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Google’s new Customer Match feature is the latest enhancement for marketers to more effectively target specific customers.  It will be available to deploy within the AdWords platform across a variety of channels including Google Search, YouTube TrueView, Gmail, and Google Display Network.

The premise is simple: if you have a minimum of 1,000 emails – from, say, visitors who opted in to your newsletter, or customers who haven’t purchased from your site in a specified time range – you can upload those email addresses and target ads against them in Adwords, making segmentation and analysis that much simpler.

What does this mean for you?

Customer Match will allow you to reach audiences no matter what device they’re on, giving deeper visibility among, and insight into, users who seamlessly move from mobile to desktop to tablet throughout their purchasing journey. It will also enable you to retarget people based on their email address, which will allow you to potentially offer a more relevant messaging strategy.


The targeted groups will be bid against exactly like any other AdWords audiences (remarketing audiences, in-market audiences, etc).  Marketers will be bidding for tagged users or people located in a defined geographic area.  Google’s Similar Audiences won’t be available right away but will eventually work like they do now, with Similar Audiences created based upon tagged site-visitor audiences.

Customer Match

How it works:

  1. Advertiser uploads a list of email addresses to AdWords ‘Audiences.’ Serving minimum is 1,000 matched email addresses.
  2. For each list uploaded, Google matches the email addresses with users’ primary Google account email addresses. While all primary email addresses can be matched, on Gmail we will only serve ads to email addresses (since Gmail ads show in the Gmail environment).
  3. Corresponding Google accounts are generated into an audience list, which is ready for targeting like any other remarketing list. Advertisers can use these lists for primary targeting on YouTube in-stream Trueview campaigns and Gmail ad campaigns, and as an additional targeting method on top of keywords in Search.
  4. The file, with matched and unmatched IDs, will be deleted after matching and compliance checks.
  5. For step-by-step instructions, see Google’s support page.

What to do now:

Start testing right away – this new feature could be a very effective way of reaching specific intended audiences or customers immediately.

Find ways to start accumulating email addresses for segmented groups to target through this method, if you aren’t doing so already.

If you’re interested in advertising your products through Google’s search engine and want to learn more about Google’s Shopping Campaigns then check out this on-demand webinar.


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