Planning for Privacy First: Short and Long Term Solutions for Effective Measurement

We’ve already explored what privacy-first advertising means and looked into some of the possible good and bad scenarios which can arise from this new way of working. In our latest blog, we are examining 3 key questions that every business needs to consider. These will underpin the fundamentals of planning for privacy-first marketing. 

  1. How will I acquire/source data without cookies?
  2. Which methods can I use for collecting aggregate data for analytical purposes?
  3. What metrics will underline Best Performance?

In broad terms, the answer to the first question is simple. Marketing tactics that rely heavily on cookies (such as multi-touch attribution models) are going to be most affected by them being phased out. In contrast, techniques like marketing mix-based models which rely less on Cookies will naturally be less affected. Between the two sits digital and cross-media brand activity and Sales or Conversion advertising activity, all of which will be affected to a point, but the scope will vary depending on your business.

With this in mind, in the short term, how can you plan your marketing and advertising for a privacy-first approach?

Like a top athlete preparing for sporting success, the key to success is planning for privacy first.

Short Term Planning for Privacy First

When planning for privacy, businesses need to consider three key categories. Firstly, they need to evaluate their data granularity; this refers to the specificity of data that you collect. You also want to think about how your data is going to change in the future.  

As you would expect, the more specific data is going to be less available with privacy-first advertising because people have to actively opt-in to being tracked – as it stands, it seems unlikely that they will do this en-mass. With this in mind, it’s worth considering whether you can use aggregate data more effectively in your analysis. Are the most common results a trend that you can use to inform other decisions?

Secondly, you should think about your data pathways. With more opportunities for users to interact with your adverts, in theory, you should collect more data. However, if users haven’t opted in, the pathway can very quickly become blurred and difficult to track. So, your job is to investigate how you can align your marketing pathways to make them similar where possible. 

Finally, it’s worth reviewing the scope of policies that are applied to your marketing. Different regions, devices and browsers are going to be affected in different ways due to privacy-first approaches taking precedent. Take time researching how this will impact you and your business. For example, running a click vs conversions campaign now might help you evaluate where performance will diminish if cookies are unavailable for IDFA marketing in the future. 

Planning for privacy first requires you to give equal attention to short and long term outcomes.

Long Term Planning for Privacy First

Adapting for privacy-first marketing in the longer term falls into four key components. Businesses must be prepared to adapt and try additional techniques. The changes in cookie laws will make aggregated data more common so models that rely on this approach (like marketing mix models) will start to become more dominant. Alternatively, you can look at using brand-lift approaches to understand how memorable your campaign is by obtaining direct feedback from customers. 

Secondly, privacy-first marketing is going to require you to assess and evaluate new vs old solutions in more detail. Calibrating your existing concepts with new techniques is the best way to assess how your marketing performance will change. You may need to make wholesale changes to a number of your campaigns as you may discover that new strategies become more cost-effective, give faster results or trigger a general improvement in performance.

It’s vital to also stay abreast of any further changes. Regulatory and technological changes, especially those around data, are critical for marketing agencies and businesses. You should be prepared to continually assess the impact of privacy-first policies and initiatives on your marketing. A state of continuous improvement will be the new best practice for ensuring your operations stay up to date.

Finally, a bigger focus on cooperation will be beneficial. Actively engaging with industry partners on a local, regional or specialist level will help you both understand and discover the best solutions for effective working. Moreover, it gives you a stronger platform to advocate for solutions that are beneficial for both your industry and consumers.

Take time for planning for privacy first in order to ensure it is successful for you and your business.

The Final Word: Planning for Privacy First and Good Measurement

In planning for privacy first, it’s critical to have a short and long term picture in mind. In the immediate future, businesses need to evaluate their data granularity to define pathways. They also have to align aggregate data with this information. In the longer term, it’s all about testing new approaches, adapting your old ideas to fit the new way of working and cooperating with others to ensure everyone benefits from planning for privacy first. 

In our next blog, we’ll look at the value of anchoring incrementality in your brand and how this plays a part in effective privacy-first marketing.