Dependent selection

This feature isn't enabled for all accounts. To enable it, contact Google Marketing Platform customer support.

Dependent selection allows advertisers to tie dependencies between feeds to simplify feed management (e.g. first select car model, then select image, url, and headline based on car model selected).

Dependent selection terminology

Before you begin to setup your feed, it is important to understand the following terminology:

  • Controlling Column: Located in the parent feed, this column is populated with content that will serve as the trigger for its child feeds.
  • Filterable Column: In all dynamic feeds, this column is populated with values that dictate which rows are eligible to be served upon impression. Examples include geographical values and Campaign Manager IDs. In the context of dependent selection, all child feeds will always contain a filterable column.

Feed setup

Through Dependent Selection, parent feeds uses filtering strategies (e.g. geotargeting or Campaign Manager IDs) that do not depend on other feeds. In parent feeds, a column is specified as the Controlling Column. The Controlling column is populated with content that will serve as the trigger for its child feeds. Based on the row chosen in the parent feed, the value in the Controlling column will be used to the filter for subsequent child feeds.

Example dependent selection feed

The following example of dependent selection utilizes Accurate Geo Type and Placement ID to determine the appropriate model and message to show a user.

The Geo Feed is one of the two parent Feeds. It filters on Accurate Geo Type (labeled "geo" below) to select a value from the Controlling Column (geo_id) that is later used as a geo proxy.

In the examples that follow, the blue column is the Filterable Column and the orange column is the Controlling Column.

The Model Feed is the second parent Feed. It filters on Placement ID (dcm_id), which is used as a proxy for model, to select a value from the Controlling Column (model).

The Geo Feed and Model Feed inform the child feed's Message Feed, which filters on the model and geo_id columns. Based on those filters, Studio selects a row of that feed.

Studio profile setup

Follow the below instructions to setup your Studio profile for use with dependent selection:

  1. Upload the parent feed(s) to Studio.

  2. In Step 2: Manage Data, the parent Feed's Controlling Column must be set to a field type of Text, and the Display setting must be set to Yes.

  3. Upload the child feed(s) to Studio.

  4. In Step 2: Manage Data, the child feed's filterable columns, which depend on values received from the Controlling Columns of parent feeds, must be uploaded as a field type of List of Values, and the Filterable checkbox must be selected
  5. Navigate to Step 3: Manage Rules. For each of the child and grandchild feeds, the parent feed and Controlling Column in the parent feed must be specified.
  6. For a child feed, select Prioritized from the Type dropdown.
  7. Click on Manage to specify the parent feed(s) and Controlling Column(s).Set up parent and child feeds

  8. In the Manage Window, select New rule and enter a name for the rule. Give the rule a name that describes the filtering strategy for the rule (e.g. Filter for Product Family).

  9. Set Auto-filter to "Yes" for the Filterable Column(s) of the child feed.

  10. Select the Dependent Selection radio button.

  11. In the Select Element dropdown, select the name of the parent feed.

  12. In the Select Attribute dropdown, select the column specified as the Controlling Column of the parent feed. Any other filtering strategies set during Step 2 for the child feed should also be reset here.


Frequently asked questions

How do I implement defaults in Dependent Selection?
In the Parent feed, specify the Default row using Boolean logic in the same way defaults are set in strategies without Dependent Selection. In the Parent Feed, leave the cells in the Filterable and the Controlling Columns empty for the default row. In the Child feed, specify the default row and also leave the filterable columns empty.

Default example:

How many levels of Dependent Selection can I use?

Currently, you can use three levels of Dependent Selection--Parent, Children, and Grandchildren feeds.

Is there a limit to the number of feeds I can associate with a Dependent Selection profile?

No, the only limit is related to the levels of feeds (For example, five different dependent selections attributes could pass to 3 different child feeds.) There can be Parent, Children, and Grandchildren feeds, but the number of them is not limited.

Can a Profile that uses Dependent Selection utilize feeds that are not dependent upon one another?

Yes, a single profile can contain feeds that use dependent selection, as well as other feeds that do not use dependent selection. For example, a profile could have a feed that just filters on geo to determine which brand's logo appears in the creative. The same profile could also have a parent and child feed, using dependent selection.

How do I preview with a Dependent Selection profile?

To preview a Profile using Dependent Selection, a user will only input the parameters for the Parent feed. For instance, if a Parent feed filters on Campaign Manager Placement ID as a proxy for Product Family, and the Product Family is passed from the Parent's Controlling Column to the Child feed to filter on Product Family, the user would only input the Campaign Manager Placement ID into the parameters in Preview.

One way to think about this is that the preview mimics what's occurring on impression. At impression, Campaign Manager has sent Studio relevant information for the impression (in this case, Campaign Manager Placement ID). Campaign Manager does not pass the Dependent Value used in the Child feed. Studio chooses an eligible row from the Parent feed based on the information from Campaign Manager. Based on Parent feed selection, a Dependent Value is chosen from the Parent feed and passed to the Child Feed.

How many values can be passed in any row of the Controlling Column?

Only one value can be passed from the Controlling Column of the Parent Feed to the Filterable Column of the Child Feed. This means that you can only enter one value per row in the Controlling Column. The Controlling Column cannot contain comma-separated values or a list of values.

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