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The Future of Digital Marketing Part One: Changing Regulations & OS/Browser Tech


July 9, 2021

Welcome to the first post of our three-part blog series on the future of digital marketing. First up, we’re covering new privacy regulations, the technology that browsers use to enforce them and tools you can use to adhere to them. 

The marketing and ad-tech industries are changing quickly. From an IT/InfoSec perspective, change can be an unwelcome burden if 2021 budgets and resources didn’t account for them. In a nutshell, marketers need to re-architect their digital experiences rapidly before their ability to measure and attribute their investment back to the bottom line disappears.

The Google Cloud and Google Marketing Platforms can support enterprises through this transition. We’ll explore that more in the next post, “Transition to Secure, First-Party Compute,” but for now, here’s a brief overview of the current privacy landscape and where it’s heading.

Tracking Prevention – Securing the Cookie

Significant changes are happening in the privacy landscape related to a concept known as “Tracking Prevention.” Companies integrate these concepts into their Operating Systems, for example, the iOS 14.5 AppTrackingTransparency framework, and into their browser technologies, like Intelligent Tracking Prevention or Enhanced Tracking Protection, etc.

The first bad actor to get the boot was third-party cookies; these enabled publishers to broadcast visitor data all over the internet. WebKit browsers are already blocking these cookies, with Chrome expected to follow suit in 2022. 

Table showing the percentage of websites using various subcategories of Cookies

The new focus is around securing the remaining first-party (“1P”) cookies with HTTPOnly Secure protocols. It’s essential to highlight how disruptive that standard is. While critical to privacy, the fact remains that the vast majority of all cookies are not in compliance with this standard.

The effort to transition these client-side cookies to server-managed will require a massive lift from IT/DevOps orgs that could be unprepared to adapt to these changes before marketers experience a significant amount of data and attribution loss.

Consent Management – Privacy As a Standard

In addition to changes in the tech landscape, government mandates and regulations are changing as well. We experienced the first wave of this already: cookie consents were rare two years ago and are now ubiquitous across the internet. As regulation becomes more fragmented, enterprises will need to implement consent management to respond in real-time.

Using a Consent Management Platform, like our partners at OneTrust, a leading risk management solution provider, your enterprise has the framework you need to manage this rapid change. Working with partners to integrate these platforms yield significant benefits in terms of speed to value and resource efficiency. That said, Adswerve stands at the ready to support your evolving needs regarding consent management.

Stay tuned for the next post in our series, “Transition to Secure, First-Party Compute.” In the meantime, please feel free to reach out with any questions.