Can Google actually predict if a user is about to buy?
Apparently, the answer is yes. Google has just quietly launched “In-Market Buyers” feature of AdWords that allows PPC advertisers to target users who – according to the search engine – are deep into the sales funnel and are about to make a purchase. Exciting, right? Upon reading this, many of our pay-per-click and SEO reseller partners are probably wondering if this service is already available for offering to clients. The quick answer is, it probably is.
Go check you AdWords account to see. We have checked ours and yes, it’s there. Look at this screenshot:
This will be available only to English-language campaigns in the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, India, Australia, and New Zealand. Despite limited availability, it’s so potentially powerful that its progress is worth monitoring.
Here’s what else we know about it so far:
Designed for ROI, Driving Sales
According to Google’s freshly updated support page, In-Market Buyers (ROI) is found under Interests & remarketing > Interest categories. It is sandwiched between Affinity categories (reach) and Other Categories. Currently, these are the available verticals: Autos & Vehicles, Computers & Peripherals, Consumer Electronics, and Real Estate. So for private label online marketing resellers operating in niches within these verticals, read on.
From its name, we know that this is a feature that’s aimed at generating sales, more than increasing awareness or branding. While “Affinity categories” is centered on “reach,” “In-Market Buyers” is focused on “ROI.” “These categories are designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from highly qualified customers. In-market buyers categories can help drive remarketing performance and reach consumers close to completing a purchase,” the support page said.
When to Target In-Market Buyers
This feature could not have come at a better time. Recent research showed that driving sales is the No. 1 top objective for B2C and No. 2 for B2B marketers. The main struggle of marketers, meanwhile, is proving ROI. If so, this feature will also be helpful for private label SEO resellers and their clients. As you may know, one of the biggest advantages of AdWords and PPC marketing in general is the ability to track metrics and prove ROI. Learn more about the advantages of PPC.
To illustrate the use of the new feature, Google cited a car dealership advertising on AdWords as an example. “Your goal is to reach people who are actively considering buying a car and have narrowed their decision down to a handful of brands or types of cars,” Google said. It also explained that In-Market Buyers allows advertisers to display ads to customers who may still be open to various dealerships or options but are about to make a purchase decision.
Google Tips for Efficient In-Market Buyers Campaigns
As this is a very new service, best practices are yet to be established. However, we can derive some practical tips on using In-Market Buyers categories based on the AdWords support page.
- Use In-Market Buyers as a standalone targeting method. Google recommends not applying other targeting methods to your ad groups if you use In-Market Buyers. Doing so will limit your access to audiences.
- Set bid adjustments on your in-marketing categories instead. One possible option is to set bid adjustments for customers who browse related topics. Google’s example: for the in-market category “Sedans,” you can set adjustments for audience who are browsing pages about the broader “Autos & Vehicles” topic. You can also set bid adjustments based on age or gender.
- Be careful with manual optimization, especially frequency capping. According to AdWords, the new feature uses historical performance to study and optimize conversions. Limiting or showing ads too many times to a given customer may affect its ability to understand user historical data.
- Use CPA bidding as strategy. Google recommends using CPA or cost-per-acquisition bidding when targeting in-market buyers. Doing so will enable the advertiser to monitor the campaign as it directly affects sales. Remember, this new feature is designed to drive sales. If CPA is not possible, use CPC or cost-per-click instead. Google discourages usage of CPM or cost-per-thousand impressions bidding for in-market categories.
- Protect your brand. AdWords enables you to “exclude topics, keywords, or placements that don’t align with your brand, for brand safety” when using in-market categories.
- Measure and optimize campaign performance. Advertisers are encouraged to use Conversion Tracking and Conversion Optimizer to track in-market buyer data.
In-Market Buyer Targeting as PPC Service
Based on what we know about it so far, using In-Market Buyers categories can be potentially game-changing for our PPC / SEO reseller partners and their clients. It aims for sales conversions, not just impressions or leads.
But as with any other untested service, it will be premature to offer it on a large scale. Needless to say, we’re closely watching the development of this feature and will conduct tests when possible. If In-Market Buyers is as good as Google promises it to be, we might offer it to our white label SEO reseller partners in the future. Let’s see. For now, traditional PPC and Remarketing still work well. They are your best options if you want instant traffic with measurable ROI.
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