About Customer Match

As announced on November 1, 2022, similar audiences will be transitioned to more durable solutions. Starting August 1, 2023, similar segments will be gradually removed from all ad groups and campaigns in Google Ads and should be completed by the end of the month.

  • Display, Discovery, and Video action campaigns that are still using similar audience segments after August 1, 2023 will be opted into optimized segments.
  • Video campaigns with “Product and brand consideration” or “Brand awareness and reach” objectives will be opted into audience expansion.
  • If you opted out before August 1, 2023, ad groups and campaigns targeting similar segments will be paused. Make sure to unpause them and add relevant targeting criteria.

Learn more about the Changes to audience segments.

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimization simpler, you’ll find the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments, and exclusions is now consolidated in one place. Click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon and open the “Audiences, keywords and content” tab and click Audiences. You can also easily manage your Audiences from this report page. Learn more About Audience reporting.
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, “audience types” (these include similar, custom, in-market, and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and “remarketing” is now referred to as “your data”. Learn more about the Updates to Audience terms and phrases.

Customer Match lets you use your online and offline data to reach and re-engage with your customers across Search, the Shopping tab, Gmail, YouTube, and Display. Using information that your customers have shared with you, Customer Match will target ads to those customers and other customers like them.

As Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policies go into effect, your data segments (especially website, app and automatically created segments) and Customer Match segments may be impacted on iOS 14 traffic (including the use of these segments for exclusions). Campaigns promoting web-based conversion goals - particularly those using Customer Match and your other data segments - may also find performance fluctuations. During this time we will be expanding modeled conversions to more iOS 14 traffic.

Customer Match is a useful advertising tool for many business goals, from increasing brand awareness to driving conversions. Here are a few examples of different audiences you can target with Customer Match:

  • On the Search Network and the Shopping tab, you can optimize your campaigns by adjusting your bid based on what you know about your customers’ activities.
  • On Gmail, you can reach your customers or new potential customers with similar interests using personalized ads at the top of their inbox tabs.
  • On YouTube, you can reach new segments, by targeting segments similar to your most valuable customers.
  • On Display, you can reach your customers or new potential customers with similar interests using personalized ads on the Google Display Network.

This article explains how Customer Match works. You can also read more in Your guide to Customer Match.

Before you begin

Beginning Q2 2022, campaigns using Smart Bidding and optimized targeting will auto-include all the Customer Match lists in your account to enhance your ad campaign performance for your goals, such as conversions. Previously, you could experience these performance benefits only if you manually applied all available Customer Match lists to your campaigns. If you don’t want your Customer Match lists to be automatically used to improve your campaign's performance, you can either:

  • Opt out of auto-including unapplied Customer Match lists that are accessible to your account by following these steps.
  • Remove specific lists that you don’t want to use in Smart Bidding and optimized targeting from your account.

Keep in mind that:

  • This will not affect the targeting settings for your campaign. For example, if your campaign uses optimized targeting, your ads will be shown to users who are more likely to convert.
  • Even if your Customer Match lists aren’t relevant to all your campaigns, Smart Bidding and optimized targeting will automatically learn which Customer Match lists are helpful to your campaign's performance and continuously optimize list application in real-time.
  • Customer Match lists won’t be used if you’re using manual bidding strategies.
  • Auto-inclusion of unapplied Customer Match lists in Smart Bidding or optimized targeting is available for YouTube Discovery, YouTube Video Action campaign, and will soon be available for in-feed ads and Search ads.

Timeline for untargeted Customer Match lists to be auto-included is as follows:

Ad campaign type Timelines
YouTube VAC Launched in Q4 of 2022
YouTube Discovery Launched in Q4 of 2022
Search ads Launched in Q3 of 2023
Shopping To be launched in Q1 of 2024
Discovery (non-YouTube ads) Launched in Q3 of 2023
Gmail ads To be launched in Q1 of 2024

If you’re ready to upload your Customer Match data, learn how to create a customer list.

Learn more About the customer matching process.

How it works

Let's say you want to advertise a new loyalty program to your existing customers with Google ads. Here's how it works:

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
You create and upload a customer list data file of contact information your customers have given you. Use this template and check this article for formatting instructions. You create or update a campaign to target your Customer Match segment — customers from your uploaded data file who are Google users. When those users are signed in to their Google account, they come across your ads when they use the Search Network, YouTube, and Gmail or when they browse on the Google Display Network.

For more information about how Google uses the data files you upload for Customer Match and how the matching process works, read How Google uses Customer Match data.

Customer Match is currently available on Search, the Shopping tab, YouTube, Gmail, and Display.

User choice and control

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

Having issues related to your Customer Match lists?

Contact us

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