Last week we co-hosted a webinar with Google about maintaining advertising performance while respecting users’ digital privacy. Google Head of Platform Partners Sharen Phillips, along with Adswerve experts like Head of Innovation Charles Farina, shared the results of our recent privacy survey, Google’s point of view on customer privacy and how to move forward with privacy-first digital strategies.
Feel free to watch the webinar below for all the details, however, in the meantime, we’ve captured a high-level overview of the discussion below. Enjoy!
Google’s Approach to Digital Privacy
In a nutshell, Google’s overall goal is to raise the bar for user privacy by developing better, more privacy-focused experiences for users while also addressing the requirements of publishers and advertisers. That way people all around the world can continue to access ad-supported content across the web and on apps.
Google believes this starts with taking a user-first approach that encompasses both privacy and performance. Adswerve’s recent consumer privacy survey showed that there’s a trust gap between brands and consumers. But sustaining user trust is an integral part of creating an open, ad-supported web. This can only happen when users are protected through advanced security and privacy options and ultimately when they have control over their privacy.
Solutions That Work For Consumers & Advertisers
It’s no secret that forward-thinking solutions will need to keep digital privacy top-of-mind and, Sharen shared Google’s point of view that standards and solutions need to work for everyone — consumers and advertisers. Google is investing in tools to help brands more effectively leverage first-party data, automation and machine learning and is getting more involved in aggregation, anonymization, on-device processing, differential privacy and more solutions in the Privacy Sandbox.
First-party data enables marketers and publishers to deliver great user experiences to their known customers and power digital marketing excellence. Google will continue to support first-party relationships in its products, and deepen solutions that build on them.
As the industry shifts from precision to prediction, automation and machine learning continue to be a future-proof investment to drive results—from modeling conversions where they aren’t directly observable to predicting the most relevant ad when user-level signals aren’t present.
The Google Ads team is using the principles outlined in the Privacy Sandbox to build and test solutions covering four main areas: ad targeting, ad delivery, ad performance reporting and most importantly, user privacy. They’re confident new technologies like those proposed in the Privacy Sandbox will power our web ads and measurement products in the future.
Many advertisers have questions about how the Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) and FLEDGE fit into future strategies, but it’s important to note that they’re currently proposals as part of a larger privacy effort within the Privacy Sandbox. Google is currently gathering feedback and we’re waiting on next steps. If you’re interested in learning more, you can go to the Privacy Sandbox, explore and offer your feedback.
While Google is busy preparing for the future, advertisers should also be adjusting their tools and processes, too. Here’s what Google recommends:
- Make sure you have up-to-date, clear and transparent policies on how data is collected, used and shared.
- Prioritize consent and implement user controls (like the ability to opt in/out) to comply with existing regulations and future-proof your practices for more regulation.
- Invest in first-party data solutions and customer relationships.
Three Ways to Prepare for Third-Party Data Loss
Although Google’s recent announcement about postponing the third-party cookie phase out until 2023 has given advertisers a little more breathing room in their rush to create new, privacy-centric data strategies, it’s still crunch time. There are several resource and process components to have in place. Here’s what Adswerve recommends (Charles Farina goes into more detail in the webinar):
1. Make Privacy a Part of Your Company’s DNA
In order to comply with data privacy regulations like CCPA or GDPR, you first need to understand what, where and how your different marketing solutions are using and sharing data.
Start by understanding what cookies are on your site using cookie scans and audits to inventory your digital storage (cookies, user IDs, etc.). This means you’re categorizing your cookies and digital identifiers to allow consent management flows and scheduling scans to be alerted about any new cookies.
Then you can start implementing (or changing) your preference and consent management processes—and personalizing your consent experience for various regulatory frameworks. Instead of simply creating an opt-in pop-up on your website, you can customize options for your users so they have flexibility and control. Tools like OneTrust can help you centralize and manage preferences and consent, and share information with users in a transparent way.
Lastly, keep in mind that you may be required to comply with certain legislation by using data deletion requests (DDR). It may be easier said than done, so you can prepare now by not only understanding the user data you’re tracking and how it connects to various platforms, but by also creating processes that can help automate DDR for those platforms.
2, Invest in the Right Technologies
As you re-evaluate your processes, make sure you have the right tools in your marketing stack, including:
Server-side solutions like Server-Side Google Tag Manager (sGTM) allow you to track sensitive information and activate it in different tools—all while keeping it safe on your own servers.
Data management solutions like Google Cloud Platform where you can store your data and use it for identity resolution, advanced analytics and activation.
Consent Management Solutions like OneTrust, referenced above.
3. Build and Activate on Your Strategies
Without third-party cookies, you’ll likely have less data to work with, but you can still move forward using solutions like behavior modeling (coming soon to the New Google Analytics) where you can extrapolate insights from your observed data using machine learning. You can also use tools like Google’s Enhanced Conversions, which is in beta, to perform customer match activities leveraging non-identifying information.
To get more details about how customers view privacy, steps you can take to prepare for life without third-party cookies and answers to commonly asked questions about regulations and tools, watch the full webinar. In the meantime, our experts are available to help you with any digital marketing challenges. Contact us to get started.