A data privacy primer with Google – everything you need to know
In this privacy primer for advertisers, The Drum caught up with two of Google’s UK privacy leads for insights and advice on how businesses can thrive in a privacy-first world.
An advertiser’s guide to thrive in a privacy-first world
In the world of digital advertising where consumers want more control of their personal data but are also seeking more personalized experiences, marketers today are faced with a challenge: how to bring all the benefits of data-driven marketing into a world that also puts data privacy first?
Every company today is on their own privacy-first journey. Get it right and the benefits are clear: research from Google and Ipsos shows that users who feel in control of their personal data are three times more likely to react positively to advertising and twice as likely to find it relevant.
That’s why we spoke to Claire Norburn, UK and Ireland privacy lead, Go to Market, and Adam Taylor, UK privacy lead, Google Marketing Platform at Google to give us the lowdown on the essential know-how around the most pressing privacy-related questions, issues and expectations that all companies face today and how to maximize the opportunities it offers advertisers.
“Responsible marketing should be seen as a growth opportunity – that’s why it requires an approach to customer privacy that is proactive rather than reactive,” they said. “If you deliver a feeling of control, build trust and forge mutually beneficial, sustainable relationships, your business will continue to thrive.”
What exactly do we mean by ‘data privacy’?
When we talk about online data privacy for customers, we are talking about the ability of an individual to determine when, how, and to what extent their personal information is shared and used.
And why does it matter to advertisers?
As more people begin to manage their lives online, they have become increasingly interested in the ways their personal data is being used and managed. The risk is that negative privacy experiences can impact trust between customers and companies, and impair their ability to form a positive, sustainable relationship with them.
What are some of the key short-term data privacy challenges to overcome?
In response to growing concerns over the way data is gathered and used, most mainstream browsers are phasing out third-party cookies. This means advertisers need to find new ways to engage with customers and measure success — ways that don’t rely on third-party data.
It’s a challenge that’s compounded by the increasingly “messy”, non-linear purchase journeys that today’s customers make. From mobile shopping apps to social media aggregators, advertisers need to account for more touchstones than ever before as they try to bring customers closer to the products they’re interested in.
How can privacy-preserving alternative technologies help the industry move forward?
People shouldn’t feel they're being tracked across the web to enjoy the benefits that personalized advertising offers, and marketers shouldn’t feel they need to follow their customers’ every move to deliver performance advantages.
New privacy-preserving technologies are being developed to address this tension — the goal is to reduce reliance on cross-site and cross-app tracking, while also providing publishers and advertisers with the tools they need to help drive and measure their privacy-first marketing effectively.
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Whose responsibility is it within the business to drive this privacy-first mindset?
Getting your privacy-first strategy right is a multi-year journey, and it takes more than just your marketing department to deliver it for it to be comprehensive, trustworthy, and effective. The C-suite should help define a strong privacy-centric culture, and bring it to life through your people and operations.
A number of C-level executives and business leaders shared their experiences of building privacy-first businesses – each bringing distinct ideas and strategies to the table: from developing the frameworks and common language that help everyone better understand privacy, to defining exactly who is accountable for privacy measures.
Is it essential to have a dedicated privacy team?
It’s crucial to have the right people filling privacy-centric roles in your organization. What’s most important is a candidate’s own relationship with privacy, and their drive to stay abreast of a topic that is changing almost daily. See here for more perspectives from business leaders on identifying candidates as you build out your privacy team.
Alternatively, if you’re not in the position to hire expertise in-house, you can work with accredited agencies. They also offer best-in-class solutions and the talent to help you prepare – hear from three UK agency leaders on where your privacy strategy needs to be by 2023.
What impact will a privacy-first approach have for businesses?
Research published in 2021 between Google and Ipsos, a study with 7,200 Europeans, revealed that people are more likely to trust companies when they make it clear how they are using customer information and what they will offer in exchange. And when people are more likely to trust companies, marketers are more likely to see significant performance benefits.
From these findings, we developed a set of guiding principles to help marketers make their activities more meaningful, more memorable, and more manageable. The report champions proactive, privacy-first measures that help customers feel more in control, more willing to trust companies, and more willing to share their data with those companies.
From here a much clearer picture of what impactful, privacy-first advertising looks like begins to emerge. One in which brands can engage their audiences, discover more about their customers and get the most complete picture of their campaign possible.
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Google is committed to helping businesses thrive in a privacy-first world. The technology giant works with thousands of businesses and agencies to help them prepare for a future without third party cookies. Using privacy-preserving technologies, built on machine learning and automation, it can fill reporting gaps and understand people’s needs in a privacy-centric way.Find out more