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The world of AdWords has just been revolutionized—in your favor. In early October, Google announced what it is calling AdWords Customer Match. What is this and what does it mean for you? Let me explain.

You have a database with however many existing and prospective customer emails in it. Google also has a database of customer emails from its own network. When you initiate a “Customer Match” campaign and load your email address list, Google searches its database for matches.

Now comes the good part—any addresses that appear in both lists will be segmented out together as your campaign audiences. When surfing the Google network including YouTube, Gmail logins, Search Network and more, your targeted audience will be shown your ads. It essentially gives you another—very powerful—way to remarket to your existing customers or leads.

What Should You Do With This?

There are some very concrete things that you should do to take advantage of this virtual gift from Google. Following are four ideas worth considering:

  • Get more targeted with your bidding

You now have more power and flexibility in your bidding strategy and audience setup than before. You can create a campaign just for people who have actually purchased from you, from those who have interacted with you but not purchased and so forth. With a more refined audience, you can adjust your bids accordingly—with a goal of achieving a better ROI.

  • Get more targeted with your ads

Knowing more about who your ads will be shown to, you can create custom ads for very specific purposes. Perhaps you have chosen to target folks who have purchased some items from you but stopped short of adding “extras”. Use the Customer Match to create an upsell-focused remarketing ad campaign.

  • Get more competitive

If you want to be really crafty, you can use Customer Match to display your ads to people viewing your competitors’ emails or information. When you do this, you will want to be sure that your ad is created with this in mind to be most effective.

  • Get more leads

The Customer Match feature can also be used to create what Google calls a “Similar Audience”. This essentially utilizes your matched emails to search for others fitting a similar profile and can be a great way of expanding your own lead database.

Why Did Google Do This?

The introduction of Customer Match does feel much like a gift from the search engine gods. With concerns about customer privacy and customer experience overall, why would Google do something that seems to so strongly help advertisers? Because it actually helps consumers as well.

By encouraging more targeted ads, Google is helping consumers reduce their bombardment by irrelevant ads. I know that I have been frustrated by that more than once and my guess is that you have too.

With this thought in mind, then the concept that you have this great gift that you can use changes a bit. It is possible that advertisers who do not use this feature and instead continue to push out not-as-targeted campaigns could see a negative impact down the road.