Channel Eye has joined forces with Jo Buchanan, the Founder of TwitTwooYou, a business growth strategic consultancy centred on getting brands noticed.
This series gives real-world, practical marketing advice. In the fourth article of the series, Jo looks at the impact of data protection rule on digital advertising.
Ever since the launch of GDPR in May 2018, the concept of privacy has been high on the agenda of many. Due to public pressure, Google began tightening its grip on the privacy of its searches by removing keyword data from Google Analytics reports and now Apple has also made privacy changes that allow mobile users to opt-out of being tracked across their iOS apps.
So what do these changes mean? And how could they impact the very core of digital marketing activity?
Without access to golden data like keyword search terms, it makes it incredibly difficult for digital marketers to develop targeted and effective advertising campaigns.
Not having the ability to qualify keyword data or target their ads to audiences based on interest is a big thing and could impact the overall success and return on campaigns.
After all, when you create a Google Ad campaign or a Facebook Ad campaign, the first thing you’ll be considering (after the ad(s) have been created) is who to target? Who is your target audience? Without that rich keyword data, it makes targeting incredibly difficult, which therefore has a direct impact on the overall success of the campaign.
We have seen a shift in the market and the dawn of a new era focused more on user privacy, where personalisation and targeting are more of an opt-in than an opt-out experience.
So, is data privacy killing digital marketing as we know it?
Facebook doesn’t really want these changes to happen and they have already attempted to circumvent these changes by revamping its business tools to support its ad-targeting business.
Since Apple announced its new anti-ad-tracking privacy protection measures last year, Facebook has been its number one opponent.
While Google has appeared to take a more neutral stance to the public and has tried to detach itself from the issue, an update to an ongoing lawsuit has revealed that it has quietly been working behind the scenes with Facebook to circumvent these protections to continue tracking users of the Safari web browser in efforts that may date back to 2020.
While Facebook continues to attempt to circumvent these new privacy rules, it has also recently looked to launch its own data set of users, called ‘Topic Data’ which invites users to tap on topics they are interested in, thus creating their own record of interest groups. It’s a workaround from gleaning keywords as it gives companies a flavour of what their potential audiences are into.
Let’s be clear. Nothing ever comes for free, so, in time, this data could be monetised and become an ad feature, where businesses could pay for higher placements. So while we may find a workaround, it’s still going to cost the end business user in the long run.
To tackle the increased difficulty around targeting, Facebook has also tried to make it easier for businesses to chat with their customers. Businesses can pay for ads that encourage people to message them on Facebook’s various chat platforms, including Messenger, Instagram Direct or Whatsapp. The user can then choose their preferred chat platform, and Facebook will default the chat app showcased in the ad to encourage conversions.
Facebook is also making enhanced recommendations to businesses so they can understand their campaign’s impact and performance. For example, it is suggesting that businesses wait a minimum of 72 hours before evaluating a campaign’s performance; meaning they should not make assessments on a daily basis (this is actually really good advice for anyone running digital campaigns on Facebook and Google).
It also suggested that businesses should analyse the reporting at the campaign level rather than the advertisement level and suggests the creation of goals that are most aligned to the business’s core aims for example a purchase or a sign-up or a download.
That’s where goal creation within Google Analytics is so important – don’t forget your Facebook pixel to track traffic if you are using Facebook advertising!
To find out more about Goals and how to create them, visit Google’s help page.
So in conclusion, it’s clear that the introduction of stricter privacy rules means digital advertisers are going to need to take a different approach to plan, implement and review digital marketing campaigns.
Setting goals on Google Analytics will certainly help qualify the overall success of a campaign, but the aim of effective reach remains unsolved, for now.