Build and manage audiences

You can use Ads Data Hub to build and manage audiences, which can then be shared with your linked Google Ads and Display & Video 360 accounts. Data from your linked Google Ads, Display & Video 360, and Campaign Manager 360 accounts can be used to create audiences, but the final lists can only be used for remarketing within Google Ads and Display & Video 360.

Ads Data Hub allows you to create 2 kinds of audience lists:

  • Remarketing lists show your campaigns or line items to users who have previously clicked on your ads.
  • Frequency capping lists limit the number of times that your campaigns or line items can be shown to potential customers. (Only available for use in Display & Video 360.)

Remarketing

Remarketing allows you to strategically target users who have previously interacted with your ads. Optimizing your media buys based on a user's previous activities with your ads can lead to better engagement and increased brand loyalty. Additionally, Ads Data Hub allows you to aggregate data from multiple accounts and include first-party data to further enrich your audiences.

In Ads Data Hub, for the purposes of remarketing, you can only build audiences of users who have had a click or conversion event with one of your ads.

As a best practice, Ads Data Hub recommends that you maintain a 1:1 relationship between audience queries and audience lists.

Create a remarketing audience

After writing your audience query, you'll need to run the query in order to populate the audience list.

  1. Navigate to the Queries tab in Ads Data Hub.
  2. Click + Create query.
  3. Under "Audience", select Create blank query.
    1. Write BigQuery compatible SQL.
  4. Give your query a name.
  5. Optionally, add parameters to your query.
  6. Click Save.

Run a remarketing audience query

Audience queries can be run either to populate a newly-created audience list, or to add users to an existing list. Both of these actions have similar steps, with the only difference being whether you specify New or Existing before running the query.

  1. Navigate to the Queries tab in Ads Data Hub.
    1. Optionally, filter by query type to show only audience queries.
  2. Click the name of the query you want to run.
  3. Click Run.
    1. Select the data source using the "Ads data from" field.
    2. If applicable, specify an account to use for matching in the "Match table from" field.
  4. Select Existing or New.
    1. Existing: Select the list that you want to update.
    2. New: Enter a name and description for the new audience.
  5. Enter a date range and time zone.
  6. Click Run.

Frequency capping

Frequency capping audiences give you better control over user exposure to your campaigns, by negatively retargeting users based on how many times they've been exposed to your ads. Here's how it works: you specify a list of campaigns or line items where you want to compute frequency, along with an impression threshold. Once a user has reached the impression threshold and you've run a frequency capping query, they are added to the frequency capping audience.

Since users are added to frequency capping lists actively (via you running queries), users may see your ads more than your threshold allows. Ensure that you're regularly running frequency capping queries in order to maintain the accuracy of your lists.

See the API samples for examples of how to use the API to create a frequency capping audience.

Data sources can include Google Ads, Campaign Manager 360, or Display & Video 360, but lists can only be used in Display & Video 360.

Create a frequency capped audience

  1. Navigate to the Audiences tab in Ads Data Hub.
  2. Click the Frequency capping tab in the upper navigation.
  3. Click + Create audience.
  4. Audience details:
    1. Add a name and (optionally) a description.
  5. Configuration:
    1. Enter the maximum number of ad impressions a given user can have before the campaign or line item stops serving to them.
    2. Enter the window (in days) over which a user's ad impressions are counted.
  6. Data:
    1. Select the Ads Data Hub account in which you'd like the audience list to be added.
    2. Under "Sources", select the campaigns, insertion orders, or line item IDs to be used to populate the audience list.
    3. Under "Destinations", select the accounts to which the list should be shared.
  7. Click Save.

Update a frequency capped audience

You can add additional campaigns, line items, or insertion orders to an existing frequency capped audience.

  1. Navigate to the Audiences tab in Ads Data Hub.
  2. Click the Frequency capping tab in the upper navigation.
  3. Click on the list you want to update.
  4. Under "Data > Sources", select the campaigns, insertion order or line item IDs to be used to populate the audience list. You can’t remove sources which have already populated in the list.
  5. Click Run Again to apply the changes.
  6. Click Save.

Share audiences

By default, the audiences you create won't be trafficked out to your linked accounts. In order to use lists that you've populated using Ads Data Hub, you must selectively share those lists with your linked accounts.

To share an audience list:

  1. Navigate to the list you want to share.
  2. Google Ads:
    1. Click Choose customers under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  3. Display & Video 360:
    1. Click Choose advertisers & partners under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  4. Click Save.

You can also stop sharing a user list with an specific account. To update your sharing configuration:

  1. Navigate to the list you want to update the sharing settings.
  2. Google Ads:
    1. Click Choose customers under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share or stop sharing the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  3. Display & Video 360:
    1. Click Choose advertisers & partners under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share or stop sharing the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  4. Click Save.

Restrictions and privacy considerations

In addition to the requirements listed below, the lists that you create must also comply with the eligibility and targeting policies of the platform in which the list is used.

Aggregation requirements

Audience lists must contain 100 or more 30-day active users. This means that the audience lists you create won't be eligible for targeting in Google Ads and Display & Video 360 until 100 or more users on the list have been active for 30 or more days.

First-party data

Data that you've uploaded into your BigQuery account can be used to augment ad event data, but it can't be used as the source of user IDs used for targeting. First party data can be joined using cookie matching or custom floodlight variables.

Recency

User IDs have a lifespan of 30 days within audience lists. You can refresh this lifespan by re-adding user IDs to the audience.

ID space eligibility

Currently, audience activation is limited to ad events tracked via DoubleClick IDs. (Events occurring on the Google Display Network or Google video partner sites.)

Event eligibility

In order to protect end-user privacy, not all events are available to be used in audience queries. Events not meeting this criteria will automatically be filtered. Eligible events are limited to:

  • Impressions with follow-up events, such as clicks or conversions. Note: you can't select from impression tables directly. Google Ads tables have pre-joined impression data, available via google_ads_clicks_audience.joined_impression.* and google_ads_conversions_audience.joined_impression.*. Data Transfer based clicks and activities have available impression data in event fields.
  • Available fields. (See the list of blocked fields below.)
  • Events associated with an IDE (doubleclick.net) cookie.
  • Signed-out events. (This excludes YouTube.)

Additionally, events may be filtered if there's a risk that they could reveal sensitive information about users.

adh.cm_dt_impressions and adh_dv360_dt_impressions cannot be used in audience queries. The following fields from Ads Data Hub tables can't be used in audience queries:

  • adh.cm_dt_clicks.event.dv360_matching_targeted_keywords
  • adh.cm_dt_clicks.event.dv360_matching_targeted_segments
  • adh.cm_dt_clicks.event.site_id
  • adh.cm_dt_clicks.event.placement_id
  • adh.cm_dt_clicks.event.dv360_url
  • adh.cm_dt_clicks.event.dv360_site_id
  • adh.cm_dt_activities_*.event.dv360_matching_targeted_keywords
  • adh.cm_dt_activities_*.event.dv360_matching_targeted_segments
  • adh.cm_dt_activities_*.event.dv360_url
  • adh.cm_dt_activities_*.event.dv360_site_id
  • adh.google_ads_clicks_audience.joined_impression.publisher_domain
  • adh.google_ads_clicks_audience.joined_impression.content_url
  • adh.google_ads_conversions_audience.joined_impression.publisher_domain
  • adh.google_ads_conversionss_audience.joined_impression.content_url

Finally, ensure that you are creating audiences in compliance with Ads Data Hub's policies.

Sample queries

Create an audience of all users that have clicked on an ad for a particular campaign_id:

select user_id
from adh.google_ads_clicks_audience
where joined_impression.campaign_id in (@campaign_ids)
;

Create an audience of all users that have interacted with particular campaign_id and match customer data using a match table:

select user_id
from adh.google_ads_clicks_audience_match
where joined_impression.campaign_id in (@campaign_ids)
  and external_cookie in (@match_ids)
;

Create an audience of all users that have interacted with a DV3 campaign with a particular u_value:

select user_id
from adh.dv360_dt_activities_attributed
where event.u_value in (@uvalue_ids) and event.dv360_line_item_id in (@line_item_ids)
;

Create an audience of all users that are related to specific floodlight activities:

select user_id
from adh.cm_dt_activities_attributed
where event.floodlight_config_id in (@floodlight_ids)
;

API samples

Audience activation API samples are available in Java only. Download the sample API code here.