About Customer Match

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.

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.

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 that you can target with Customer Match:

  • On the Search Network and the Shopping tab, you can optimise 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 personalised 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 personalised ads on the Google Display Network.

This article explains how Customer Match works. You can also read more in Your guide to Customer Match. There are several recent updates that impact how Customer Match works. You can read more about those updates below.

Before you begin

Campaigns using Smart Bidding and optimised targeting automatically include all the Customer Match lists in your account to enhance your ad campaign performance for your goals, such as conversions. 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 optimised targeting from your account.

Bear in mind that:

  • This won't affect the targeting settings for your campaign. For example, if your campaign uses optimised 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 optimised targeting will automatically learn which Customer Match lists are helpful to your campaign's performance and continuously optimise 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 optimised targeting is available for YouTube, 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 Launched in Q4 of 2022
Search ads Launched in Q3 of 2023
Shopping To be launched in Q1 of 2024
Demand Gen (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 that you want to advertise a new loyalty programme 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 that 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 that 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 that they see on Google services, including Customer Match ads, in their Google Ads Settings.

EU user consent policy for Customer Match upload partners

As a part of Google’s ongoing commitment to a privacy-centric digital advertising ecosystem, we are strengthening the enforcement of our EU user consent policy.

If you are using a Customer Match partner to upload data for users in the EEA, you’ll need to work with your Customer Match partner to ensure that you are passing the required consent signals to Google. Learn more About the EU user consent policy for Customer Match upload partners.

Recent updates to Customer Match

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your audiences and make audience management and optimisation 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 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.
As Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policies go into effect, your data segments (especially website, app and automatically created lists) and Customer Match lists may be impacted on iOS 14 traffic (including the use of these lists for exclusions). Campaigns promoting web-based conversion goals – particularly those using Customer Match and your other data segments – may also see performance fluctuations. During this time, we'll be expanding modelled conversions to more iOS 14 traffic.

Having issues related to your Customer Match lists?

Contact us

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