Significant changes are occurring in the digital landscape as a result of the European Commission’s implementation of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The DMA mandates fair and open digital markets by imposing a series of regulations on major online platforms, including Google, Meta, Microsoft and TikTok. According to EU Commissioner Didier Reynders, “The Digital Markets Act will help create a level playing field for all companies competing in the European digital market by making markets more contestable and open”. It is too early to tell exactly how the DMA will affect the advertising industry. However, the changes required by the DMA are likely to have a significant impact on the way these companies operate and could lead to a more competitive and innovative advertising market.

Gatekeepers are gearing up for DMA compliance

As the March 6, 2024 deadline for gatekeepers to comply with the DMA draws closer, companies will need to take proactive steps to modify their platforms and comply with the law’s requirements. Meta is likely to continue to engage with regulators and industry stakeholders to shape the implementation of the DMA and minimize its impact on the company. TikTok is taking a similar approach. Apple has established a dedicated team within its legal and policy departments to manage DMA compliance efforts, conduct internal reviews and audits, and engage with European Commission officials. Google has outlined a plan to ensure compliance with the DMA based on its reviews. One key aspect is the repositioning of Consent Mode. The company will require organizations to utilize Consent Mode to communicate users’ consent preferences to Google.

Navigating the Google Consent Mode update for Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform users

Many organizations use the GMP and Google Ads to manage their advertising campaigns, so it’s crucial to understand how Consent Mode affects their operations. Consent Mode was first introduced as a way to collect data for data modeling purposes within GA4 and Google Ads. Consent Mode has now been repositioned as a way to communicate user consent preferences to Google. This aligns with the DMA’s mandate to maintain auditable data that can distinguish between consenting and non-consenting users for data processing and advertising purposes. Google has partnered with multiple consent management platforms (CMPs) that offer integrations with Consent Mode. Organizations can also develop their own custom CMP solutions that seamlessly integrate with Consent Mode.

Google’s Consent Mode update requires organizations to quickly adjust their Google Ads and Floodlight-related tracking. Integrating Consent Mode into all Google Marketing Platform and Floodlight-related tracking can be technically complex. This article outlines the steps necessary to successfully implement Consent Mode.

Implement Consent Mode now to avoid disruption

In order to maintain seamless use of GMP and Google Ads and avoid disruptions, we urge you to take immediate action. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Evaluate your current consent management practices: Assess your existing consent management processes to determine if they align with Google’s requirements to receive clear consent signals for auditable data and the ability to distinguish between consented and non-consented users. Are you using a cookie banner and does it support Consent Mode?

  • Implement a GDPR & DMA-compliant consent management solution: If your current practices do not meet Google’s requirements, consider adopting a consent management solution that meets Google’s criteria. There are several consent management platforms that have partnered with Google. Artefact is a trusted partner of OneTrust and Didomi. Both platforms seamlessly integrate with Google’s advertising platforms and offer robust user consent management and Consent Mode integration capabilities.

  • Implement Consent Mode: Ensure integration with Consent Mode by carefully configuring and evaluating all tag elements. In addition, thoroughly evaluate your Google Tag Manager server-side setup to ensure optimal functionality. Consult the technical documentation to evaluate the accuracy of your implementation.

The benefits of Google Consent Mode for your business

Implementing Google Consent Mode not only ensures better data collection compliance, but also brings a host of benefits to businesses. By respecting individual privacy choices, businesses can foster consumer trust by providing a transparent and user-friendly experience.

Regulatory compliance is streamlined with dedicated tools that simplify user consent management. Tailoring personalized ads to users who consent to tracking becomes more responsible and effective, improving advertising campaigns. Consent Mode also ensures improved accuracy of conversion tracking, facilitates cross-domain tracking, and demonstrates commitment to user-centric marketing strategies, ultimately allowing companies to adapt to changing preferences while mitigating data loss risks and optimizing marketing budgets.

If you are interested to learn more about the Digital Markets Act, have a look at our latest whitepaper that describes the impact of the DMA on your business and which steps you should take to avoid disruptions.

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