How to Adapt to New Privacy Changes (and Still Locate Your Target Audience)
Jun 21 2022
By all appearances, the sweeping privacy updates that so abruptly reshaped the past year in digital media aren’t finished yet. Between Apple allowing iOS users to opt out of advertiser tracking in 2021 and Google gearing up for more transparent data safety policies this July, marketers can expect additional privacy changes to continue impacting campaigns and strategies across virtually every ad platform.
Fortunately, any seismic shift in the digital landscape usually unearths opportunities to better target your key audience — so long as you know where to look. Here’s how some advertisers are already adjusting to this bold new era of data privacy, and what you can do to follow suit.
Understanding the Latest Privacy Changes
Data privacy is a big deal. Changes to Apple’s data tracking policies last April still have tech giants like Facebook reeling, and though third party cookies for web-based sites haven’t disappeared just yet, Google has designs to do away with them by the end of 2023. What was once the currency of the digital marketing economy has been reduced significantly by privacy regulations built to protect consumers.
While Google’s plans aim to be less disruptive than Apple’s rather sudden policy change, Android users are likely to receive similar data opt-out privileges in the near future. While the search engine’s policy changes are undoubtedly spurred by the increased likelihood of incoming federal regulations governing the use of private data, a lengthy 2-year transition period should help advertisers make a smoother transition to alternative tracking methods.
Navigating Privacy Changes in 2022
The key to handling a long goodbye to third-party cookies? Pivoting to its more reliable sibling, first-party data. Advertisers previously engaged in campaigns based purely on third-party cookies will probably want to better-acquaint themselves with some of the following first party data gathering techniques:
- Utilizing powerful APIs (like Google Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox)
- Controlling brand messages and user experiences on social platforms through native ads (70% of consumers say they prefer learning about products or services through content rather than traditional advertising!)
- User tracking through mobile ad IDs, particularly via in-app advertising
- Sorting ad groups by “Only Trackable Users” on platforms like The Trade Desk to maximize ad impact on specific devices and channels
- Granting access to content in exchange for email sign-ups or online account creation
Why Using First Party Data Is an Evergreen Strategy
Working with an ad landscape in constant flux isn’t exactly a new challenge for digital marketers. In fact, it’s pretty much the defining characteristic of the industry. There’s no telling exactly how the pending Google update or other yet-unforeseen regulations will affect the ever-evolving world of digital media. Some days it’s new privacy policies, others it’s sudden changes to SEO and page-ranking algorithms — but no matter how the details change, acquiring accurate data will always form a solid foundation on which to build.
Prioritizing first-party data, emphasizing mobile ID targeting and developing ad content made to be relevant and shareable will both boost your current branding efforts and protect your ad practices against future disruptions.