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New Demographics on the Google Display Network – and How to Use Them

Published: September 24, 2014

Author: Susan Waldes

A couple of weeks ago I clicked into a remarketing audience and…behold! Google has released a new demographic visual on audiences with sufficient data.


Aside from being a handy visual, there are several tactical reasons this is nifty. The most useful demographic info to check out is that in your converted users audience – this can be used in several ways, which we’ll break down.
Bid Modifications
If your conversion data is showing strong gender and age skews, consider boosting bids on your key demographics in both your GDN – and, made recently available, in your search campaigns – to get higher positions on your most valuable targets. Or, if certain demographics are barely working, consider cutting them out all together via exclusions.
New Strategies
Certain strategies in Google work best when you have stronger demographic and user behavior skews. Take this client example:

 Demo 2

I see they have a very strong skew to Females 18-34; this can inform all kinds of GDN strategies. For instance, when there is a fairly strong skew in your demographics, there is a higher chance that Google’s “Similar Users” targeting will work effectively, so I would suggest testing it for this client. Also, think about other ways to reach this audience. What else do females 18-34 tend to do? Get creative and think deeply about the other interests or known commonalities of your users. For this client, they shared that their typical good lead has a low HHI; coupling that with what we see in the demographics, we went after some new interest targets such as bargain hunters, female, 18-34.
Channel Expansion
If you are considering expanding into advertising channels such as social and traditional display that rely on demographics as the broadest targeting layer, you can enter these channels armed with strong directional data. These channels have impression inventory at mindboggling scale, and success is about focusing and delivering impressions only to your most valuable, most likely to convert audiences. Using the same strategies discussed for GDN targeting, you can layer your most valuable demographic targets into Facebook (for instance) AND use the same type of creative thinking to layer the right other interests. For the client example above, I might start a Facebook campaign targeting females 18-34 who “like” Walmart (indicating lower HHI) and are in the region where this client has the most brand recognition.
Large advertisers have had access to this reporting via dedicated Google vertical reps for quite some time, but it’s now available in all accounts. Another current (only by request) report that I suspect will get integrated into the UI this year is affinity behavior on audiences. If I’m correct, that data will be an even more powerful tool in reaching your key audiences within the Google platform and in your cross-channel strategies.

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