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How marketers can re-evaluate their ad privacy strategies in 2024

How marketers can re-evaluate their ad privacy strategies in 2024

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If you’re a digital marketer, 2024 isn’t merely just another year – it’s a watershed moment. Anticipated industry shifts, such as Chrome’s cookie deprecation which will be rolled out in the second half of this year, are no longer a distant prospect.  

This transformation is driven by a fundamental evolution of consumer expectations. Consumers are increasingly aware and vigilant about how their information is collected and used. An Asia Pacific survey confirms this with eight in 10 respondents indicating that online privacy is important to them, and 70% saying that they will stop engaging with a brand in response to a violation of their trust around data. 

The consumer directive is clear - we must re-evaluate our ad privacy strategies and assess reliance on legacy technologies. Recent developments such as Privacy Sandbox, App Tracking Transparency are examples of how we’ve successfully adapted to significant platform changes.  

While major shifts may be daunting, they’re not new — take the initial hesitancy surrounding the shift to mobile as an example. Ultimately, those who embraced the change unlocked an unprecedented period of growth and innovation. 

The next few months demand similar decisive action - a rethinking of first-party data strategies, rigorous experimentation and a commitment to a consumer-centric approach. Here’s the strategic roadmap on how industry leaders and marketing experts can prepare for the coming year and beyond.

Reset your mindset 

Today’s era of digital advertising requires a new approach. Marketers need to shift from “precision” to “prediction” in order to deliver results at scale.  

While the fundamental marketing goals of driving awareness, intent, and sales aren’t changing, the ways to achieve these goals are. Google’s approach centers on first party data, AI, and privacy-preserving technology. We’re building new technologies to deliver advertising performance without privacy compromises.  

What we’ve traditionally come to expect in how we reach and re-engage audiences, as well as measure campaign performance have been changing already and will come to a head soon. 

Remarketing is an example. Arguably it’s been one of the biggest catalysts for people’s concerns about privacy online because they’re perceived as following people across the web. So, in a world without third party cookies, standalone remarketing campaigns are unlikely to achieve the same scale as today, without additional technology such as AI. 

Creating a durable strategy with three key ingredients

We’ve been talking about the importance of adopting privacy-centric, durable strategies and solutions for years, but we’re now at the point of no return. So, here are three recommendations: 

1. Strengthen your first party data strategy. Building and strengthening your first party strategy is more important than ever. A study we did with BCG found that brands who use first-party data for key marketing functions achieved up to a 2.9x revenue uplift.

Despite its clear benefits, most brands aren’t yet harnessing first-party data’s full potential. A good starting point is assessing your digital marketing maturity and identifying opportunities to increase your maturity.

Determine where you have capability gaps and consider whether a new piece of technology is critical to meeting your business objectives. In India, Tata AIG General Insurance integrated data across multiple internal functions, and saw a 10% incremental revenue for its travel insurance products when they applied a combination of broad match keywords and performance max to value-based bidding. 

2. Lean into AI-powered solutions. AI-driven tools require less data to make predictions and fill in the gaps for unknowns to help you optimise for your campaign goals.

Singapore headquartered Scoot, saw at least 30% incremental conversions when it leveraged AI to analyse traveler intents and preferences to identify new search queries that were not covered by its existing keywords. 

3. Test and implement privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs). Marketers should start testing and getting comfortable with PETs such as tagging. Ad tech providers should start testing the Privacy Sandbox APIs and other privacy-centric tech now and often to find the best outcomes for your business.

In Singapore, we forged a joint partnership with IMDA earlier in the year to help Singapore businesses prepare for a privacy-first future. Through this partnership, Singapore businesses can test their Google's Privacy Sandbox solutions within IMDA's Privacy-Enhancing Technologies (PET) Sandbox, a secure environment where businesses can use or share data without disclosing sensitive information. Since launch, the programme has received widespread interest and we are working with companies across industries, web publishers and mobile applications in helping them migrate to a more private internet.  

The time to act is now 

Early adopters of privacy-preserving solutions are already reaping tangible benefits. The message is clear: respecting privacy isn't a burden, it's a competitive advantage. Leaders who understand the value of experimentation – testing, refining, and iterating – will be able to optimise strategies in this new landscape. What they’ve shown is it’s important to test and learn now to figure out what works best and make adjustments. 

Regardless of where you stand, the landscape has changed. Third party identifiers are deteriorating fast. It’s time to embrace the change and enter a new period of innovation and growth – together.  

This article was written by Ben King, managing director at Google Singapore, APAC Agency

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