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Improved Google AdWords Display Network Targeting

Google recently announced that it’s changing the way in which customers can be reached through their AdWords Display Network. This should be interesting to any online marketeers that use this network, especially for widespread company branding which targets customers’ ‘other interests’.

Since 2009, advertisers have been using ‘interest category’ marketing to connect with people across the Google Display Network based on their interests. Since then, Google have added new and more powerful interest-based capabilities: affinity (for enthusiasts), custom affinity (for niche segments), and in-market audiences (for ready to buy shoppers).

As these more sophisticated audience tools offer advertisers additional flexibility and control, since January 15 2015 ‘other interests’ is no longer a targeting option for new and existing audience campaigns. Current campaigns that target ‘other interests’ will continue to run until June 2015, after which they’ll be automatically upgraded to one of these options:

  • Affinity audiences: Reach TV-like segments at scale to drive brand awareness (e.g. Kraft used affinity audiences to reach cooking enthusiasts to build awareness for their new ‘Fresh Take’ brand).
  • Custom affinity audiences: Niche segments that can be found and custom-tailored for a brand (e.g. Electronic Arts used custom affinity audiences to engage fans of specific NFL teams in their recent Madden GIFERATOR campaign. They created 32 custom affinity audiences, one per NFL team, to reach fans of specific teams with display ads timed to the real-time action on the field).
  • In-market audiences: Reach consumers while they’re actively browsing, researching or comparing products related to a category you choose (e.g. the online car dealership Autobytel uses in-market audiences to reach customers actively researching specific models, price comparisons, and consumer reviews, as opposed to casual car enthusiasts).

So the level of granularity that Google provides for controlling the targeting on its Display Network is increasing in its sophistication and will continue to do so, to give companies the best opportunities to target their customers most effectively.

You can read more about the enhanced GDN reach and if you want more information on how to better focus your Display Network targeting, contact us now for more details.