Written by Daniel Keogh on October 22, 2015
in Digital Messaging

Earlier this year, Google announced Google Sponsored Promotion (GSP). This allowed advertisers to pay to have their ads displayed in the top right position of Gmail. More recently, Google has announced Customer Match (CM). Marketers are now able to integrate their email lists into Google AdWords for an additional layer of targeting which can result in the highest potential ROI in Paid Search.




Google Customer Match


Is this a good thing? GSP was only previously available for Gmail, whereas CM is fully integrated into AdWords and allows marketers to target not only through Gmail, but through Paid Search and YouTube (which will increase reach and impressions). This lets marketers deliver their most relevant message to customers in their ecosystem that are actively looking for information in the moment they need it.

How can this generate a positive ROI? Remarketing allows marketers to effectively target people that have already shown an interest in your services or products.  Marketers can now choose any point in the customer’s path and target them at that moment. For example, if you sell shoes you can generate a list to target everyone that looked at shoes on your site, or even a specific shoe brand that you offer.  Now you can add your own CM email address target list, which has the potential to return positive results as these customers have already shown their interest in being marketed to by opting in to your email ecosystem.  Another benefit of being able to upload your own CM list is that Google allows you to build “Similar Audiences” segments from your email list. This will help broaden your reach to other potential customers that have similar interests to your target audience.

What should I watch out for? Ensure you have followed all legal requirements and have ensured CAN-SPAM/CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation) compliance (in Canada) for obtaining email addresses. There are other policies to consider when using Google’s CM, especially when it comes to targeting personal information that you have collected. For example, using PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act) as a guideline when targeting for medical reasons, you cannot collect personal information from a patient such as “experiencing back pains” search history and then start targeting them for back pain relief. Although that sounds like a good way to market your product, it can be seen as an invasion of privacy – not to mention, Big Brother-ish!

Email Marketing vs. Google Customer Match: which one is best for my organization? Rarely does any marketing tactic or channel work best in isolation. It’s always best to find a mix of approaches that complements and works well together. The biggest ROI will very likely come from email marketing; however, you may be able to get your quickest ROI through Google AdWords as ads are shown immediately allowing potential customers to click right away. With email marketing, you can tailor your message and provide more content to deliver to your email list. With AdWords, your message can still be tailored but must be very succinct with only 95 characters available at your disposal. The CMA (Canadian Marketing Association) reports that 80% of marketers studied are engaging in email marketing with 32% believing that it has their strongest ROI, while 70% are engaging in Paid Search with 27% believing that this is their strongest ROI, so both approaches are heavily used. There is no magic bullet, but the introduction of Google’s CM is certainly something to look at to see if it fits your marketing needs.

Daniel Keogh is a Digital Messaging Analyst at Ariad Communications and is Google Analytics Certified.

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