How To Combat The Changes in Data Privacy Regulations and Restrictions

How To Combat The Changes in Data Privacy Regulations and Restrictions

Karolina DobkowskaKarolina Dobkowska

March 11, 2022

Data privacy is the protection of personal data and the decision for who has access to it. Think of HIPAA, where health data is protected so that only certain doctors and the patient themselves have access to it. In recent years, as more apps and websites are collecting data, there has been a push for data privacy regulations and restrictions. On one end, this is incredibly important, but from a marketing perspective, privacy regulations and restrictions on cookies can have performance implications, making it more difficult to understand and reach our target customers.

We are moving from an era of obtaining precise data and information to an era of prediction and model conversion. So, how can we prepare for these changes? This is a hot topic right now. In this article, I will talk about what we can do in Google ads environment and how we can leverage machine learning and capabilities based on the data we have to fill the gaps in the data we don’t have.

The concern with data privacy

In the digital world, a lot of users are concerned about how data has been used by companies and how our regulation of advertising platforms and browsers are changing. People don’t want companies to have too much information on them, which has led to changes across many platforms. So, with these concerns in mind, how do we still successfully advertise to our target audiences?

Privacy-centric measurement solutions

Google has prepared a full range of advanced tools, which can help us safely use first-party data from the data lever protection. Google’s privacy-centric measurement solutions are the answer on how to move in a cookieless world. Privacy-centric measurement solutions are Google’s solution to third-party cookie restrictions. Instead of using third-party cookies, we should start with proper preparation for collecting data by using first-party data solutions and infrastructure.

We have 4 things to consider.

  1. Global Tag Site - we should keep it on all webpages, to ensure good tracking foundation
  2. Enhanced Conversion - for more accurate measurement
  3. Consent Mode - Especially for EEA & UK, where cookie constant choices are needed
  4. Google Analytics 4 - implementation

The first is the global tag site. This is common for advertisers, but we should keep it on all web pages to ensure a good tracking foundation. Another part is enhanced conversion for more accurate measurements, which is important for the EEA and the UK where cookie consent choices are needed. This is the first part of our preparation - the infrastructure solution.

This enables us to unlock the next layer of solution offered by Google, which is based on modeling and automation. Using the mentioned solution, Google will be able to generate observed and model conversion for us. When we add smart bidding and data-driven attribution connected with human intelligence to the mix, we'll be able to unlock the full profitable account growth.

What are enhanced conversions and how can it help?

Enhanced conversions can improve the accuracy of conversion measurement. It supplements existing conversion tags by sending hashed first-party data from our website to Google in a privacy-safe way. Let's assume that a Google signed-in user viewed our YouTube ads and converts on our website. The conversion tag captured the field where we leave our data, such as email. This hashes this data and securely sends it to Google where it is matched against the Google hashed user data. By this, the conversion is reported in our accounts.

In the previous solution, this data was passed by click ID, but when the cookies are restricted by browser changes, click ID can’t be appended to the cookie. That’s why we need this solution now. We have three options here for implementation. We can use implementation with Google Tag Manager, manually implement with a Google site tag, or use an API connection. It’s important to have 20 or more conversions per week to get the full benefits of this solution.

Implementing enhanced conversions

Before we decide to implement this enhanced conversions solution, we have to be sure that we follow the strict guidelines from Google. This is to ensure that on our website, we have the correct customer data.

For example, we could have email addresses, names, home addresses, or phone numbers on where a customer makes a purchase. Customers could also leave contact data on the signup page. Either way, we would need this data. This is essential in order to use this option.

Another important part of the preparation process in implementing enhanced conversions is to make sure you have the correct privacy policy on your site. Companies have to inform their customers that they're sharing their data with third parties to provide advertising measurement services on their behalf. They have to obtain customer consent for such sharing. If this is required by law, it is important to check in and be 100% sure so that we are complying with all applicable laws and restrictions.

The impact of using enhanced conversions

What can you expect when using enhanced conversions? What we will see after implementation of enhanced conversion is the new status in the conversion status column. A few days after implementation, we will see a new status, which will be "Recording (processing enhanced conversion)" in our status column. That tells us that from this data, Google has started processing enhanced conversion data. They will notify us that this addon will be integrated into our conversion data. It's important to remember that we need to wait up to 75 days until the system is fully trained before we start to get an impact with the data.

In the meantime, everything will be working as usual, and we will get our standard data. Considering how many times it takes to fully implement the enhanced conversions solution, it is important to implement this solution as soon as possible to get the enhanced conversion data quicker to have a more complete picture of the data.

Consent Mode

In Google Ads, consent mode lets you adjust how your Google tags work based on whether or not your users consent. One benefit to consent mode is it helps us to better communicate between user consent and the data that we collect. For example, if someone doesn't consent to the collection of the marketing data on our site, the consent mode will pass this information to Google Tag Manager that we don't want to track that data. This also works in the opposite way.

Another benefit of using consent mode is that we can use machine learning to complete the data that users don’t give us consent to track. Google claims that we'll be able to restore up to 70% of conversion data using this solution. Although this is a lot, we have to remember that before we implement consent mode, we have to meet specific requirements from Google. We have to be advertisers with a presence in the EEA or UK, have correctly implemented the consent mode in ads, and have a daily ad click threshold of 100 clicks per day per country and domain grouping. When we meet these requirements, the system goes into the training phase, and gradually we'll notice an uplift.

However, the most beneficial part of using consent mode is conversion modeling, which uses machine learning to analyze the observable data and historical trends, quantifying the relationship between consent and nonconsent users. This creates a more complete and accurate view of advertising spend and outcomes for us. As a total conversion, we will see a sum of observed and modeled conversion. At the same time, we can respect user consent choice, which is important. We should use this solution when a user decides to opt-out of cookies, especially for the UK and EEA where the law is more strict in terms of getting user consent.

Ladder can help you keep up with changes in data privacy

With all the upcoming changes, it is important to prepare as soon as possible. The use of the new infrastructure and the maximum use of first-party cookies and machine learning should be on your to-do list in 2022. At Ladder, we will help to prepare your business properly for this change with the use of our specialist knowledge. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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