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Combining Audience and Intent in Search with Customer Match

Note: Merkle RKG will be hosting a webinar with Google about Customer Match on November 10, 2015. Please register for the webinar now to hear more about this exciting new product.

Let’s face it, your customer doesn’t always know the most efficient way to search. Margaret is a 5’1” powerhouse of a shopper who can only fit into jeans labelled “petite”, but that’s not necessarily how she searches online.

Margaret leaves the office and while riding the subway home, starts a quick search for “women’s jeans” to replace her favorite pair before this weekend. She arrives on the “women’s jeans” SERP and scrolls through the listings.

Various denim brands are represented on the SERP – some styles for juniors, some for thrifty shoppers, and some for classic denim lovers. While many styles are present on the SERP, the jeans that Margaret is really looking for, petite jeans, are not.

Your brand knows Margaret well. She bought her last five pairs of jeans from your brick and mortar store and they have all been a size 4P. You know better than she does that she is likely to find the best selection of petite-sized jeans in the style she prefers by shopping on your site. Margaret is a high value customer for you! What are you doing to get her attention on the search results page?

Enter Google Customer Match

Google just introduced a new tool that gives brands the ability to even more accurately target their Margarets. Customer Match is a new product from Google that allows brands to target both intent and identity together for the first time.

Advertisers create audiences from their brands’ customer data and target those customers online with lists of email addresses. This lets advertisers connect the intent of the searcher with the information we already know about them as a customer. Google’s Customer Match allows us to tailor both bidding and ad copy so we can put the right ads in front of the right people with the exact right messaging.

Prior to Customer Match, brands could begin to target identities through search with Google’s Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, or RLSAs. These give marketers the ability to target and bid differently based on interactions that users have taken on our site.

For example, we can use RLSAs to advertise to people that have put a product in their cart but left our site. Or we could use them by choosing not to spend money advertising to people that have purchased in the last week, since we know they’re much less likely to buy again in the next couple of days.

One notable limitation of RLSAs, however, is that the maximum membership duration is 180 days. This means that advertisers can’t alter messaging or bidding for a searchers who never interacted with their site or who last interacted with the site more than six months ago.

Customer Match doesn’t have this limitation. It’s based on the email addresses from your CRM instead of recent interaction with your website. The new ability to target through email addresses means that you’re able to market to people who may have never interacted with the site, BUT who have a relationship with you offline.

This means that all of Margaret’s in-store interactions with your brand can translate to insights online that allow your brand to reach Margaret in a new way, through search, even though she may have never visited your website.

As a result of these differences, some brands may find that they are able to impact a larger audience with Customer Match than they can with RLSAs. Along with the CRM insights we can bring to the table, this new product has the potential to be a very powerful tool.

These developments in search give us the most granular targeting that we have had to date, although importantly, both Customer Match and RLSAs have a minimum list size of 1000 users. Still, being able to leverage this product now can give you an advantage over your competitors by helping you further maximize the value of your search dollar spend.

How can your brand effectively use Customer Match to capture your Margaret? Join us for our upcoming webinar with Google on Tuesday, November 10 to hear about what you should be doing now to take advantage of Customer Match and hear strategies we’ve learned from working with our Customer Match clients.