Google has announced the roll-out of Customer Match, a brand new advertising model designed to help brands better define their targeting.

Much has been said about the product, but what does it mean for both businesses and consumers? We take a closer look at Google’s latest roll-out.

What is Google Customer Match?

Google Customer Match will allow advertisers to target users based on email address. Ad targeting will occur through a number of Google services, including search, YouTube and Gmail, when an individual is logged in.

Targeting will be based on the general browsing behaviours of consumers, with this information being taken from data associated with the email address that an individual will have supplied to a business or retailer, either as part of a purchase or sign-up.

How will Customer Match help retailers?

It’ll help consumer targeting become even more defined; by having ads display based on customer browsing behaviours directly associated with email address, individuals will be more likely to resonate with the ad that they’re presented with.

It’ll also allow for specific interests to be targeted, meaning ads will be only be seen by people genuinely interested in your service offering. For example, retailers will be able to target users that have made recent purchases with ads around similar products.

Let’s say a user purchased a pepperoni pizza online early on in the week. By using Customer Match, the pizza supplier will be able to target the same individual later on in the week based on the email associated with the transaction. Ads can then be around the same product (pepperoni, in this case), or similar associated items.

How will consumers be targeted?

As noted, targeting will occur across different Google services; search, YouTube and Gmail. Ads can be presented in a variety of formats, such as text, video and image – with campaigns being managed through AdWords.

Customer Match will also allow advertisers to utilise a ‘Similar Audience’ technique to target new users with similar interests and browsing behaviours to those on a primary email list (although this will only occur across YouTube and Gmail). Facebook pioneered this approach over three years ago to great success, so it was only natural for Google to explore the use of similar tactics.

Is it getting too personal?

Highly-targeted campaigns need to be personal, otherwise they wouldn’t be effective. Still, people may express concern with the ever-increasing levels of personalisation when it comes to audience targeting.

Customer Match uses techniques similar to those found as part of remarketing and display campaigns, so it’s nothing massively new. Most people will now be used to this level of targeting, while there are always ways to opt out of any form of personal targeting.

So, when can we expect Customer Match to arrive?

Google hasn’t put a date on it yet, but releases aren’t usually acknowledged unless they’re close to dropping. It’d be safe to say that we’ll see Customer Match being rolled out over the next couple of weeks.

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