How advertisers can prepare for an ad-free future on Google

Many were left disappointed after this month’s Google I/O conference, which featured no notable hardware announcements and only a swipe of ads. But we should take the lackluster presentation as a calm before the storm, as there are massive changes coming in the advertising sphere.

Google has always been a believer in privacy and has given consumers ad choices – no surprises there, with AdChoices and now Google My Ad Center. Given that 80% of the tech giant’s revenue comes from advertising as it continues to monetize its Moonshot business, what is the end goal of letting users suppress their ad preferences? Couldn’t this cause an “iOS 14.5” moment where 96% of US users opted out of Facebook app tracking?

The world of advertising is turning upside down. Are marketers ready?

While no cookies is Google’s mandated consumer privacy method, My Ad Center is the user-controlled method to limit data shared with data aggregators, publishers, and platforms. third. My Ad Center allows users to limit their searches, videos and digital consumer life by avoiding leaving behind key identifiable information such as search results and browsing history. More importantly, it notifies users when email, phone number or home address (or all addresses) are tracked by websites, which happens regularly since this information is the backbone of third-party audience segmentation and first-party data refinement.

Traders should be very worried. Imagine a world where 96% of users opt out of providing their primary identifiable advertising information to third party data providers. How would we know that our audience segmentation is accurate? How do we attribute performance tracking across platforms?

This has ramifications when it comes to every paid advertising campaign, where precision targeting is key to grabbing the attention of digital and mobile users. Moreover, it means that with the difficulty of converting users due to stricter targeting settings, ROI will decrease and advertising costs such as CPM, CPC and others will see a drastic increase. This is no different than what we see on Meta right now, where some categories of advertisers are reporting CPM increases of 86% as it becomes “harder” for advertisers to convert users. The only option left is to increase ad spend, thereby creating competition for the same user, thereby driving ad prices.

How advertisers can prepare for upcoming Google changes

Marketers and advertising agencies should already integrate data science rather than relying on a data science team. Advertisers need to start figuring out how to refine, integrate, and combine third-party and proprietary data sources to create Custom Audiences and push them to ad platforms while the cookies are still there.

There’s also the other alternative, which Google would prefer: Switch your advertising to DV360 and the GoogleAds platform, where you can still leverage Google’s user activities and histories to target them both on and off-platform. form. While My Ad Center will limit third-party publisher sites from accessing your history, and the upcoming cookieless will eliminate the “backdoor” of continuing to collect this information, Google DV360 and Google Ads will still allow you to accurately target Google users, which at last count was far larger than any user base in the world at 4.3 billion.

Advertisers can also consider strengthening their programmatic, data integration, data warehousing, and data cleanroom infrastructure. Handling and managing personal information in a world of increasingly stringent privacy laws equates to peanut-allergic employees working in a peanut processing plant.

Can My Ad Center’s cookie-free future be an opportunity rather than an obstacle? As long as data compliant data cleanrooms such as Snowflake or data integration platforms such as Semcasting or LiveRamp, combined with an agency or programmatic team that works pervasively across platforms such as the Trade Desk or DV360 and internal data manuals, are set up with training.

Better to put this data suit for clean room.


Humphrey Ho is Managing Partner at Hylink Digital US

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