Facebook has anyways been vaunted for its deep knowledge in what makes you, you. Its ability to parse everything from basic demographic data to one’s interests really set it apart from regular search for a marketer. While we’ve had some basic data available to us on Google Ads, the ability to now layer on detailed demographic lists is a step towards better understanding who the customer is rather than simply what they’re searching.

What are Detailed Demographics Lists?

These lists began to rollout come Mid-August and really add some depth to what we’re able to know about our potential customers. They function very similar to other curated lists like in-market lists that you’re hopefully already testing throughout your accounts.

The one major plus of detailed demographics is they’re much, much broader meaning they should be much more useful to every marketer.

There are four major categories of lists to help you hone your traffic down. Fully broken out, these are the lists that one can choose from:

  • Parental Status:
    • Parents of Infants (0-1 Years)
    • Parents of Toddlers (1-3 Years)
    • Parents of Preschoolers (4-5 Years)
    • Parents of Grade-Schoolers (6-12 Years)
    • Parents of Teens (13-17 Years)
  • Marital Status:
    • Single
    • In a Relationship
    • Married
  • Education:
    • Current College Students
    • High School Graduate
    • Bachelor’s Degree
    • Advanced Degree
  • Homeownership Status:
    • Homeowners
    • Renters

While not directly applicable to every business, these lists are so broad that you’ll likely still see some value when layering these onto your search campaigns.

How Do I Add These Lists?

These lists are all nested in the audiences tab of the new Google Ads interface. You’ll find them in a new box listed along with your website visitors/similar audiences and in-market lists. You can add them much like you would any other list though it’s even more important to consider your targeting/observation setting before layering these on.

If you’re running a campaign that is targeting specific lists, you’ll want to steer clear of adding these onto those campaigns. Once you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense. Rather than your highly targeted audiences, you would be opening things up to everyone who has a college degree. Not likely what you’re looking for!

These are best utilized on top of funnel campaigns because they are likely set to observation mode. You won’t be restricting your traffic initially, rather, generating data on the people already searching for your products. From there, you can take your next step depending on what the data present.

Use Cases

In-Market audiences are great but they aren’t all-encompassing. While there can be some value in layering those audiences on and seeing overall performance for specific lists, it’s sometimes hard to get to the root cause of why someone who is in-market for a Trip to San Francisco is interested in buying Tubas.

This is where these Detailed Demographic lists can come in handy. We’re still able to get a better idea of Who our customer is while using these broad targeting options. Your marketing department likely has an idea of who your customer is and now you can get some cold hard data behind it.

For this example, pretend you’re a bank. You specifically want to advertise 529 College Savings Accounts to new parents. Taking a look at some of the broad categories, parents of specific ages will likely be of high value to us. While I never recommend passing judgment without building up a good amount of data, we would likely be able to place a large bid modifier on Parents of Teens because they’re likely looking for a different product, even if they don’t know it. On the flip side, parents of younger kids are likely more valuable as they’re looking for these types of accounts and will likely deposit more money over its lifetime.

Similarly, if you’re a company like Menard’s or Home Depot, you may see very different performance from people who rent vs. people who own their home.

Final Thoughts

While I’m still in the data collection phase across my accounts, I’m already seeing some interesting uses for a lot of this data. From small tweaks to ad copy to large bid adjustments, there is always value in learning more about who your searcher is rather than simply the keywords they’re searching for.

I recommend layering these on your applicable campaigns and seeing what the results are. They may surprise you!


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