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The digital marketer’s privacy marketing tech toolkit explained


By Jenni Baker, Senior Editor

June 12, 2023 | 11 min read

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When 77% of UK consumers are concerned about the state of their online privacy, how can marketers keep on top of the latest privacy-preserving technology? In this handy explainer, we break down the challenges, strategies and solutions to help.

The privacy marketing toolkit explained

The privacy marketing toolkit explained

In today’s constantly evolving privacy landscape, it can be hard for marketing leaders to keep up with the privacy-preserving tools and technologies at their disposal. But when digital media performance is so dependent on protecting people’s privacy first and foremost, marketers will have to upgrade their marketing toolkit to build, measure and activate data responsibly in order to grow their businesses.

It’s no secret that people are increasingly concerned about how their data is collected and used online. In turn, regulators are strengthening protections for the collection, usage and transfer of personal data - particularly for advertising. The knock-on effect of that is that technology platforms, including browser and mobile operating systems, are updating their practices to limit the way user data is generated, shared and measured.

Marketing leaders are in a unique position to prepare their organization for sustainable growth - but they also need technology solutions that can help balance the need to deliver on customers’ expectations, and meet their marketing and business goals.

“To meet and exceed rising consumer expectations, products, programs and partnerships must be approached with a long-term privacy lens that focuses on adapting to a changing, complex macro-environment,” says Darragh Daunt, head of data and measurement solutions, large customer sales (LCS) platforms UK at Google. “On average, we’ve seen organizations getting benefits worth 1.8x* their privacy investment by forming a strategy built on responsibly gathered first-party data and AI-powered solutions to optimize the performance of their digital campaigns.”

Read on to explore what to look for when it comes to privacy-preserving solutions in your tech stack to address the consumer and market shifts shaping the future of advertising.

1. Build more meaningful customer relationships: earn people’s trust to unlock more first-party data

The insight: what's happening?

People are concerned about how their personal information is collected and used online; a recent Google study* showing that 77% of UK consumers are concerned about the current state of their online privacy. They want increased control over how their data is used.

The strategy: how should marketers respond?

A first-party data strategy built with privacy in mind and customers at the forefront can help realize the full value of marketing. By putting customers first and respecting their expectations for privacy, it is possible to build direct relationships with them while boosting marketing effectiveness. Key to this is strengthening your foundation of responsibly gathered first-party data through clear communication about your data practices to build trust with the right value exchange.

The solution: what tools should marketers be looking for?

To future-proof measurement, marketers should explore next-generation analytics which collect event-based data over session-based data from both websites and apps to better understand the customer journey. This includes privacy controls such as cookieless measurement, behavioral and conversion modeling. The predictive capabilities of Google Analytics 4 - which will replace Universal Analytics in July - offer guidance without complex models and can be directly integrated to media platforms to help drive action.

For a more advanced option, bring your business and marketing data together for a holistic view of marketing’s performance and business impact. Google Cloud, for example, offers seamless connectors to key data sources, connecting first-party data like CRM, sales, product, customer service, social and more, for a holistic view of marketing analytics in a connected platform; from which it’s easy to build AI models from consolidated data.

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2. Measure customer interactions accurately: understand customers and get actionable insights to help improve ROI

The insight: what’s happening?

Tech platforms are evolving techniques - such as device IDs and third-party cookies - that advertisers have relied on for decades to reach audiences and measure results. But when people are interacting with products and services via multiple touchpoints, connecting all the dots across channels continues to present challenges.

The strategy: how should marketers respond?

A strong measurement foundation can help provide an accurate view of performance across channels - allowing marketers to generate insights and adjust their marketing strategy for better business results. Enabling first-party data can give a more accurate view of how users convert. Use machine learning to make sense of available signals to get accurate measurement insights from your first-party data across online and offline touchpoints.

The solution: what tools should marketers be looking for?

It’s important to have the tools in place - and permission where required - to generate insightful and actionable first-party data when direct interactions take place. Investing in a strong measurement foundation through sitewide tagging is a key step toward building a privacy-safe strategy. Building a strong foundation of first-party data across multiple products will require a solution that can automatically interpret available signals and provide the best reporting possible.

Look for features that can improve the accuracy of conversion measurement and unlock more powerful bidding. Google’s Enhanced Conversions, for example, supplements existing conversion tags by sending hashed first-party conversion data between websites and Google in a privacy-safe way. When selecting an attribution model for conversion actions, shifting the focus to data-driven attribution gives credit for conversions based on how people engage and interact with various ads before deciding to become a customer.

Modeled conversions use data that doesn’t identify individual users to estimate conversions that can’t be observed by Google directly, for example. Giving a more complete report of conversions, this provides high-quality measurement to accurately understand the impact of marketing to prevent underbidding or overbidding.

To unlock more accurate conversion measurement with modeling in light of consent changes, tools like Consent Mode allow marketers to adjust how Google tags behave based on what consent users have given and enables Google to model for gaps in conversions. The tags dynamically adapt, utilizing cookies for specified purposes when consent has been given.

3. Activate insights to drive growth: connect with the right people at scale and drive meaningful business results

The insight: what’s happening?

People are turning to brands that can anticipate their needs and deliver helpful, relevant experiences. A Google/Ipsos study* found that providing a positive privacy experience can increase share of brand preference by 43%, while 39% would switch brand loyalties to a second choice brand in response to a negative privacy experience with their preferred brand.

The strategy: how should marketers respond?

With a robust first-party data strategy and privacy-preserving measurement in place, automated solutions can help to activate audience insights. Ensure a comprehensive and consolidated view of audiences, by simplifying audience management and optimization. Multiply customer connections at scale using insights from first-party data and drive performance and ROI with automated tools aligned to the marketing objectives.

The solution: what tools should marketers be looking for?

Look for a solution that utilizes online and offline data to reach and re-engage with customers across search, shopping, email, video and display. Using information that customers have shared, tools like Customer Match do all of this heavy lifting, allowing brands to target ads to those customers and other customers like them.

Time saving and performance improvements can be achieved with automated bid strategies and smart bidding, that use machine learning to optimize for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction. It means that advertisers can make more accurate predictions that factor in a wider range of parameters that impact performance than a single person or team could compute. A value-based bidding strategy can help optimize for total value rather than volume.

“Alongside leaning into first-party data and AI-powered solutions, experimenting with new privacy-preserving technologies can help you grow your business,” says Daunt. “But as an advertiser, you don’t need to implement these new technologies directly yourself. There is an ecosystem of certified partners who can add strategic guidance and implementation know-how to help clients future-proof faster.”

You can also keep up to date with the progress of the Privacy Sandbox initiative for latest technologies that both protect people’s online privacy and give companies and developers the tools they need to build thriving digital businesses.

*Source: Robert Waitman, “Privacy Becomes Mission Critical,” Cisco Blog, January 26, 2022.

*Source: Google/Ipsos, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Privacy by design: the benefits of putting people in control, n=10,001 online participants aged 18-70, July 2022.

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