Earlier this month Google began warning advertisers of its latest update to Customer Match lists:
“Campaigns using Smart Bidding and/or Optimised Targeting will be able to use all Customer Match lists in your account to enhance your ad campaign performance for your goals (e.g. conversions).”
Customer Match is an audience type. A manually uploaded list of online or offline customers, and allows advertisers to pop those people into a bucket(s) and then retarget them across the Google Networks (Search, Shopping, Gmail, YouTube and Display).
How Customer Match works
- Create a customer list using your first-party data (your email subscribers or previous customers for example) and format it in a way that Google can read (.csv file using Google’s template – for detailed instructions see: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/6276125)
- Build a campaign and/or ad group containing ads that are targeted to this audience
- When the people on the list are logged into their Google accounts, they can be shown your ads when they are using Google Shopping, Search, Display, Gmail or YouTube
Ways to use Customer Match lists
There are many other ways that you can use customer data, for example:
- Bid adjustments – if you know that this list of people are more or less likely to convert on a campaign, you can adjust the bids accordingly across your Search and/or Shopping ads
- Find new customers with similar interests to your customer list with Gmail and Display ads
- Influence new segments – find segments that are similar to your customer data with YouTube ads
May 2022 Update
The latest update means that the lists will soon be used in conjunction with Smart bidding and/or Optimised targeting.
This differs from the current setup, because, at present, advertisers have to manually add customer audiences to campaigns.
“If you’re using Smart Bidding or optimised targeting and Customer Match, your Customer Match lists may be used to improve your campaigns’ performance. Customer lists will soon be automatically included in Smart Bidding. Different campaign types will start including customer lists at different times.”
The timeline for rollout across campaign types is as follows:
If you would prefer that your lists were not factored into your Smart Bidding or Optimised Targeting performance you can choose to opt-out. This means that by default they will automatically be used.
Simply find Account Settings, under Settings in the left hand navigation. Then find the Customer Match section and untick the ‘Use all Customer Match lists in Smart Bidding or Optimised Targeting’ option: