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Is Google set to “borrow” Facebook’s tools for advertisers?

Google is rumored to be developing a marketing platform very similar to Facebook’s Custom Audiences. Why are they doing it and will it work?

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Facebook has the roadmap, will Google follow it?

Facebook’s Custom Audience targeting has worked exceptionally well for the social media giant. The way Facebook uses Custom Audience targeting is not anything new, but it seems to work well for businesses. Advertisers supply a list of their customer’s email addresses and Facebook uses these email addresses to target ads to the customer while they’re on Facebook.

For many businesses, Custom Audiences are the key to their Facebook marketing success, especially considering advertisers can target customers through Facebook’s mobile app. In light of Facebook’s success, if may not be so surprising that Google is looking to “borrow” their ad marketing strategy, or use the idea to develop something very similar.

Google to launch feature nearly identical to Facebook’s

Wall Street Journal reports that Google is in discussions with advertisers to formulate new targeting functionality that would function almost identically to Facebook Custom Audiences. WSJ speculates that the audience targeting would only be applied to search results, at least in the beginning and is slated to launch as early as this year.

Google may actually have a leg up on Facebook considering they already have access to a considerable amount of email addresses through Gmail. They can also aggregate email addresses from YouTube, Google Maps, and the secondary email addresses you are asked to provide when you initially sign up for Gmail and other Google services. Add this to their G+ service and you have a pretty robust database from which to target consumers.

Why this could put Google miles ahead

Consider that Facebook also offers what they call “Lookalike Audiences,” and Google’s vision becomes a bit clearer. Lookalike Audiences allows advertisers to target users who are similar to the Custom Audience target. This extends the advertisers’ reach, with very minimal effort.

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If Google were to develop something similar and then layer it with the data they already hold, both email addresses and demographic information they collect from Google Internet searches, they could very well take over and become the preferred marketing platform.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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