Customer Match, display remarketing, and Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) are valuable targeting options available to Google AdWords advertisers. For some reason, though, when Google enabled audience-based targeting years back, they opted to only make these lists targetable at the ad group level—prompting long hours for SEMs managing campaigns with hundreds of ad groups to not only set up the targets & bids for each, but analyze and optimize them as well.
As of today, this oversight has been corrected.
AdWords campaign-level audience targeting is now available for all advertisers globally. This includes the ability to both target & exclude audience lists at the campaign level as you wish.
As the above screenshot shows, Ad Group-level audience targeting is still in option, should you prefer.
If you are already utilizing Ad Group audience targeting, the AdWords Support page on RLSA seems to suggest that they would need to be removed on a particular campaign before adding campaign-level audience targeting (you’d likely get an error message if you tried).
The new AdWords campaign-level audience targeting should entice those advertisers previously shying-away from utilizing RLSA and/or Customer Match due to the amount of manual effort previously involved in setting up & managing those bids. Google reps I’ve spoken with in the past two months have all stressed the importance of RLSA (after all, a happy advertiser spends more); and, with Google’s new AdWords interface due out sometime next year, making a worthwhile feature as easy-to-use as humanly possible just makes good design sense.