Customer Match Lists (Audiences)

Maintain audience lists in Google Ads to retarget and re-engage your users.

Connect your Google Ads Account

Follow the set-up instructions here!

Sync a Customer Match List with Census

1. Create your Google Ads Customer Match Model

Navigate to the Models page.​

Here you can write SQL queries or select dbt models that contain the data you want to send to Google Ads.

Right now, we're going to send data to an existing Customer Match list, which requires a specific set of properties. We'll create a model that has:

  • The email of the Customer

  • Any other properties about the Customer that can assist in the match.

Once you have created your model, click save.

2. Create your first Sync

Now head to the Sync page and click the Add Sync button

In the " What data do you want to sync?" section

  • For the Connection, select the data warehouse you connected in the Prerequisites Step 2

  • For the Source, select the model you created in step 1 of this section

Next up is the "Where do you want to sync data to?" section

  • Pick Google Ads as the Connection

  • For Object, pick Customer

For the " How should we identify customer list members?" section

  • Pick the right mapping key, in this case, we'll use Email

  • You will have the option of picking an existing list to sync or creating a new list to sync

Finally, select the fields you want to update in the Mapper in the "Which Properties should be updated?" section. Here simply map the field from your model to the properties of the Customer Match List.

The end result should look something like this

Click the Next button to see the final preview which will have a recap of what will happen when you start the sync.

3. Confirm the data is in your Customer Match List

Now go back to your Google Ads account and view the list. If everything went well, you should see that the list has been updated with your data. Because this is an Audience Matching mechanism, Google will not tell you the exact number of matches it found, but should tell you that it was updated.

That's it! In 3 steps, you connected your data warehouse to Google Ads and built live Customer Match audiences Google Ads 🎉

Best Practices and Notes

Google Customer Match, as its name implies, is a matching service rather than the usual direct upload. In order to protect user data, we do not upload the data you provide directly. Instead, records are "matched" against Google's existing user base. To do this, both sides perform a "hash" -- or consistent, but irreversible conversion -- of data so users can be compared without revealing the actual personally identifiable information. Census automatically takes care of this hashing step for you.

We recommend you do not use Google's Customer Match expiration setting. Census-synced records are subject to the same expiration and will not be re-uploaded unless they are changed in your source data.

🔄 Supported Sync Behaviors



Update or Create


Sync Keys: User ID, Mobile ID, Email, Phone Number

Please note that the above behaviors will map to what you select in the, "When a record is removed from source data" dropdown in the Customer List sync section. Selecting "Do Nothing" will map to Update or Create(Upsert) while "Remove matching record from customer list" will map to Mirror.

Contact us if you're looking for additional Sync Behaviors!

Note: If you're reusing an existing Customer Match List, Census will not remove any users already added to those lists through other means.

Digital Markets Act (DMA)

When syncing Customer Match Lists to Google Ads, you can include consent information to ensure compatibility with Google's EU User Consent Policy. Google Ads objects now support two additional fields: Consent for ad user data and Consent for ad personalization, which can be set to one of the following values: UNKNOWN, UNSPECIFIED, GRANTED, DENIED. See Google's documentation for more information on the behavior of different options.

⚠️Common Issues

Did my sync work? It says completed but it isn't showing the updated timestamp I expect.

The standard place where bulk files uploading update status doesn't actually update when using Census. Instead, you've gotta hover on a specific card.

Steps to get there:

  1. Open your google ads account

  2. Navigate to Tools & Settings > Audience Manager

  3. Hover over the name of your desired audience in the list.

  4. Expand the section labeled Customers based on email, phone, and/or mailing address uploads

  5. Within that, you'll see a Last upload label.

If that date isn't the same time as the most recent sync completed, please reach out via our in-app chat and we will investigate it with you.

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