Google In-Market Audiences; How To Steal Hot Prospects From Your Competitors

Google In-Market Audiences; How To Steal Hot Prospects From Your Competitors 1
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If you haven’t already heard about Google In-Market audiences and how they can add serious fire power to your marketing arsenal, your day could be about to get a whole lot better.

What are In-Market Audiences?

Through its huge abundance of buyer data, Google knows better than anyone how people behave when making online research and buying decisions. In-Market audiences are groups of people that Google deems to be demonstrating particular buying behaviours within defined markets. These behaviours include:

  • Searching particular keywords
  • Clicking on your competitors ads
  • Visiting certain web pages
  • Behaviour demonstrated on those pages
  • Conversions on competitors websites

Traditional AdWords is focused around targeting prospects at their point of search, however sometimes at the very beginning of their research funnel. In-Market audiences open up a whole new ball game, allowing businesses to target prospects who have demonstrated a bunch of hot behaviours, commonly those that are at closer proximity to a decision.

Hitting them while they’re hot

Not only do In-Market audiences allow you to penetrate markets that are ripened and ready, it’s actually much cheaper on average than search marketing. In the campaigns we’ve performed tests in, the average cost per acquisition reduced by a whopping 70% and the average order value increased by 28%.

Types of In-Market audiences

In-Market audiences aren’t available for everyone. Google sets the market categories and the current list is not extensive. Click here to see the complete list of In-Market Categories that Google currently offers.

Businesses wishing to benefit from In-Market targeting outside of the above markets can do so via Custom Intent Targeting. You also need to remember that In-Market audiences are not the same as Affinity Audiences. People commonly get the two mixed up but Search Engine Watch have laid out the differences pretty clearly.

Targeting your competitors leads

In-Market audiences are targeted through banner and text ads typically on the Google Display Network; a collection of 2m+ websites which includes the likes of eBay, The Guardian, Gumtree, Daily Mail, and of course, YouTube. The feature is also available in search campaigns.

Layering audiences

For advertisers requiring a little extra focus in their targeting, it is possible to layer audiences and demographics to provide ultimate pin-point precision. All this data is available in Google Analytics if you know where to look.

Here’s a handful of extra layers that can be applied to In-Market audiences to provide extra precision:

  • Specific keywords prospects have searched
  • Specific websites prospects have visited (including your own)
  • Genders
  • Age groups
  • Locations
  • Devices
  • Day and/or Time

Protecting your own prospects

Obviously having the ability to target prospects that have visited or converted on your competitors websites works both ways. Which is one reason why it pays to have an excellent PPC company running things for you.

It is worth mentioning that combining your remarketing audiences with In-Market targeting can be a great way to keep your business visible and strong in front of your warmest pipeline prospects, especially when they may be under fire from your competitors.


As Google continues to learn jaw-dropping amounts about online buying behaviour and how those trends evolve over time, our bet is that In-Market targeting will become the primary driver of revenue in most Google Ads accounts.

Top Tip: Click this box to see Google's entire list of 481 In-Market Audiences. 

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