What is Customer Match?

Written by: 
Molly Niemczyk

Customer Match is a powerful Google Ads audience targeting tool that can help B2B businesses take their advertising to the next level. Today, we’re diving into the specifics of how it works, why it’s important, and the steps your company can take to begin using Customer Match for Google Ads today.


How It Works

Customer Match uses online and offline data that customers have provided while interacting with your business in order to target those customers and similar people. This data can include a customer’s:

  • First and last name
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Zip code
  • Country
  • Mobile device ID

Businesses can take this data and create customer data files. This is then uploaded to Google, where the customer information is matched to Google Accounts. Once this is completed, advertisers can target or exclude this audience list in certain campaigns. This means that those customers that have been targeted will see these ads on Google’s advertising platforms (Search Network, YouTube, or Gmail) when they’re signed into their Google Account. Note that users do have the choice to opt out of ads like these by changing their Google Ads settings.

Businesses can also expand their targeting by using the “Similar Audiences'' feature. Google Ads will examine a variety of factors to build this audience, including:

  • The number of people on your customer list
  • How recently these people were added to the list
  • Search behavior of your customers

This data will be aggregated and Google will find new, similar people to show your ads to. Keep in mind that there has to be enough information on the list, and enough similar behavior between customers, to create a Similar Audience. Also note that sensitive information is not used to create Similar Audiences, in accordance with Google’s personalized advertising policy.


Why It’s Useful

Customer Match gives businesses an opportunity to engage with people who have already expressed interest in their goods or services, or find new people who are likely to find value in their business. Whether you want to simply increase brand awareness or drive conversions, Google’s tool is built to improve performance and achieve a variety of business goals.


Requirements for Using Customer Match

If you want to begin using Customer Match, you’ll need to make sure your account is in good standing. According to Google, accounts that want to use this tool must have a good payment history and a good history of policy compliance. Additional features are available for certain accounts depending on which additional requirements they satisfy.

Policy compliant accounts can use the “Observation” setting, which lets advertisers monitor how ads are performing within selected parameters, without narrowing the actual targeting. Accounts can utilize the similar audiences feature in “Observation” setting as well. Additionally, policy compliant accounts can exclude specific audience segments from their targeting.

Accounts that have 90 days of history in Google Ads and more than $50,000 in lifetime spend get some additional perks. They can use similar audiences outside of the “Observation” setting. They can also use the “Targeting” setting to narrow their ad groups to specific audiences or to appearing on specific content. These accounts can also make manual bid adjustments.


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