then target YouTube users who best match the same profile. That means you’ll be opening up your brand to a whole new world of people who are more likely than the average internet user to be interested in what you have to sell. This is a great way to grow your reach and feel good about investing in advertising that is likely to be connecting with people who are interested in the message. 

Ignoring the power of Customer Match would be a mistake in the modern marketing landscape. There is just too much to gain from this opportunity not to take a closer look and see how it can serve your business. Fortunately, after a short learning curve, this tool is relatively easy to use and will help you reach a variety of different types of goals. Thanks for visiting and we hope Customer Match takes your marketing ventures to new heights in the near future!

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Kate Falconer
About Kate Falconer:

For over a decade in the digital marketing industry, Kate Falconer’s primary focus has been on PPC while also learning the basics of SEO. Kate manages PPC execution and informs PPC strategy, which involves display, remarketing, video and shopping campaigns on Google Ads and Bing Ads.

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