Google just announced “custom audience’ matching by phone number. Because Android powers roughly 61% of all Smartphones globally, and Gmail asks for a recovery phone number on every Gmail account, Google just leap-frogged into FB’s targeting pond.
Or, cannon-balled into FB’s targeting pond.
Facebook was the first to launch ‘Custom Audiences’ where advertisers upload their existing CRM email addresses creating an audience targeting segment to advertise specifically to that audience. Match rates via email for FB Custom Audiences typically run 15-35%.
More importantly, FB’s allows advertisers to create look-alike targeting segments from those “donor” email addresses via Custom Audiences. This is perhaps Facebook’s crown jewel, matching power with precision. The Formula One of digital advertising.
But, will it become Formula 2?
Because of Google’s nearly 61% market share of Smartphone operating systems plus a huge database of phone numbers associated with Gmail addresss, Google’s new phone number matching will be higher than FB’s 15-35% match rate on email addresses.
Google advertisers now upload telephone numbers into Google AdWords or Google’s API, and presto…Google’s equivalent of Custom Audiences by phone number with a high match rate is ready to target (and take on FB) with YouTube ads, Shopping Ads, Display, etc.
Google’s display inventory is typically littered with fraud and viewability issues (which is the reason why Facebook abandoned its plan to arbitrage programmatic display inventory using exchanges). YouTube inventory, however, is the most fraud-free in the world of non-app video inventory, and commands the highest CPM of all Google ads.
“It’s the biggest chess move in digital advertising,” said COO of C3 Metrics advertising attribution data cloud Jeff Greenfield. “the GoogleBook dominance is here to stay, and the only way either can grow is by stealing market share from each other, or stealing ad dollars from TV.”
Google just got smarter, but the chess game isn’t over.