Google AdWords Introduces Customer Match

Google AdWords Introduces Customer Match

Google have introduced a new product to the marketing mix as part of its AdWords services (Announcement Here).

This is a very interesting offering from Google, for two reasons:

  • Google have been providing free email addresses to create an advertisement platform for display advertisement. Now they are proposing that they are going to target ads beyond the broad targeting of people logging into Google Apps.
  • Up until now, Google AdWords used behavioural targeting to match users to business. This was done either by search intent (Search keywords), or browsing behaviour (users who are browsing a website category X). In either case, AdWords has not been very interested in individuals.

Customer match allows advertisers to upload an email lists to AdWords and target/Segment specific ads to this list of people. In addition, you can use the “similar audience” function, to search for people similar to this group of people, for new customer acquisition.

Here are some of the off-the shelf thoughts on the pro’s and cons of what we have on offer here.


  • This targeting method provides you with granular control – content, timing, etc., specifically designed to existing customers – those who are more likely to convert over cold leads.
  • Multi-platform advertisement – your ads will be seen on popular platforms such as Gmail, YouTube, Google – and presumably any other Google Apps sites, where you can be identified by your Google Login.
  • Not all email lists are existing customers, and utilizing Customer Match can add another way of making good use of your email list.
  • You can use an email list, which you are not permitted to run an EDM (e.g., bought list)


  • You need to have a list of email address in the first place, and Customer Match only works on Gmail accounts. Not all business has a readily accessible email address of their target audience, and even if they do, this list is going to be a mix of Gmail and non-Gmail accounts.
  • The person you’re targeting has to be logged into Gmail/Google/YouTube. If you are a visitor to any of these sites but not logged in, or visiting incognito, you will be exempt from this targeting. Because of this, user behavior can affect how the success of the campaign.
  • Are the Google platforms actually relevant for the ads to be seen? Is the medium through which you are presenting the ads to your lead actually appropriate?

If you need help deciding if this is useful for you – drop us a line.

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