In-Market Audience Targeting: Run Better Display & Video 360 Ads in 2024

In-Market Audience Targeting

Have you used Google ads’ in-market audiences to target your PPC ads?

Accurate targeting is the mark of a good marketer. The more your ad reaches the right people, the lesser you will invest in ads. Consequently, your ROI, one of the most important digital marketing KPIs, will be better.

Targeting using Google ads’ in-market audiences is one good silver bullet to reduce your ad spending.

What are In-market Audiences?

Simply put, in-market audiences are audience segments accumulated by Google. As the name suggests, these segments consist of consumers who are ‘in the market’ to purchase a product or service.

Using in-market audiences you can target customers who are currently exhibiting pre-purchase behaviours such as:

  • Browsing products/services
  • Researching products/services
  • Comparing products/services

Wondering How In-Market Audiences Works?

Basically, Google’s AI tracks and stores users’ information based on their search intent. Similarly, to develop in-market audiences, it collects data on users by tracking:

  • Clicks on related ads
  • Places on the web where the user got converted
  • Content of sites and pages these conversions happened at
  • Recency of visits
  • Frequency of visits

By consolidating these online behaviours, Google accumulates audience segments across various business verticals. The people in the audience segments will have high purchase intent for your products and services.

Which Users Can You Reach Using In-Market Audiences

In theory, those who are on the lowest stage of the sales funnel are the users whom you can reach using this method of targeting.

In Google Ads, affinity-based targeting reaches people based on their interests.

This is why in-market targeting is also known as interest category marketing.

Read also: Consumer Culture Theory

You choose affinity categories (interests), the relevant copy, tout benefits to reach a wider audience base. In theory, you will be reaching out to the prospects on the top of the funnel.

In contrast, on the other end of the funnel are those who will be conducting branded searches, keywords with “buy” in them etc.

In-market audiences targeting works to reach those who are in the middle of the funnel. It works well, especially, if you desire to attract people who are:

  • Making product comparisons,
  • Checking out reviews
  • Carrying out other product consideration activities before purchase.

How To Use It

In-market audiences can be found under ad groups. Once you log into your Google Ads account and you name your ad group, you’ll be asked to select whom you want to target.

Here, you can choose in-market audiences by selecting “Browse” and then “What they are actively researching or planning”.

Finally, once the in-market audiences section opens up, you can choose the verticals and niches you wish to target.


In-market audiences may not be the fairytale, money overnight scheme it is touted to be.

Often, businesses who are the first entrants in their have reported great success in using this targeting feature. However, in highly saturated markets this way of targeting has reportedly costed high CPA.

Steps To Claim an Unfair In-Market Audiences Targeting Advantage

There are a few effective things you can do to jump over these costly hurdles.

Make use of combined targeting – Combined targeting is a feature in Google Ads platform using which you can combine multiple targeting options for a single ad group. The platform offers AND/OR functions to combine multiple targeting options.

You could join affinity-based targeting, demographic targeting with in-market audiences targeting to make your reach more granular. In addition to this, you could also combine your remarketing audience with in-market audiences.

Undoubtedly, it would be advantageous if you can develop a rich, detailed buyer persona before you use combined targeting.

Copywriting is key – Although there is a lot of AI-based targeting involved behind the scenes, PPC is still advertising.

Thus, use bottom-of-the-funnel copy to entice users into clicking your ads. Scarcity, urgency elements combined with deals and discounts work well with customers at this stage.

Use your Google Analytics data – One of the greatest advantages of using Google’s in-market audiences is that you already know their intention. This audience segment need not have visited your website. Yet, you know that they have a liking for your product and its likes.

Thus, make use of your Google Analytics’ data on affinity categories (interests) and in-market audiences. You could replicate these patterns and use them in ads.


A significant percentage of industry leaders consider conversion rates and revenue generation as vital metrics in marketing automation. In-market audiences is one such uncanny amalgamation of machine learning and advertising.

Many businesses have claimed to make solid sales by tapping into Google’s in-market segment. However, there are the unfortunate some, who believe that the setting hasn’t matured yet.

Hence, the best way to know if this type of targeting will work for you is by testing the feature.

SEO Impact has pioneered several PPC campaigns with its excellent digital marketing experts and uncanny copywriters. So, let us know if you need any tips on PPC advertising.

Branislav Nikolic

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