Using 3rd party cookies becomes more difficult, as they are set to be phased out in 2023 already. This is also a widespread concern of digital media professionals: 85% say that cookie loss and accurate measurement are in their top 3 of challenges. This complicates tracking as well by making it more challenging: there is so much around, we need to think about the objectives, how we want to track, and the privacy of the consumers. On top of that, modelling also becomes more of a way to measure conversions in your campaigns. Boudewijn Beks, speaker at the Friends of Search 2021 conference, takes us (from a PPC perspective) through 4 pillars, on how we can make measurement simple and accurate again in a privacy centric world, and measure more with less data available.

Do the right thing and do it well

Having good objectives matters. Making clear choices helps you to focus on your marketing goals and helps the Google systems to drive results in the most efficient manner. This makes you think about the following question: Do I need to do this, or do I want to do this? If this has been defined, the next question becomes relevant: how can measurement support me with these objectives?

The only constant is change

Invest in durable measurement solutions and formalize ownership: be or become the owner of measurement in your organization. Much has already changed in the past years already. We have new regulations in place that are impacting how data can be collected and used, such as the GDPR. Besides, users also expect more transparency and control over their online data. They want to know why their personal data needs to be filled in for example. Lastly, platforms are also impacting traditional data collection. Safari and Mozilla Firefox already block 3rd party cookies by default, making it harder to measure a conversion in your campaigns.

Embrace modeling

The industry’s ability to tie conversations to ads will continue to decrease. Modelling is needed to maintain the full picture of ads performance. If you are not adapting full modelling, you will lose sight of impact. Part of the conversions reported consist already of modelled conversions. However, with regulations and ITP/ETP not being included, this means we are underreporting and do not have all the signals in place for optimization.

So, how should this be approached? Put customers first and protect their data, comply with the data regulations, and lastly, invest in a durable, digital marketing foundation for 1P data.

Validate with attribution & experiments

Use attribution and experiments to calibrate whether you are meeting business objectives. In a world of change, learning faster gives a competitive advantage. This can be achieved via two ways: Attribution (Allocate appropriate credit to events in the customer journey) and experimenting (Asses causal impact of ad campaigns via experiments). Examples for attribution are GA4 and Google ads attribution, while examples from experiments are search lift or geo experiments. Since this week, the new and improved DDA model in GA4 has been launched for the ‘1% launch’. This makes it possible to measure across both web and app and have improved comparison and conversion paths.

In conclusion

With 3rd cookies being phased out and more regulations in place to protect consumer’s privacy, measuring impact of campaigns becomes harder. These are the 4 key takeaways on how we can make measurement simple and accurate, and measure more with less data available:
– Know what you want to measure by having objectives in place
– Invest in durable measurement solutions and formalize ownership
– Embrace modeling is to maintain the full picture of ads performance
– Use attribution and experiments to calibrate whether you are meeting business objectives

While measurement keeps changing and new measurement tools are introduced continuously, the key takeaway for advertisers is to start with setting up a proper measurement framework and keep testing to keep the advantage on the competition. This way, when 3rd party cookies are phased out completely, there is already a solid plan in place.

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