Customer Match audience

Pro tipUse Customer Match as a durable audience strategy for third party cookie deprecation.

With Customer Match targeting, you can also reach new users.

  1. In an Advertiser, drop down All Audiences from the Audiences tab.
  2. Click New Audience.
  3. Select Customer Match and create a list by entering the data type.
  4. After creating the audience, navigate to the Line Item Details in a new or existing line item.
  5. In the targeting section click Add Targeting > Audience List.
  6. From the 1st Party Tab, select your newly created or existing Customer Match list.
  7. Click Apply and Save your line item.

How Customer Match works

Starting early March 2024, Customer Match lists activated on Google Partner Inventory or third-party exchange websites in the European Economic Area (EEA) will no longer be available for web and app. Google Ads and Display & Video 360 will continue to enable advertisers to use their own first-party data (as well as custom and expanded audiences) across Google’s owned & operated (O&O) properties.

Supported ingestion methods will not be affected. This includes manual CSV upload, the Google Ads frontend API, Display & Video 360 frontend API, and Customer Match Uploader. Advertisers in the EEA using Google O&O inventory must update their user consent collection to ensure the correct signals are being passed. Advertisers using API upload for their Customer Match lists will need to update to the latest API call to attest they have consent for file uploads.

Overview

  1. Upload a data file of contact information your customers have given you.
  2. Create or update an existing line item to target your Customer Match audience.
  3. Users will see your ads when 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, see How Google Marketing Platform uses Customer Match data. All accounts using Customer Match must comply with our Customer Match policies.

Consent signals for user data

If you use Customer Match, you must adhere to the EU user consent policy to use ad personalization. For users in the EEA you’ll need to ensure you are passing granted consent signals to Google to use Customer Match for ad personalization. 

If consent is not granted, then the end user should not be added to a Customer Match list, or served an ad targeting a Customer Match list.

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 regularly refreshing your list.

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 drop-down list:
    1. Contact info
    2. 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.
    3. Connected TV (CTV): Select Mobile Device IDs from the drop-down list. Next, 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 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.
    • Maximum CSV file size: 20 MB.
    • 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.

    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

    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 

     

  6. Click Edit data use settings to modify data use across Google services. By default, all Google services will receive the lists of consented users you upload. You can update this setting to select specific Google services at any time. Any changes made will be applied to all data sources and are not limited to Customer Match data uploads.
  7. Review that your upload complies with the Platform program policies and Customer Match policies. You must obtain consent for such sharing where required by law or any applicable Google policies governing personalized ads and/or user consent including Google’s EU User Consent Policy.

    If you agree, check the box “Company certifies that it has complied with data use in personalized ads on Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube”.

    • Note: You must upload only consented data via this manual upload.
  8. Optional: Choose an Expiration date for the contact information in the list. The default membership duration is unlimited.
  9. Review that your upload complies with the Platform program policies and Customer Match policies.
  10. Click Save. Your list will start processing after it’s uploaded. This may take up to three hours to complete. 

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

  1. From a new or existing line item, navigate to Line item details.
  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 regularly updating your Customer Match audiences so you're targeting those customers 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. However, you can't remove or replace any from an existing list. You will need to make a new Customer Match audience list for these changes.

Limitations

The following are limitations when using Customer Match audience lists:

  Description
General limitations

 Customer Match audience lists have the following general limitations:

  • Forecasting and reporting limitations: Forecasting and inventory availability reports aren't 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.
Contact infobased Customer Match limitations

Customer Match audience lists created by uploading customer contact information have the following limitations:

  • Only supported on Google Ad Manager and YouTube inventory: Targeting contact information-based Customer Match lists in your line items through third-party exchanges won't serve. 
  • Incompatible with third-party tracking: Creatives hosted by third-party ad servers or containing third-party ad trackers or wrappers can't target contact information-based Customer Match lists. Third-party trackers added as event tags under Customer Match placements are not supported. 
  • Incompatible with HTML5 and rich media creatives: You can't use HTML5 and rich media creatives hosted by Display & Video 360 or Campaign Manager 360 with contact information-based Customer Match lists. Customer Match lists are only compatible with display images, standard videos, GIF, native, and audio creatives.
    While you can't use HTML5 and rich media creatives with contact info-based Customer Match lists for positive targeting, you can use them for exclusion targeting.
Device IDbased Customer Match limitations

Customer Match audience lists created by uploading mobile device IDs have the following limitations:

  • Requires device IDs: Device ID-based Customer Match lists can't serve without device IDs.

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