Google’s Customer Match targeting is an effective tool for digital marketers. The platform has made it easier and more cost effective to serve paid search advertisements to individuals who have had previous contact with a given company.

The main application of Google Customer Match is to serve ads to customers in the hopes of making them repeat customers, however; advertisers can also use Customer Match as a vehicle for reputation management. While not offering trackable ROI in a conventional sense, using this form of targeting as part of your reputation management strategy can prevent brand damage from occurring and offer long-term benefit.

All businesses would prefer that their customer service experience leaves every customer, or potential customer, with a positive view of the company. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When an undesirable customer service experience occurs, businesses need to have mechanisms in place to prevent an unhappy customer from scaring away other potential clients.

Customer Match can be an effective tool for this when a business is willing to invest in the protection of their brand.

The first step in doing so would the creation of a list of current client e-mails for upload into a Google AdWords campaign. In this scenario, advertisers will want to set this list to the target and bid setting so that ads will only show to users on this list. Keywords to be targeted within this campaign should include “company name reviews” and “company name complaints,” among other variations. Ad copy within the campaign should make an emotional appeal to someone who is an unhappy customer.

An example of ad copy would be, “Unhappy with Our Service? Let Us Make It Right.” Once a customer clicks on the ad, they should be sent directly to a customer service oriented page which allows for easy contact. Since these customers are already dissatisfied, it is important to make the process to air their grievances as easy as possible.

In addition to being able to draw customers to communicate and possibly resolve their dispute, serving ads for review search queries can assist if bad reviews already exist online. Take note of the search results below.

reputation management example

Run Local Locksmith’s search results are filled with unhappy customers starting from the first result. As many brands may experience, there are competitors targeting Run Local’s brand. However, if Run Local also was serving paid ads for review searches, it would help to push the negative results further down the page. The further down the page that a result is shown, the less likely the user is to visit the page.

When implemented correctly by pay per click specialists, brands can help to insulate themselves from negative reviews online while preventing the loss of a customer or a potential customer who would read a negative review. Depending on the size of the company and e-mail list, spend can vary.

Selected keywords are more likely to be low competition, making it cost effective to take a proactive approach to prevent brand damaging reviews online. Additionally, this ad targeting will help to push any existing negative reviews further down the page.