BY: MARY ANN PRUITT, PRESIDENT/CEO OF MOSAIC
This is a guest blog from our partners at Mosaic, a team of media-buying experts and creative strategists that develops regional and national buying plans for our clients.
As news sources around the world have reported, the digital advertising industry is making privacy-centric shifts to enhance the security of users’ data. Advertisers will see the effects of these changes over the course of the coming months and will need to adapt their tracking methods to obtain Key Performance Indicators and marketing metrics. Google has recently announced that this will be delayed until 2023 due to the industry needing more time to test and refine the changes. Here’s what we know right now:
iOS 14 and 15 Web and Mobile Updates
iOS devices such as iPhones and iPads will become more difficult to target with the latest privacy updates from Apple. Platforms like Facebook are already seeing a decline in audience reach with these changes since they are built to leverage users’ data for advertising. The App Tracking Transparency analytics show 96 percent of U.S. users have opted out of tracking.
Key areas of change from iOS include cookie data storage being limited to 7 days, apps being required to ask user tracking permission outside of the app, and a 3-day reporting lag. Facebook can no longer provide gender, age, or region placement, and changed to 7 days click/1-day view vs. 28 days click/1-day view. This impacts tracking and web conversions, affecting the reach of an audience. With the locating feature turned on, an individual’s phone will show their approximate location with a permission map where it will show a big radius circle instead of the user’s precise location.
What this means for you: It will be more difficult for advertisers to target/hyper target specific demographics such as behaviors and location based targeting with the new Apple privacy measures. Since iOS is a major operating system throughout the U.S. we may see a decline in our data until we can adapt to a different way to reach this consumer base.
Android 12 Changes
Google quickly followed the changes in iOS updates with their mobile operating system. Now, the next Android update will also include privacy changes that limit what data apps can use. These updates include a Privacy Dashboard with a live view of apps using data, including the use of mic, camera, and location. There is also an indicator that lights up when a camera or mic is being used. Users can request that apps have access to only approximate location information instead of precise location information.
What this means for you: Similar to Apple, consumers will have more options to limit the data that Google can use to track you and serve you ads. Advertisers won’t see the impact of this until later this year when Android 12 officially launches. Normally Android updates are slow to roll out to devices which could take several months.
Facebook Updates (IOS)
Due to iOS 14/15 and browser changes related to privacy, Facebook ads and tracking will experience the following limitations which you should take note of: Facebook pixel tracking will be limited in measuring the effectiveness of a business’s campaign based on consumer interactions on the site. This results in less data to work with when optimizing ads. Facebook Retargeting restricts Apple users who opt-out of the data tracking and will not be included in the retargeting audiences, so as more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, the audience may decrease. Domain verification will be required through Facebook Business Settings. Also, users who select “Landing Page Views,” which uses Facebook Pixel, cannot track iOS 14 devices whereas choosing “Link Clicks” will not be affected.
What this means for you: Facebook advertising will be less effective when on mobile devices. The workaround for now will be to keep targeting more broad, but we expect to see reach and impression numbers dip.
How Will These Changes Affect Best Practices?
- Think ahead. Now is the time to inform company leaders of the coming changes to KPIs. Allowing time for the adjustments will lessen the shock when standard campaign metrics drop or performance reports start to look different.
- Keep your audience in mind. Ensure ads are being delivered to the most relevant audiences at the right frequency.
- Stay ahead of the curve. Maintain a collaborative work environment as new policies emerge from the tech giants. Keep an eye on the curve as the digital space continues to adapt to a user-centric privacy experience. Implement safeguards against user data breaches to protect against negative publicity moving forward.
- Find alternatives to cookie tracking. In January 2020, Google announced they would be phasing out third-party cookies by early 2022. However, Google has pushed back its intended plan to 2023. This gives the digital advertising industry enough time to figure out plans for more privacy-conscious targeted ads. Some advertisers are concerned that the phaseout will force businesses to heavily rely on Google Ads to create personalized ads to launch. Google has offered an alternative called “Privacy Sandbox,” a new web browser/technology that is still in the works that can access user information and tracking without compromising privacy and the use of third-party cookies
User Identity Graphs
An Identity Graph (ID Graph) is a database that collects customer records from all data sources to create a Unified Customer Profile and allows advertisers to run cross-channel and cross-platform campaigns through:
- Emails (personal or work)
- Physical address
- IP addresses at home and work
- Mobile phone number
- Account usernames
- Non-PII ( first-party cookies and pubIDs)
- Fingerprinting (This method identifies users not by special codes stored on their system, but by their browser, system, and device’s features, such as: time zone, installed plugins, screen resolution.)
Privacy has always been at the forefront of Apple devices. With the new updates and the refinements coming in iOS15 and Android, these companies are paving the way for the rest of the industry to follow. These two companies dominate the mobile landscape in the U.S. With the changes they are making to privacy, they are forcing advertising platforms to change how they track and target consumers. This will force the industry to re-evaluate KPIs and to adapt to new optimization strategies within the digital advertising space.
Visit us at https//:mosaic.agency for more information on this or other marketing developments.