In-Market & Custom Intent Audiences


After working in a marketing agency, in-house marketing and even retail I’ve noticed that people will talk to clients or customers, throwing technical terms or abbreviations at them, to be responded with a nod or an ‘alright yeah okay’ which is clearly translated into ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about but okay, sure’. I’m also guilty of this and I think most people are, maybe not all the time, but sometimes. I wanted to explain properly two phrases that I hear thrown around our office and that I talk about myself, these are custom intent audiences and in-market audiences within PPC. These aren’t a new thing but they’re worth talking about. In-market audiences were available for Display campaigns only until 2018 when both Google and Microsoft made them available on their search platforms.

man confused on the phone


The in-market audience is quite straight forward, unsurprisingly, this is an audience who Google sees as already ‘in the market’ making them relevant to show your ad to. Google determines this by looking at the recent behaviours of the user, if they’ve been researching the product or service then they’re actively considering buying the service/or product you have to offer. Artificial Intelligence is used to target people on their present search activity and also recent browsing history, with this information you are able to reach potential customers who have displayed signals of high purchase intent. Yes, this does sound amazing, but it still needs a little work from Google. It’s good to have this method of targeting as part of a bigger strategy rather than the sole click-winner, this desirable audience is smaller than usual but unless you’re a niche business, it makes sense to think that the competition pool within this group is much higher. So no, your phone isn’t listening to you, it’s just Google making note of your habits (although I’m not definitely saying your phone isn’t listening in, I just wanted to make you feel better).


Custom Intent audiences are exclusive to Display and Video/YouTube campaigns and they also fight the cause of getting your adverts in front of a more ideal audience. When you define your own audience list you can enter keywords, URLs and apps that are similar to or relate to your product or service. By doing this Google is able to determine who might be interested in your advert, the end result being more conversions (don’t forget your conversion tracking) – hopefully. If you’re not feeling very inspired then Google, of course, has auto-created audience segments for your use which work well too. 

There are more audience targeting options out there in the Google-sphere, such as; affinity audiences, similar audiences and our old friend remarketing, but I’ve just chosen to hone in on two of them today. It’s good practise to change up your strategies and keep an eye out for anything new Google is rolling out so you can test it. Google Ads works best as a multiplayer game rather than a single-player, Just like Mario Kart!


If you’d like to discuss Google Ad targeting or strategies further, please feel to give us a call at Embryo or get in touch via our website and let’s talk!