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Google Revolutionizes Advertising ... Again

Merkle has long been heralding the opportunity of addressable media to our clients and prospects. The Rise of the Platform Marketer, our book released this summer, focused on the tools and capabilities needed to capitalize on this rapidly emerging opportunity. Today, another platform was added to the Platform Marketer’s toolkit, and it will likely prove to be the most powerful yet.

On September 28, Google announced that it will be launching a Customer Match program, enabling addressability at the individual level across YouTube, Gmail, and search. This is similar to the highly successful Facebook Custom Audiences and Twitter Tailored Audiences initiatives in that it allows marketers to upload their first-party data and target matching and similar customers on Google’s platforms.

This is a big deal. When Google does something, the world pays attention. This is in part because it’s usually pushing the envelope on what’s possible, and, more importantly to advertisers, because it covers nearly 50% of all digital advertising.  Google has always been exceptionally talented at creating engaging, dynamic programs that do a great job of balancing user benefit and advertiser value. (Before you flood my inbox, I recognize it's had its missteps like Google Wave.) We expect Customer Match to be the tip of a new era of addressability that will fundamentally impact how advertisers do business.

Digital addressability is moving very quickly. Customer Match is a departure from Facebook and Twitter’s addressable solutions because it bleeds out of social networks and into media, video, search results, and even individual email. The potential is astounding. Customer Match is using a conservative approach with its rollout, applying tight guidelines to protect users and let advertisers start getting their feet wet. But its arrival should be a clear sign to marketers in every single industry that the old spray-and-pray advertising model is dead – you must consider the individual’s journey and differentiate in a way that’s relevant to each customer’s needs.

Merkle is already testing the platform with five clients, and we’re excited to roll it out to more. Stay tuned to see how this solution creates new, exciting ways to connect with customers.