About Customer Match

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

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 YouTube, you can reach new audiences, by targeting audiences similar to your most valuable customers.
  • On Gmail, you can reach your customers or similar audiences using personalised ads at the top of their inbox tabs.
  • On the Search Network and Google Shopping, you can optimise your campaigns by adjusting your bid based on what you know about your customers’ activities.

This article explains how Customer Match works.

Before you begin

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 Google ads. Here's how it works:

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You upload a data file of contact information your customers have given you. You create or update a campaign to target your Customer Match audience – customers from your uploaded data file who are Google users. When those users are signed in to their Google account, they see your ads as they use Google Search, YouTube and Gmail.

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

Note

Customer Match is currently only available on Search, Shopping, YouTube and Gmail. It's not available on third-party sites in the Display Network.

Membership duration

Customer Match audiences don't expire so membership duration is unlimited by default. You can control how long your customers are kept in a Customer Match audience, but it's best to refresh your list regularly. Google Ads will send you an email if your lists haven't been refreshed in a while.

Data sharing across accounts

You can share audiences across multiple managed accounts if: you have a Customer Match audience or similar audience in your manager account, or a client account shares their Customer Match audience or similar audience with your manager account. 

All accounts using a Customer Match audience must comply with the Customer Match policies. Google does not allow sharing or usage of this data outside your managed account. Only account owners and administrators may add or remove customer data from Customer Match audiences for which they have administrator access.

Similar audiences for YouTube and Gmail

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

When a similar audience is available, it will show the list size on each available network in your "Audiences" table. Once it's active, you can add your similar audience list to your targeting. If a list says "Incompatible" in one of the columns, that means the list isn't able to target on that property.

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

Using the Google Ads API

Account owners or administrators can also use the Google Ads API to upload data files and manage their Customer Match audiences. Advertisers can upload a data file, add or remove customer data or edit configurations through the API. To learn more, visit the remarketing section of the Google Ads API in the Google Developers website.

User choice and control

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

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