Google’s Customer Match feature is in no way new, but continuing to evolve in an attempt to surpass Facebook’s phenomenal results from lookalike modeling. Launching in late September of 2015, Customer Match has been allowing marketers the opportunity to target users based on a brand’s CRM list. Not only can you upload multiple lists depending on your marketing initiative, but also utilize the similar audiences, or even exclude users who are on a CRM list. It’s one of those amazing tools that you can’t think of a reason not to use it.
What is Customer Match good for?
A robust targeting strategy. Most clients already have a CRM list for past purchasers, newsletter subscribers, people who signed up for an offer but never purchased, and so on. Now you have the ability to easily reach those users on their desktop, mobile phones, or tablets and develop ads/offers specific to them.
Currently, Customer Match is only available on Search, Gmail, and YouTube. And because the lists do not expire or update on their own, you should refresh them regularly in order to stay relevant. Additionally, once an email list is uploaded, a similar audience will also be automatically generated. However, you can only use this feature on Gmail and YouTube. Ideally, I could see Customer Match reach its full potential by incorporating its uses on the GDN, although that is not available at the moment.
Valuable Uses of Customer Match:
- On the Search Network – Adjust audience bids at the ad group level based on performance. I typically like to start with a 0% bid in order to see the initial results, then optimize accordingly.
- On YouTube – Develop campaigns with the “similar audience” targeting in order to expand reach and find potential new users similar to your already valuable customers.
- On Gmail – Target existing customers at the top of their inbox with tailored ads specific to your marketing initiative.
Step 1: Go to your shared library and select “Audiences”. Then click the red button for Remarketing lists and select Customer emails.
Step 2: Name your audience and bulk upload your customer email addresses. The file must be in .csv format and no larger than 100MB (which is about 1.4M emails).
Step 3: Click “Upload and save list.” Like any other AdWords audience, it may take several hours to fully populate the audience pool.
Step 4: Once a list has been uploaded, you can add your Customer Match audience to either a Search, YouTube or Gmail campaign just like you would any other remarketing list.
Step 5: Your final task is to select the targeting method.
You have the option to either “target and bid”, which will show your ads only to the people in your selected list and bid on them. Your second option is to choose “bid only” , which will show ads to people on these lists and others who fit your targeting criteria. I tend to use the “target and bid” option as a way to keep the campaign/ad group tightly targeted towards my specific audience and better control budgets.
As I mentioned before, I’m eager to see how Google grows Customer Match and allows the targeting to be used on other products. Both shopping and GDN channels are continuously expanding and this targeting ability could have exponential opportunities for success.