Customer match audience

Customer Match lets you serve ads based on data about your customers that you share with Google. With Customer Match targeting, you can also reach new users by targeting similar audiences to your most valuable customers.

How Customer Match works

Overview

  1. You upload a data file of contact information your customers have given you.
  2. You create or update an existing line item to target your Customer Match audience.
  3. Users see your ads as they use Gmail, YouTube, or when they browse the web.

For more information about how Google uses the data files you upload for Customer Match and how the matching process works, please read How Google Marketing Platform uses Customer Match data. All accounts using Customer Match must comply with our Customer Match policies.

Membership duration

Customer Match lists don’t expire, and membership duration is unlimited by default. You can control how long your customers are kept in a Customer Match audience. We recommend refreshing your list regularly.

Similar audiences

Similar audience targeting based on your Customer Match audiences is available for Gmail, YouTube, and Display. These similar audiences will be automatically created if your Customer Match audiences meet the minimum eligibility criteria. When a similar audience is available, you will see it under first-party audience list targeting. You can target a similar audience the same way you'd target a re-marketing list: by adding it to an ad group in your campaign. 

Keep in mind: it may take up to 48 hours for your campaign to start serving.

User choice and control

Google users can control the ads they see on Google services, including Customer Match ads, in their Google Ad Settings.

Upload data files and target your Customer Match audience

Step 1: Upload Customer Match data files

  1. From your Display & Video 360 advertiser, click Audiences on the left menu.
  2. Select New Audience > Customer match.
  3. Enter a Name for your list and an optional description.
  4. Select a Data type from the dropdown.
    1. Contact info
    2. User IDs: Note that this is not supported for display, video, and Gmail inventory. 
    3. Mobile Device IDs: Select the mobile app platform and browse for your specific app name. You can select only one app per list upload that matches with the type of IDs being uploaded.
    4. Connected TV (CTV): Select Mobile Device IDs from the dropdown. Then select the mobile app platform and browse for your specific app name. You can only select one app per list upload.
  5. Upload a file by dropping a file or by clicking Browse.

     

    Basic formatting guidelines

    Your data must be in a CSV file. Use a template or create your own file using a combination of the following header names in English: "Email", "Phone", "First Name", "Last Name", "Country", and "Zip".
    If you're uploading user IDs, it must be a separate file with "User ID" as the only header.
    If you’re uploading mobile device IDs, it must be a separate file with “Mobile Device ID” as the only header.
    To keep your data secure, you can hash your customer data yourself using the SHA256 algorithm. 
    Note that hashed mobile device IDs are not supported.
    Minimum number of entries/rows: 1,000 30-day active users.

    Minimum user threshold: Display and Gmail = 100, Search and YouTube = 1,000

    Column formatting guidelines

    Email address matching: Use “Email” as the column header name in your data file.
    Phone matching: Use “Phone” as the column header name in your data file.
    Mailing address matching: For mail address matching, your data file must contain these 4 column headers: “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Country,” and “Zip.” If any of the required column header names are missing, your upload will likely result in an error.
    Combined email address, mailing address, and phone matching: Your file must contain these 6 column headers: “Email,” “Phone,” “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Country,” and “Zip." If you have multiple email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers for a single customer, your file may include multiple “Email,” “Zip,” or “Phone” columns.
    Mobile Device ID matching: Use "Mobile Device ID" as the only column header in your data file.
    User ID matching: Use "User ID" as the only column header in your data file.

    Formatting guidelines for uploading unhashed data

    If you upload a list of contact information in plain text, Display & Video 360 will hash them using the industry-standard SHA256 algorithm. Hashing takes into account capitalization and spaces, so you'll need to make all characters in each entry lowercase and remove any extra spaces before or after each entry.
    Email
    • Include a domain name for all email addresses (for example, gmail.com or hotmail.co.jp)
    • Remove any spaces in between the email address

    For example:

    • example@email.com
    • test@gmail.com
    Phone
    • Include the country code

    For example:

    • 1 (234) 567-8910
    • 81-12-3456-7891
    • 02 1234 5678 
    First name
    • Don’t include prefixes (ex: Mrs.)
    • Accents are allowed

    For example:

    • john zoë
    Last
    name
    • Don’t include suffixes (ex: Jr.)
    • Accents are allowed

    For example:

    • smith
    • smith-jones
    • pérez
    Country
    • Use ISO two-letter country codes
    • Include the country code even if all of your customer data is from the same country

    For example:

    • US for United States
    • SG for Singapore
    Zip
    • Both US and international zip and postal codes are allowed
      • For United States:
      • 5 digit codes are allowed
      • 5 digits followed by 4 digit extension are also allowed and may improve your match rate
    • For all other countries:
      • Leave out postal code extensions

    For example:

    • 94303
    • 94303-5300
    • WC2H 8LG 
    Mobile Device ID
    • Use a single column labeled "Mobile Device ID"
    • Your file should only contain Mobile Device ID data, no other data types are accepted with Mobile Device ID data
    • 540 day maximum membership duration
    User ID
    • Use a single column labeled "User ID"

    Formatting guidelines for uploading hashed data

    If you prefer to upload hashed entries, you must use the SHA256 algorithm. Learn more
    Note that hashed mobile device IDs are not supported.
    Email
    • Include a domain name for all email addresses (for example, gmail.com or hotmail.co.jp)
    • Lowercase all characters
    • Remove any extra spaces before, after, or in between the email address

    For example:

    • example@email.com
    • test@gmail.com
    Phone
    • Format phone numbers using the E.164 format
    • Include the country code

    For example:

    • 1 (234) 567-8910
    • 81-12-3456-7891
    • 02 1234 5678 
    First name
    • Don’t include prefixes (ex: Mrs.)
    • Accents are allowed
    • Lowercase all characters
    • Remove any extra spaces before, after, and in between

    For example:

    • john
    • zoë
    Last
    name
    • Don’t include suffixes (ex: Jr.)
    • Accents are allowed
    • Lowercase all characters
    • Remove any extra spaces before, after, and in between

    For example:

    • smith
    • smith-jones
    • pérez
    Country

    Don’t hash country data

    • Use ISO two-letter country codes
    • Include the country code even if all of your customer data is from the same country

    For example:

    • US for United States
    • SG for Singapore
    Zip

    Don’t hash Zip data

    • Both US and international zip and postal codes are allowed
    • For United States: 
      • 5 digit codes are allowed
      • 5 digits followed by 4 digit extension are also allowed and may improve your match rate
    • For all other countries: 
      • Leave out postal code extensions

    For example:

    • 94303
    • 94303-5300
    • WC2H 8LG 
    User ID Don’t hash User ID data

     

  6. (Optional) Choose an Expiration date for the contact information in the list. The default membership duration is unlimited.
  7. Review that your upload complies with the Platform program policies and Customer Match policies.
  8. Click Save. Your list will start processing after it’s uploaded. This may take up to 3 hours to complete. 

Step 2: Target your Customer Match audience in your line item

  1. From a new or existing line item, navigate to the Line item details section.
  2. In the Targeting section, select Add targeting > Audience lists.
  3. From the 1st Party tab, select the name of your Customer Match audience.
  4. Click Apply and continue setting up your line item.
  5. Save your line item. 

Updating phone numbers, street addresses, and email addresses in your Customer Match audience

We strongly recommend updating your Customer Match audiences regularly so that you are targeting customers that are most valuable to your business.

You can append new phone numbers, street addresses, email addresses, and Device IDs to an existing Customer Match audience by uploading more to an existing list. You cannot remove or replace any from an existing list. You will need to make a new Customer Match audience list for these changes.

Limitations

  • Contact info–based Customer Match audiences are only available on Google Ad Manager inventory. Mobile Device ID–based Customer Match audiences are available on all exchanges. Mobile Device ID-based similar audiences are not available. 
Note that the following limitations do not apply when targeting similar audiences
  • Customer Match audiences based on contact information cannot be targeted with creatives hosted by third-party ad servers or creatives with third-party ad trackers or wrappers.
  • Standard HTML5 & Rich Media creatives hosted by Display & Video 360 or Campaign Manager 360 (including Studio, Google formats such as Lightbox, and Ad Canvas creatives) cannot be used with Customer Match contact information–based lists. However, lists created by uploading mobile device IDs, or lists used for exclusion targeting are compatible with these creatives.
  • Forecasting and Inventory Availability reports are not available for Customer Match audiences.
  • Due to differences in cookie and device ID settings, advertisers may see fluctuations in delivery and performance when cookies or device ID are unavailable.
  • There is a maximum of five million members per user list.
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