How Google’s Customer Match Can Enhance Your Holiday Season

October 14, 2015

Digital Marketing Valerie Anders By Valerie Anders

Google’s Customer Match functionality has been quite the buzz in the digital advertising world recently. What this means: Google is finally focusing on first-party data.

Customer Match uses email addresses to create audiences for ad targeting and is Google’s answer to Facebook’s Custom Audiences and Twitter’s Tailored Audiences. Google matches the email addresses to users who are signed into Google Search, Gmail and YouTube. Using individual email addresses (that are hashed and anonymized) allows Google to have more control over targeting than what’s currently available through Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) or other cookie-based programs — not to mention the ability to target and track across devices.  

Now let’s get down to the part you’re really interested in — what this means for retailers.

There are multiple ways to use Customer Match, depending on your goals:

1. Exclude current customers to reach only new customers. For most retailers, a common holiday goal is to reach as many new customers as possible. Now you can simply upload a list of past purchasers and exclude them from your targeting.

2. Cross-sell/upsell to customers based on recent purchases. Think outside the box and don’t just show customers the products, but consider customizing messaging based on purchase history.

3. Bring back past customers. Target customers who have purchased from you in the past, just not recently.  

4. Expand your reach through Similar Audiences. This is where I’d recommend investing the most time. Look for your VIP customers (frequent purchasers, most loyal and most profitable) and upload that list to Customer Match. Then look for new customers with the same characteristics based on browsing behaviors, keyword searches, etc.    

Now is the time to start testing for the holiday season. Most retailers experience a higher volume of traffic during Q4, which means you can test and iterate quicker than any other time of year.  Use your lists, whether it’s just email subscribers or a customer list, to make sure you’re capitalizing on all your targeting options this holiday season.  


Blog post by Valerie Anders, product manager, ChannelAdvisor

P.S. Check out the live-blogging recap from my recent presentation about getting started with product advertising!

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