Marketing is all about targeting the right people at the right time with the right message. However, when GDPR came into place in May, targeting the right people became a challenge for a wide range of global clients.
To assist brands with this challenge, earlier this year, Google launched In-market audiences. This method to connect with consumers adds another layer to the mix, allowing advertisers to connect with users that are actively researching different products and services based on their browsing history. In fact, In-market audiences can be beneficial for all brands, not just those affected by GDPR.
So, what exactly are In-market audiences?
According to Google, In-market audiences are users that are actively researching products and services and are likely to buy similar products or services to yours. However, the question on everyone’s lips is ''how exactly are the users ‘qualified’ to be in a certain in-market audience?'' Google confirmed that it's a combination of the online behaviour, in terms of sites and pages visited recently, frequency, the level of engagement with related ads and subsequent conversions.
The available categories include:
Apparel and Accessories
Autos & Vehicles
Baby & Children's Products
Beauty Products & Services*
Computers & Peripherals
Gifts & Occasions
Home & Garden
Sports & Fitness
Where should brands start?
Depending on the industry and the business model, the selection process may be a piece of cake or a guessing game. One of our Audience experts developed a more standardised process on how to approach In-market audiences selection. It's called the “Three Tier Approach”.
1. Tier One
The first step is to select all the highly relevant In-market audiences for your vertical, set them up as observations to collect data for three weeks, and then apply relevant bids. One of the tips from our Audience team is to implement positive bids but to leave the less performing ones at 0% at this stage. These audiences should align with your business and might require more time.
2. Tier Two
The second layer of In-market audiences to look at are the indirectly relevant categories to your business vertical, such as Holidays for a clothes retailer. Depending on the vertical, the first tier might not be possible. If this is the case, the indirect relevant audiences may be the best approach. A good starting point for this is to collaborate with a business marketing department to create personas of the ideal customer to select the best secondary audiences. The recommended time for collecting data at this stage is two months.
One very important thing to keep in mind at this stage: if a user is part of several categories, Google allocates them to the category with the highest bid. This would ensure the quality of traffic and positively impacts the performance. However, keep in mind that the first tier is the most relevant, so keep the highest bids for that category.
3. Tier Three
In case the lists are not applicable, another alternative is to consult the Audience recommendations by Google and select that list. As these lists are not as precise as first and second tiers, the time for collecting data should be at least several months to be conclusive enough to decide the bid adjustments.
We’ve seen really positive results from In-market audiences compared to “normal” traffic, but the results also depend on the vertical. Below is a comparison across a few verticals and the percentage difference seen between normal traffic and the In-market audiences.
The results for Fashion Retail appears low, but the value that In-market audiences add is newly qualified traffic that will feed the remarketing lists. Overall, the conversion rate is higher.
In-market audiences add value by driving incremental conversions and leads, but also take advantage of a very powerful classification system based on in-market behaviour. Additionally, when used in conjunction with Adwords IF, customisers allow you to deliver the right message to the right users at the right time.
Moreover, it is a great generator of qualified traffic, which builds up your remarketing list and shapes a very powerful targeting tool. However, looking at the lists from a more strategic perspective, instead of ticking boxes, is really important to ensure that the data collected is really adding value and informed decisions can be made.