Turbocharge your first-party data with Google Ads Customer Match

Enhance your Google Ads performance by leveraging first-party data with Google Ads Customer Match. Find out how to target and engage with your most valuable customers across multiple platforms.


With rising privacy concerns and the sunsetting of cookie-driven insights, it's more important than ever to get your data house in order. According to eMarketer, 87% of respondents from US companies reported that high-quality data is an important factor for their marketing performance success.

Whether you manage a multi-location medical practice, run an online store, or want to drive omni sales, understanding and maximizing the value of your first-party data is key. 

Google's Customer Match audience solution uses your online and offline data to reach and re-engage with your customers across Google Search, Shopping, 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.

Why use Customer Match data?

Understanding the needs of your audience during each stage of the customer journey is essential for developing and strengthening relationships with current customers. Advertisers can use audience signals to give Google information about the people they're targeting, such as age, interests, and previous buying habits.

Customer lists can be submitted to Google to further guide the AI on what an ideal prospect looks like.

Focusing on current customers rather than trying to obtain new ones can be more cost-efficient, which is why utilizing Google Ads' first-party audience features can be advantageous to your business when targeting your most profitable customers.

A recent BCG study revealed that the majority (90%) of businesses recognize the significance of their own customer lists in digital marketing. Yet, only 30% are collecting and integrating the data across their digital channels. Only 1% of businesses are leveraging their own data to customize Google's algorithm to offer cross-channel experiences.

How Customer Match Works

Google's Customer Match offering provides secure data ingestion, valuable audience insights to enhance an advertiser's first-party data, and provides the platform to communicate with your customers across the web.

Here are some examples of who you can target with Customer Match:

- On the Search Network and Shopping tab, you can bid based on your customers' activities.

- On Gmail, you can show personalized ads to customers or new potential customers with similar interests at the top of their inbox.

- On YouTube, you can reach new audiences by targeting segments similar to your most valuable customers. 

- On Display, you can reach new or existing customers with similar interests using personalized ads on the Google Display Network.

What is the Match Rate?

The correlation between your uploaded customer list and Google users is known as the Customer Match rate in Google Ads. In other words, this percentage reflects how many of the customers on your list Google could recognize on its platform.

The rates of matching may differ depending on the quality of your list of customers‌, how much customer data you have provided, and the customer's country of residence.

Advertisers typically have match rates between 29% and 62%. Nevertheless, it's not unheard of to experience figures outside of this range. If your customer list is outdated or contains incorrect info, the rate may be lower. On the other hand, if the list is new and accurate, the rate may be higher.

Here are a few tips that may help to maximize your Customer Match performance:

  • Make sure your customer list is formatted correctly. Google provides specific formatting guidelines for Customer Match lists.
  • Use the most accurate and up-to-date customer data possible.
  • Avoid uploading duplicate customer data.
  • Upload your customer list to Google Ads regularly. Doing so will help ensure your list includes the most recent customer information.

Get started with Customer Match Data

In your Google Ads account, go to Tools and Settings> Audience Manager > Segments > click the blue plus circle, then choose Customer List.

Follow the instructions to create your new customer list. 

Upload a CSV using this template for guidance. The more information you include, the higher the match rate and the more confident Google is in connecting with the audience. What is critical, at a minimum, is to include your customer's email address and first and last names.

At dbaPlatform, we encourage our clients to provide customer match data to enhance their targeting and messaging by providing insights proprietary to them and assisting AI in targeting the highest quality customers. Work with us today and maximize your online performance.

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