If the search industry had its own version of a lunar calendar, 2018 would be considered The Year of Audiences. We’ve all been itching for more and more audience data from the engines for years. In conjunction with in-market audiences for search which was released by Google & Bing late last year, Google has now enabled us with demographic data beyond basic age, gender & parental status. These new targeting capabilities are only available in the new AdWords interface and should be rolled out to the public later this year. In the meantime, work with your reps to get early access!

What You Need to Know about AdWord’s Detailed Demographics

Currently the targeting demographics include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Parental Status
  • Household Income

The new target demographics will include:

  • Marital Status: single, in a relationship, or married
  • Home Ownership Status: Homeowner or Renter
  • Education Level: High School, Bachelors
  • Parental Status: infants (0-2), toddlers (3-4), preschoolers (4-5), grade-schoolers (6-12), teens (13-17)

Why Should Marketers Care?

We’re all facing industry-wide challenges and increasing competition. With users top of mind, marketers should utilize detailed demographics in order to further improve user experience and learn more about core customers. To achieve this, below are a few strategy considerations:

  • Combat increased competition. CPCs are ever-increasing and new advertisers are threatening market share with attractive promotions and large budgets. Cater your strategy around specific demographics to stand out where you can.
  • Improve user-experience. Boost CTR and CVR by reducing the amount of time customers need to spend on their purchase. By giving them the right message, matched with the right landing page, you won’t only see improved efficiency, but increased brand loyalty is also probable.
  • Learn more about your core consumers. Maybe you’re a start-up. Or sell a commodity everyone needs. Layer in these additional audience targets to learn more about your core customers. You may find out interesting tidbits like fluctuating AOV or seasonality within these niches. No advertiser ever said they had too much data about their audiences!

Strategy Use Cases

This new targeting feature has a variety of benefits to help marketers optimize their campaigns across a variety of industries. While implementation opportunities are limitless, some use case ideas are described below.

  • Improve your budget allocation strategy.Take, for example, a financial institution looking to boost their mortgage refinancing business. One would assume that the ideal customer has already secured and has been paying a mortgage. As a result, this advertiser would want to allocate the vast majority of their budget to Homeowners.
  • Increase your creative relevance.It’s February and Cupid ensured love is in the air. Jewelry advertisers are working to find a niche place in the market for gifts for significant owners. Targeting users by Relationship Status can take a targeting message from “The Perfect Earrings for Her” to “The Perfect Earrings To Spoil Your Wife.”
  • Boost landing page relevanceEaster is just around the corner! Toy retailers could benefit as the Easter Bunny tries to fill kids’ Easter baskets across the world. When searching for “Easter basket toys,” advertisers could direct landing pages based on the new detailed Parental Status.
  • Tie it all togetherWhat if you’re an advertiser with a niche product and niche keyword set. Essentially, you know most users who search for your keywords are interested in your product(s); the challenge is to attain clickshare and get them to convert as quickly and inexpensively as possible (before competition can swoop in). In this case, budget, creative and landing page experience are all vital.

    Test Prep materials are a great example. You offer services and study materials from SAT prep to LSAT and continuing education. You apply education level targeting to determine which users are “in-market” for which service. Current college students get the GRE/ LSAT/ MCAT experience, Bachelor’s degree users get GMAT, and maybe Advanced degree users are used as an exclusion mechanism.

How to Access the Detailed Demographics

If you don’t have access, work with your reps to get you in. Once your Google rep confirms you’re in…

  • Step 1: Login to the new AdWords UI.
  • Home page view after logging into Google AdWords

  • Step 2: Choose a search campaign (yes, you have to click into one to start).
  • Step 3: Navigate to the Audiences tab > Detailed demographics. Click the blue button. Note: Don’t fall into the trap by navigating to the demographics tab
  • Pointing out the Audiences tab above the Demographics tab in Google Adwords

  • Step 4: Select which demographics you’d like to add.

    Pro tip: Gain insight around the demographic composition of your account by adding all audiences as Observing and apply a 0% modifier. Let campaigns run as per usual for 4-6 weeks and evaluate performance before applying custom strategies.
  • Observation screen under Audiences in Google AdWords

  • Step 5: Copy and paste to the other campaigns, as desired (you can also download recent changes to AdWords Editor and execute from there).

In summary, the more you know and understand your core audience, the better suited your campaigns are for success. Layering in these additional data points will give advertisers the opportunity to get to know their audience – who they are, what matters to them, and what’s important to them. Take your strategy to the next level through detailed demographics and propel your digital marketing strategy into a successful 2018!

Learning more about your customer can help your bottom line. Find out how Terminix learned more about their customer’s Net Present Value and how this turned into real results for them in our case study: Terminix and Elite SEM Integrate Sales Data and Paid Search To See 12% Lift In Profitability.

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