Leveraging First-Party Audience Segments in Google Ad Manager 360 for Targeted Advertising

Daniel Ganlin, May 2, 2024

Discover how to leverage your visitors’ data for more precise targeting and monetization of your advertising business with GAM 360.

In the dynamic realm of online publishing and digital advertising, precision targeting is key to maximizing revenue and enhancing user experience. Google Ad Manager 360 offers a formidable tool for publishers: the ability to create and target first-party audience segments. This feature is exclusive to GAM360 and provides publishers with a strategic advantage in reaching their desired audience effectively.

Audience Solutions within GAM360 facilitates the creation of nuanced first-party segments, eliminating the need for additional pixels or tags on websites or apps. By leveraging user interactions and content engagement, publishers can define audience segments tailored to their specific needs. The beauty of this system lies in its customization potential and immediacy; segments based on page views or app activities of 1 and no recency are instantly added, while others may take up to 48 hours to populate.

Leveraging First-Party Audience Segments in Google Ad Manager 360 for Targeted Advertising

So, how can publishers capitalize on first-party segmentation to optimize monetization and enhance ad targeting?

  1. Behavior-Based Segmentation: Publishers can craft segments based on user behavior across their digital properties. For instance, if certain sections consistently draw high engagement or generate sales, publishers can target ads to those users as they navigate other parts of the network. This targeted approach ensures that ads are relevant and impactful, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
  • Example of use: A Travel website “Travel Tips” section consistently attracts a high volume of traffic, particularly from users researching vacation destinations. The publisher partnered with a travel agency in order to target these users. By creating a segment called “Adventure Seekers,” defined as users who have interacted with travel-related content twice within a week, the publisher could seamlessly serve targeted ads for the travel agency on other sections of the site / app. This way, even when users explore unrelated content like “Home Decor” or “Technology News,” they’ll encounter ads tailored to their travel interests, effectively extending the reach of the advertiser across the digital ecosystem.

2. Utilizing Audience Pixels: Audience pixels offer a versatile means of targeting segments without relying on Ad Manager ad tags. These pixels enable publishers to populate segments from various areas of their sites or apps which may not have GAM ad code on, as well as partner and advertiser platforms. By harnessing audience pixels, publishers can broaden their targeting scope and reach users with precision.

  •  Example of use: Let’s say you operate a popular lifestyle blog, and one of your advertisers, a fitness brand, wants to retarget users who have visited their website or app. By leveraging audience pixels, you can create a segment called “Fitness Enthusiasts” comprising users who have engaged with fitness-related content or products. Collaborating with the fitness brand, you can implement an audience pixel on their platform, enabling them to reach this segment of engaged users across your network. Whether users are browsing fashion trends or reading about cooking tips, they’ll encounter ads promoting the fitness brand, thereby driving conversions and fostering brand loyalty.

3. Action-Based Targeting: Another powerful feature is the ability to target users based on specific actions or interactions with ads or creatives. By adding users to segments based on their behavior, publishers can tailor campaigns to suit their preferences and interests. This granular level of targeting enhances ad relevance and effectiveness, driving better results for advertisers and publishers alike.

  • Example of use: Consider implementing a feature on your recipe section where users can download exclusive cooking guides. Each time a user downloads a guide, they’re automatically added to a segment called “Culinary Enthusiasts.” Subsequently, when these users revisit your site to explore content like “DIY Projects” or “Travel Experiences,” they’re presented with ads tailored to their culinary interests. This action-based targeting not only enhances user experience by delivering relevant content but also provides advertisers with a targeted audience primed for engagement and conversion.

Moreover, first-party segmentation enables publishers to transform unsold run-of-site or run-of-app inventory into premium ad space. By targeting audience segments, publishers can command higher CPMs, thereby maximizing revenue potential. This strategic shift from generic inventory to premium segments enhances the overall value proposition for advertisers, fostering stronger partnerships and driving revenue growth.

4.Beyond online interactions, publishers can also integrate offline data into Ad Manager to enrich first-party segments. By leveraging demographic insights and user data, publishers can create key-value pairs to pass into Ad Manager, effectively translating offline data into actionable segments. Additionally, batch uploading lists of identifiers such as cookies or mobile advertising IDs further expands the scope of first-party segmentation, enabling publishers to unlock new revenue streams and enhance targeting capabilities.

GAM360 offers three population methods for first-party audience segments:

  1. Traffic-Based: This method populates segments based on ad requests that match specified targeting and activity thresholds. Enabling this toggle ensures segments are populated efficiently, maximizing targeting precision.






You can set the number of page views a visitor must see before their identifier is added to the segment, between 1-12.

2. Pixel-Based: Publishers can opt to build first-party audience segments without serving ads by adding a 1×1 transparent Audience pixel tag to their site or mobile app. Each Audience pixel tracks specific user activity, allowing for precise targeting without the need for ad serving.

You can also set the number of page views a visitor must see before their identifier is added to the segment, between 1-12.

3. Publisher Managed: For publishers seeking more control over their first-party segments, this method allows for manual population via bulk upload. This option enables publishers to create segments with no behavior targeting, providing greater flexibility and control.

All 3 methods have a membership expiration is the number of days a visitor remains a member of a segment before being removed for not meeting the Page views goal, between 1-540 days max.

In order to create a new audience segment in GAM360 – go to Inventory > Audience > New audience segment

In essence, first-party audience segmentation in GAM360 empowers publishers to unlock the full potential of their digital assets. By leveraging user insights, behavior data, and offline demographics, publishers can create highly targeted segments that drive engagement, enhance ad relevance, and maximize revenue. In an increasingly competitive digital landscape, the ability to deliver personalized experiences and targeted advertising is paramount. With Google Ad Manager 360, publishers have a powerful ally in achieving these objectives and staying ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving world of online publishing and advertising.

As a GAM360 partner and reseller, we at Oraki are highly familiar with not only how to set and better leverage first party audiences for our customers but also build a high-level 1st party data strategy. Get in touch with us today to learn how you can leverage your first party audiences