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Host Julie F Bacchini & Guest Host Simon Poulton addressed this week’s PPCChat session. Concerned about upcoming changes to tracking and attribution, Are experts doing anything now to prepare for the loss of cookie data, Biggest topics to worry about, and more was discussed.

Here is the screencap

Q1: Let’s get an idea of who is participating today – please describe your mix of search and social as well as B2B, B2C, Retail and DTC.

Omnichannel over here. Search and social across all clients, and plugged into broadcast, print, OTT, digital audio, out of home…it’s the works baby! and somehow, it all has to work together. @JuliaVyse

I do paid search and paid social. A mix of B2B and B2C. Not really much in any e-comm space. @NeptuneMoon

I’m on today, though I won’t be on twitter a whole lot for obvious reasons. Re: channels, we use a mix of search & social for B2B clients. @heyglenns

Heavy Google & FB/IG for DTC, SaaS and b2c services. No b2b at the moment. @CJSlattery

Hi folks! My name is Simon Poulton, in my role at @Wpromote as the VP of Digital Intelligence, I focus on all things data, with a particular focus on signal resilience and effective utilization methods. @SPoulton

80% B2C, 20% B2B. 25% retail/ecom. 90% DTC. @JonKagan

For me I am mostly ecommerce and paid search. Heavy into the channels that focus on product sales from Google to Amazon. I have fewer clients who are B2B or social focused, but I still have some. @lchasse

Honestly, it’s a mix of all that. Relatively heavy on the search side, but plenty of social for DTC + retail, as well as luxury/high-end B2C. @DigitalSamIAm

66% DTC ecomm, 33% B2B, Search 70%, display/social 30% @360vardi

Q2: Are you concerned about upcoming changes to tracking and attribution, such as the loss and/or blocking of cookie data?

Partially, there is a lot of hype & clickbait around “the death of the cookie” but that doesn’t mean the death of identity resolution. It *does* mean shorter attribution windows & some targeting loss on the open web though. @SPoulton

I understand that more privacy is needed. And as a marketer I am ready to adjust to that reality. As a consumer, I don’t trust these platforms with my data at all. @AndrewPPC

Digital journeyman. B2B, eCom, SaaS; social, search, audio, etc. I like D2C social the most but it changes based on my client mix. Love all the things. @timmhalloran

For some reason, I’m not. Probably because, this isn’t the first time we’ve been through this. @JonKagan

Not really. cookies are old, they’re stale, they’re boring. I’m into 1st party, CRM where possible, and building longer term connections than a little crumbly session. @JuliaVyse

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned, though I think I’m less concerned than most. Attribution is already volatile, but I think most major players (Google, FB, MSFT/LI) have viable alternatives to traditional cookie tracking. @DigitalSamIAm

I am concerned about things changing mostly because this *could be* a significant shift in what kinds of data we have access to and how we can use it. That could make for headaches on multiple levels. Glad to be discussing it NOW though! @NeptuneMoon

Not concerned. As long as people can make money from online ads, there will be some way to track, remarket people. End of the day whoever controls the data, wants to monetize it and government policy is always 2,3,20 steps behind. @360vardi

Honestly, and this could be naive: no. Advertising is too big a business, people will always find a way. Attribution has always been ugly, this is just letting us see that and become marketers again. @PPCKirk

My first reaction is yes, because it will make our jobs a little tougher. Also privacy is not a bad thing. When you think about it, we have always had challenges as marketers and we will still find ways to be successful even if it means less data to go off of. @lchasse

Increasingly, I’ve seen the data as “always has been junk” so what does it really matter that we get even less information? @ferkungamaboobo

This is one of my top concerns right along with loss of control and data. I’ve also noticed some alarming swings in Smart bidding strategies in the last couple weeks. Not exactly making me feel great about losing vision and control. @jord_stark

Not really. Digital advertising is a multiple 9-fig business and runs on being able to track conversions. There’s a lot of motivation to ensure tracking works. @stevegibsonppc

Q3: Is a bigger concern for you and your clients attribution or targeting when it comes to less available cookie/tracking data? If it is a concern at all?

Targeting totally. @timmhalloran

I am more concerned for 2021 when Chrome excludes 3rd party cookies. Then we just see all other platforms get weaker. @JonKagan

It’s a concern, sure, but not end of the world type concern. I’d rather do customer match and lookalikes than cookie-tracking any day. It’s just a good place to get started. Plus, you can build page view audiences right in google & fb so.. @JuliaVyse

I’ve been asked by a few clients about cookies “going away.” Essentially it’s putting the ecosystem into question – if a core thing that makes the system “go” goes away, what then? @ferkungamaboobo

Both are concerning, but marketing efficacy is predicated on targeting, so this is a larger concern. Not just targeting itself, but also monitoring and enforcing reach & frequency thresholds as well. @SPoulton

Targeting is my main concern. @lchasse

Honestly, I can’t have my clients concern with either of those things. Talking to most clients about this almost immediately hits a snooze button. When we do figure something like this out and explain it, they say great and move on. @360vardi

Targeting mostly. Attribution has always been a mess but its a manageable mess. Targeting is much more important imo. @AndrewPPC

Targeting is the greater concern for me as well. Although it sure feels like the major platforms might be gleeful over this in that it could push more into “give us the basics and let our super amazing algorithms figure it out for you” dream…@NeptuneMoon

Possibly targeting, but this raises an interesting question. Platform attribution will still be in full effect (I believe I’m right on that?) since 1st party cookie… soooooo, that means Platforms 100% control what they report as attribution with no 3P verification. @PPCKirk

Cont: Even though it might take a lot of work and thought on our end, all they really care about is one of 3: Are we getting sales? is CPA efficient? How can we grow? and it’s fine. They pay us to worry about the details. @360vardi

Data decay is a reality for all organizations, regardless of the source. I’m not convinced that the cookie-centric ecosystem has hindered development of better, more versatile and more robust targeting capabilities. Now that it’s gone, let’s see what comes next. @DigitalSamIAm

Q4: Are you planning and/or doing anything now to prepare for the loss of cookie data? If so, what are you planning/doing?

Looking at various work arounds to synthesize the data. @JonKagan

I’m prepping with conversations. my clients tend to focus on…um…weirdly tracked outcomes. Or just straight up internal sales data. So we’re all making sure we’re on the same page and investing in data projects. @JuliaVyse

Just depending on our own internal data systems to find opportunities. @lchasse

I feel like I am frequently saying something about the how the rules and landscape of the digital ad playing field can shift at any moment and without notice, so we should be prepared to make changes and prep for what we can see coming. @NeptuneMoon

Yes, we’re investing in a few diversified solutions, including: 1) Data ownership – ensuring our clients are utilizing CDPs and incentivizing users to log in. (This is very hard though) 2) Server-side Tracking – not a silver bullet but a great way to enhance signal resilience and diversify external. 3) IDs used to match users back to platform IDs. Investigating various ID solutions such as Unified ID 2.0 – although these are still built on top of PII, so while it’s technically fine (currently), it will not have a long legislative life. @SPoulton

One thing I am doing is pushing myself to read release notes from GA and (soon) browser makers, so I can better explain the limitations to clients & the agency team. @heyglenn

Implementing FB Conversion API for clients early. That can work in tandem w/ the pixel for the time being. Also, telling clients to make sure their CRM / 1st party is solid (AND consolidated/clean). This is becoming a big part of my job lately. @timmhalloran

Q5: Are you or your clients currently CCPA compliant? What steps should advertisers take here?

Happily yes, but that’s more by accident. the CCPA is *almost* as strong as the privacy laws here in BC, so we’re already there. geography to the rescue! @JuliaVyse

Absolutely they are – consent is the heart of our client engagements and we recommend they all have a cookie management solution, as well as a Do Not Sell My Info form. @SPoulton

Yes, kinda, sorta, I dunno. @JonKagan

All of our clients don’t fall under the CCPA, from a revenue from CA perspective. That said, CCPA is pretty easy to comply with. The biggest thing is to have a process in place for when someone wants to remove their data. @ferkungamaboobo

Q6: What, if any, impact have you seen as a result of ITP changes over the past year?

This is a hard one, for clients that are Safari-heavy, we’ve certainly seen fewer touchpoints included in the attribution mix, but in addition to this, we’ve been trying to move to shorter attribution windows across the board. @SPoulton

Q7: Have you implemented any alternative measurement solutions beyond tracking exclusively with platform pixels (such as incrementality testing, or marketing mixed modeling (MMM)?

All of the above. we blend all kinds of data to show our results, along with balancing next to sales/internal success metrics. @JuliaVyse

Yes, we have a lot of internal data points we are depending on more now especially with larger clients who have better data solutions. @lchasse

Absolutely. We do this two ways – we build projection models before campaigns start, then evaluate overall efficacy with MMMs. Helps to understand if you’re under or over-performing projections, as well as the driving factors of that over performance. @DigitalSamIAm

We’re doing the testing via our data science. @JonKagan

As marketers, I think we all need to lean towards alternative, non-deterministic approaches to measurement for validation. No methodology is perfect, or a silver bullet though and each have their own faults. Very interested to see what Facebook is doing with MMM! @SPoulton

Q8: What are the biggest topics you are worried about that folks aren’t talking about?

App behaviours & traffic. two major corps own all the data on two platforms. that should worry everyone. no idea what to do about it. @JuliaVyse

For me it comes down to the intersection of compliance (legal) requirements and browser privacy technology. They have common goals, but different (conflicting) methods to get there. @SPoulton

A8: We will adapt as needed, but how can we best protect the companies we serve so they are not at risk within these platforms. Especially smaller advertisers who do not have people looking out for them. Example: They accidentally upload an email list with CA emails. @lchasse

How about why does @GoogleAds never fix any of the bugs until we complain? @JonKagan

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