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Last month Google announced an entirely new, ground-breaking Adwords functionality – Customer Match. I haven’t seen too many people in the automotive industry discussing this new Google offering, so I wanted to raise awareness about it.
For years Google has been providing ads to anonymous consumers, based on their needs and intentions (whatever keyword information they enter into their Google Search bar). Google has also provided dealers the ability to remarket/retarget consumers who’ve been on their site via their cookies. What Google has never done, until now, is let a dealer target ads and offers to their actual customers – this is the power of “Customer Match”.
Customer match lets dealers take their customer email lists from their DMS and CRM, encrypt the lists (to ensure appropriate security for handling your customer data), and then upload them to Google. Facebook and Twitter have provided a similar service for months now, but for Google, this a completely new advertising channel, and a very exciting one for car dealers.
At DealerOn we are currently working with some of our clients on testing out this new platform. There are obvious security concerns, based on using actual customer email addresses and sharing them with a 3rd Party (Google). Fortunately, Google has put in some very strict encryption requirements to ensure that your dealership’s customer data won’t be compromised. This means that setting up your initial Customer Match campaigns is a bit more involved than just logging into Adwords and creating some new ads, but that security for your data is worth it.
An additional benefit of the Customer Match advertising platform is the “Similar Audience” functionality. Google not only lets you serve ads to your actual customer base as they browse the internet or surf YouTube, but Google also lets you target people similar to your customer base that you’ve never interacted with before. How does Google do this?
Google uses a series of algorithms, based on the demographic, psychographic, and geographic information of the people in your database to construct customer profiles of similar people in your market, with whom you may have NO relationship at all. You can then market to these people who are most similar to all of your customers, without ever having to spend additional resources to figure out exactly who they are.
If you are interested in testing out Google’s new Customer Match offering, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss whether your dealership would be a good fit for our beta test of this service.