tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/privacy-data-protection Latest Privacy & data protection content from Econsultancy 2018-01-19T13:20:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69739 2018-01-19T13:20:00+00:00 2018-01-19T13:20:00+00:00 10 of the best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> also includes further facts and figures, should you fancy a little something extra.</p> <h3>Winter weather makes UK consumers more receptive to ads</h3> <p>Those icy winter winds we’ve been experiencing might not be such a bad thing, from a marketing perspective at least. A new study by the Trade Desk has found that winter weather can boost UK consumers’ receptiveness to online advertising.</p> <p>How, exactly? Well, it’s all to do with our desire to escape the reality of the bleak weather outside, meaning our interest in certain verticals increases. </p> <p>As temperatures dropped to 0.6 degrees celsius last December, Trade Desk noted that click through rates for family and parenting-related ads soared by 113% compared to average. Click through rates for fashion ads increased 196%. Unsurprisingly, travel-brands reaped the biggest rewards of the cold weather - click through rates for travel-related ads were 386% higher than average on 2nd December 2017.</p> <p>Consequently, it’s been suggested that brands should take external factors into greater consideration, as there is clear opportunity to inspire and influence consumers dreaming of sunnier climes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1783/weather_ads.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <p><strong>More on online ads:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69708-five-trends-for-online-advertising-strategy-in-2018" target="_blank">Five trends for online advertising strategy in 2018</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67675-six-online-advertising-tactics-set-to-rise/" target="_blank">Six online advertising tactics set to rise</a></li> </ul> <h3>One third of UK organisations have no formal data-cleansing process in place ahead of GDPR</h3> <p>A <a href="https://www.royalmail.com/corporate/marketing-data/trends-innovation/industry-research/research-report-use-management-customer-data" target="_blank">new report</a> by Royal Mail Data Services has revealed that poor data quality puts many UK organisations at risk of non-compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. The report is based on an online survey of 281 brands and agencies in the UK.</p> <p>It suggests that one third (or 32.7%) still have no formal process for cleaning customer contact data, with just 43.1% of marketers overall feeling very or reasonably confident that their third-party data will be compliant. 29.4% of respondents expressed worries about GDPR compliance – a 242% increase year-on-year.</p> <p>Elsewhere, respondents estimated the average cost of poor-quality customer data at 5.6% of annual revenue in 2017, just slightly lower than 5.9% in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1777/Royal_Mail_GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="710"></p> <p><strong>You’ll find lots more on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/" target="_blank">GDPR right here</a>.</strong></p> <h3>Voice search results failing to align with Google text snippets</h3> <p>How do voice keywords rank in search engines? Roast’s <a href="http://weareroast.com/voice-search" target="_blank">Voice Search Ranking Report</a> attempts to find out, specifically looking at Google Assistant alongside a Google Home device. Using STAT search analytics to determine the top 616 key phrases in the UK, it analysed which domains and URLs have the highest visibility across a set of key phrases.</p> <p>Overall, the results showed that the Google Assistant doesn't always read out a result, despite a website providing Google with a featured snippet answer box on web search.</p> <p>The study also found that the Google Assistant mostly gives a standard answer, e.g. “according to (website)…”, however, there are six other formats including location result and action prompt. Meanwhile, there isn't always a consistent match between the website referenced in the featured snippet answer box and the website referenced from Google Assistant.</p> <p>Google's Speech Quality Rating porbably goes some way to explaining these differences, with responses rated for length and formulation, as well as content (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69717-remove-the-waffle-from-your-content-or-risk-failure-in-voice-search/">read more about that here</a>).</p> <p>In terms of the best performing domains, Wikipedia is the number one for both answer boxes and assistant results. Interestingly, WebMD was found to be the second highest performer on answer box results but fifth on voice search, again proving that results do not always match up with standard search.   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1776/Voice_search.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="560"></p> <h3>60% of UK smartphone owners use voice search</h3> <p>Continuing with the topic of voice technology, Stone Temple has been looking into how UK consumers are using voice commands on their smartphone. The results come from a survey of 1,036 users.</p> <p>It found that 60% of users reported using voice search functionality on their devices, with those aged 25 to 34 being the most likely to do so. Meanwhile, 56% of users typically use voice controls for messaging and texting applications.</p> <p>In terms of user satisfaction, 48% of iOS users said that they wish Siri provided more direct answers, however only 38% of Android users said the same about Google Assistant. </p> <p><strong>More on voice tech:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69724-how-will-voice-technology-change-consumer-behaviour">How will voice technology change consumer behaviour?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69717-remove-the-waffle-from-your-content-or-risk-failure-in-voice-search/">Remove the waffle from your content or risk failure in voice search</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69610-what-do-voice-user-interfaces-mean-for-marketers-brands">What do voice user interfaces mean for marketers &amp; brands?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Top retail brands drive loyalty through innovative use of tech</h3> <p>Kx has surveyed 5,000 UK consumers for its new <a href="https://kx.com/solutions/retail/retail-innovation-index/download-report/" target="_blank">Retail Innovation Index</a>, with the aim of better understanding the key drivers of customer favour and loyalty. </p> <p>The results show that innovation is the key to retail success, with the best scoring brands growing at twice the rate of those that are not seen as innovators. Amazon, Apple and Ocado were ranked top overall, while Ikea was ranked particularly highly on innovation in product and price.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Argos ranked as the highest performer in multi-channel retail, largely due to its focus on connecting the supply chain and providing consumers with real-time information and service. </p> <p>Finally, the key drivers for customer loyalty were found to be range and choice to suit individual needs, good availability of products, and the ability to find products easily and efficiently.</p> <p><strong>Recent articles on retail:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69727-how-retailers-are-using-geofencing-to-improve-in-store-cx/">How retailers are using geofencing to improve in-store CX</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69705-what-is-best-practice-pagination-and-how-does-it-create-amazing-online-experiences">What is best practice pagination? And how does it create amazing online experiences?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69679-luxury-brands-must-focus-on-digital-experiences-to-fight-the-discount-trend">Luxury brands must focus on digital experiences to fight the discount trend</a></li> </ul> <h3>UK marketing budgets grow at slowest rate in two years</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.ipa.co.uk/page/ipa-bellwether-report#.WmHDd6hl-Uk" target="_blank">Q4 2017 Bellwether Report</a> has revealed that, while marketing budgets continued to expand last year, they also grew at their slowest rate since 2015. This is based on data drawn from around 300 UK marketing professionals.</p> <p>23.9% of marketing executives raised their budgets in 2017, however 15.2% also reported making cuts – the main reasons being economic uncertainty. The resulting net balance of +8.6% is down from +9.9% during the previous quarter, and the lowest since the start of 2016.</p> <p>The report also revealed that internet marketing is the best performing subcategory, with budgets returning a net balance of +10.9%. Lastly, mobile advertising is also on the up, improving to return a net balance of +6.0% - up from +5.8% in Q3.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69712 2018-01-10T12:00:00+00:00 2018-01-10T12:00:00+00:00 Four ways the blockchain could be applied to digital advertising Patricio Robles <p>One market in which blockchain tech is seen to have significant potential is the digital advertising industry. Here are four of the most interesting ways blockchain could be applied to digital advertising.</p> <h3>Data management</h3> <p>Data is the lifeblood of the digital advertising ecosystem. From measurement to targeting, players who acquire and put to good use data have a growing advantage over players who don't.</p> <p>Not surprisingly, some are looking at the ways blockchain tech can address issues and challenges related to data. </p> <p>Comcast, for instance, last year announced that it is developing a Blockchain Insights Platform “aimed at improving the efficiency of premium video advertising, resulting in better planning, targeting, execution and measurement across screens.”</p> <p>In a blog post, the cable giant <a href="https://corporate.comcast.com/news-information/news-feed/comcasts-advanced-advertising-group-and-participants-announce-plans-for-blockchain-based-technology-platform-aimed-at-making-premium-video-advertising-more-efficient">explained</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>One application of the Blockchain Insights Platform would be that advertisers and programmers could match data sets more effectively to build and execute media plans based on custom audience segments and more precisely and efficiently target across a nationwide footprint of pay-TV customers and streaming device users. Concurrently, programmers would be able to offer improved targeting precision across screens, increasing the value and quantity of monetized inventory. All participants would ultimately benefit from the resulting reporting and attribution metrics, and new potential revenue streams for participants could emerge for data insights they can generate for themselves and others.</p> </blockquote> <p>Privacy is a huge data management issue and this is one area where Comcast believes the blockchain has the greatest potential to shine. All of the data offered by participants in the Blockchain Insights Platform would remain in their own systems and the blockchain would let “participants in the platform ask questions of each other's data without having to access or take possession of anyone else's data.”</p> <h3>Targeting and engagement</h3> <p>Advertisers and the ad platforms they work with have for years invested heavily in finding methods and acquiring data aimed at enabling them to deliver the right message to the right user at the right time, resulting in action.</p> <p>Could the blockchain help them do this even more effectively? Some blockchain-based ad plays are betting it can. </p> <p>Take BitClave, for example. It <a href="https://medium.com/bitclave/a-blockchain-approach-to-targeted-advertising-27239dc83e5">envisions</a> a Consumer Activity Token that consumers earn by adding their data to the blockchain. When they perform searches through BitClave's decentralized search engine, businesses that want to reach them will have to compensate them.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZQlQv4zi6YI?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>As BitClave's founders see it, while internet giants do provide value through the free ad-supported services they offer, they shouldn't be the only ones who reap the financial rewards gained from data provided by users. “Our decentralized search engine helps you truly find what you're looking for and get compensated for your data, making third-party advertising networks unnecessary,” BitClave's website tells prospective users.</p> <p>China-based ATMChain, which describes itself as a “decentralized, digitized smart media platform”, is pursuing a similar approach under which users are compensated for viewing ads.</p> <p>It's important to note that both BitClave and ATMChain are works in progress and launched to the public via initial coin offerings (ICOs), which have become quite controversial due to fraud concerns. But while there's no guarantee that either project will even materialize, both do highlight how blockchain tech could serve as the foundation for new targeting and engagement models.</p> <h3>Fraud prevention</h3> <p>Ad fraud is a multi billion-dollar problem that is understandably one of the top concerns among advertisers. Unfortunately, stamping it out is difficult because the digital ad ecosystem has become more complex and opaque, especially in recent years as use of programmatic increased rapidly. </p> <p>The good news is that the industry is fighting back. Major ad vendors and publishers are getting behind the IAB standard <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69231-ads-txt-a-new-standard-for-fighting-inventory-spoofing-unauthorized-sellers-what-you-need-to-know">Ads.txt</a>, for instance. But Ads.txt isn't perfect. Already, some are trying to trick publishers into adding them to their Ads.txt files, and Ads.txt doesn't describe what type of inventory a particular seller is authorized to sell, opening up the possibility that a vendor could, for example, offer remnant display inventory for a publisher as premium video inventory.</p> <p>While one company, MetaX, has opted to bring Ads.txt to the blockchain with an offering it calls Ads.txt Plus, others are aiming to create even more robust verification offerings using blockchain. </p> <p>Take, for instance, adChain, “a set of interoperable open protocols built on the public Ethereum blockchain.” The first solution build on adChain is the adChain registry, “a smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain that maintains and stores a record of publisher domain names accredited as non-fraudulent.” </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1572/adtoken.png" alt="" width="738" height="313"></p> <p>The accreditation is performed by holders of adToken, a blockchain token. The creators of adChain believe that the adChain registry will maintain a high level of integrity because these holders don't have a financial interest in the ad transactions themselves.</p> <h3>Media buying and selling</h3> <p>Perhaps the most intriguing application of blockchain tech to digital advertising is to use the blockchain to enable publishers and advertisers to buy and sell ads with fewer intermediaries, or even directly.</p> <p>One project that is aiming to make this application possible is called XCHNG. PaymentsSource's Charles Manning recently <a href="https://www.paymentssource.com/opinion/blockchain-can-take-the-bloat-out-of-ad-payments-risk-management">explained</a> how it is designed to work:</p> <blockquote> <p>Through the use of blockchain technology, buyers and sellers outline their terms in a smart contract. The smart contract can be subjected to additional layers of verification and enforcement by optional service providers on the network, such as the measurement provider, ratings provider, payment provider and arbitrator. </p> <p>The payment provider is responsible for releasing payments to publishers as contract terms are met. Additional incentives for payment providers include offering accelerated payment to publishers for a fee, which would in turn incentivize publishers to deliver.</p> </blockquote> <p>Needless to say, the idea that blockchain-based smart contracts could effectively automate every aspect of the delivery of ads and the payments for them is very appealing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1573/xchng-blockchain-workflow-stacked.jpg" alt="" width="500" height="537"></p> <p>But XCHNG and projects like it will all face a huge adoption challenge if and when they get off the ground. Put simply, the industry will have to embrace blockchain-based solutions en mass for them to be useful and there are plenty of players in the ecosystem, namely intermediaries, who largely don't have incentives to go along.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69704 2018-01-08T13:00:00+00:00 2018-01-08T13:00:00+00:00 Marketing in the Dark: How organisations are dealing with dark data Nikki Gilliland <p>So, how are organisations navigating this murky world? Here are some key charts taken from the report, with insight into what they might tell us.</p> <h3>A strategic approach to data</h3> <p>In order to gain a competitive edge, it is important for organisations to undertake a strategic approach to data. One way to initiate this is to appoint a CDO (chief digital officer) to join up multiple data sources and implement a culture of data-fuelled decision making.</p> <p>As it stands, it appears that the majority of mainstream companies are still in the early stages of developing a data strategy. Just 6% say they have a ‘well developed, comprehensive strategy in place’, with 16% saying they have only just implemented a strategy.</p> <p>For leading companies, the news is only slightly more promising. 10% say they currently have a comprehensive strategy, while 9% have a comprehensive strategy that is frequently reviewed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1482/strategic_approach.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="504"></p> <h3>Taking action on customer insights</h3> <p>When it comes to the ability to act on insights derived from data, research suggests that organisations are improving. </p> <p>While 46% of companies said they were ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in this area in 2016, this figure rose to 60% in 2017.</p> <p>In terms of the differences between mainstream and leading organisations, the latter are far more confident in their ability to harness customer data – almost three times as much in fact. This is good news for organisations intent on delivering personalised and targeted communication, as data can be used to better understand or predict customer needs and behaviour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1483/Actionable_insight.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="496"></p> <h3>Complexity remains a challenge</h3> <p>When asked about the biggest barriers to building a joined-up view of the customer journey, the overriding response (from nearly half of respondents) was the number of different touchpoints involved. </p> <p>Alongside this, unifying data sources and poorly integrated marketing technology were also cited as big issues, as organisations are clearly struggling to get to grips with today’s fragmented data-sets. </p> <p>Interestingly, dark social was only cited as a top-three barrier by 4% of companies, though insight suggests it might become a more pressing matter in the near future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1484/Complexity.JPG" alt="" width="680" height="557"></p> <h3>Managing different data-sources</h3> <p>In terms of the types of data most-used by organisations, first-party sources including Google Analytics and email data remain at the top.</p> <p>Interestingly, with a steeper drop in the usage of offline data by mainstream companies, we can determine that the ability (or rather inability) to integrate this into analysis is holding these organisations back.</p> <p>Similarly, with leaders more likely to be utilising the full range of third-party data sources - including demographic or behavioural data and social data – it is clear that the chances of success increase with the variety of data being used.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1485/data_sources.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="605"></p> <h3>Personalisation vs data privacy</h3> <p>Finally, how are organisations balancing the need to protect customer’s privacy while delivering personalisation? Seemingly a contradiction-in-terms – it’s unsurprisingly hard to get the balance right.</p> <p>Due to the impending GDPR deadline, it appears privacy is front of mind, with 80% of respondents ‘strongly’ agreeing that customer data must be protected and secured, and just 16% ‘somewhat’ agreeing.</p> <p>The good news is that companies do not have to jeopardise their compliance with data legislation in order to provide a relevant experience. This is because implicit data – i.e. location-based information and type of device and browser - can still provide marketers with actionable insight.</p> <p>Meanwhile, with the benefits of personalisation becoming clearer to consumers, it is up to brands to extract the most valuable data and deliver relevant results. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1486/privacy.JPG" alt="" width="671" height="582"></p> <p><em><strong>Download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-dark-dark-data/" target="_blank">Marketing in the Dark</a> report in association with IBM.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69700 2018-01-05T12:31:00+00:00 2018-01-05T12:31:00+00:00 Take our GDPR survey and get a free copy of the final report Ben Davis <p>And to add some context to the GDPR discussion, Econsultancy's research team is conducting a <a href="http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4047689/Marketers-GDPR">survey</a> to ask questions about the challenges and opportunities the GDPR presents to the marketing industry.</p> <p>The survey closes on Friday January 12th, with every marketer taking part receiving a free copy of the final report.</p> <h3><strong>To take part in the survey and receive a free copy of the report, <a href="http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4047689/Marketers-GDPR">click here</a>.</strong></h3> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3388 2017-12-20T12:14:54+00:00 2017-12-20T12:14:54+00:00 GDPR Essentials for Marketers - Online <p>This online course will help you learn everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it comes into force in May 2018, and crucially: what to do about it.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69642 2017-12-12T09:30:00+00:00 2017-12-12T09:30:00+00:00 A day in the life of... a head of digital compliance Ben Davis <p>With that in mind, we have a very apposite Day in the Life profile this week. David Fowler is head of digital compliance at Act-On, a US-based marketing automation provider. Here's what he does with his day....</p> <p><em>(As usual, a quick reminder </em><em>to look in on the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs board</a> if you're looking for a new digital marketing role yourself.)</em></p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><em><strong>David Fowler:</strong></em> I help our clients navigate the digital compliance roadmap in terms of their obligations under local, state, federal, and international laws as it relates to digital marketing. It’s my responsibility to ensure that when our clients hit the “send” button for their email campaigns, or conduct other digital marketing strategies, their messages have every opportunity to get to the inbox and ultimately provide ROI. </p> <p>Digital compliance in 2017 is a very deep and wide field and can be complex to understand. If you’re a marketer in the US mailing to the EU, for example, your compliance obligations are going to be different than if you’re a marketer in the US mailing to Canada. It’s on us as an email-driven business - and on me as our head of compliance and deliverability - to keep customers informed of their obligations in this new, fast-changing legal landscape.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><strong>DF:</strong> My role is largely cross-functional - compliance and deliverability being things that affect and influence our entire organisation - which means I’ve worked with executives across multiple departments: marketing, sales, service, support. I work most closely with and report into our company’s General Counsel and SVP of business development.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1046/david_fowler_2.jpg" alt="david fowler" width="318" height="217"> </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em><strong>DF:</strong></em> You need a deep understanding of email regulations and compliance obligations. Having entered the industry in 2003, I have seen and been on the cusp of the digital market transformation from a compliance perspective – working with privacy resources, industry associations, networking groups and following the endless amount of privacy and compliance related content.</p> <p>You also need good presentation skills as I present at many industry conferences and publish blog posts and other industry related content.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Tell us about a typical working day…</h4> <p><strong><em>DF:</em></strong> As my responsibilities are cross functional, days are different, one moment you could be writing an article and the next meeting you have will be to review a customer compliance escalation ensuring business continuity.</p> <p>Currently, my team and I have been hard at work for May 2018's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the law affecting and rewriting rules for engagement across the EU. This has meant completing a third-party assessment of our general preparedness; training employees on (and generating awareness around GDPR’s unique mandates); assessing our own product and functionalities for possible GDPR enhancements; and proactively working with industry players, clients, and partners to promote broader GDPR awareness.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>DF:</strong></em> Having seen first hand the evolution of our space it's been exciting to see the development and adoption of digital regulations and consumer protection. It’s a fast paced environment and as our industry continues to evolve I have no doubt that will present additional opportunities to learn and develop my knowledge base.</p> <p>What is disappointing is when you advise a client to embrace a strategy that you know will work to improve their performance and they don’t adopt your recommendation.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em><strong>DF:</strong></em> Our immediate organisational goal is preparing for the GDPR and ensuring our compliance with the pending legislation. We have worked hard internally to ensure that we are positioned to comply. As we have a large portion of our client base in the EU it really is becoming a hot topic the closer we get to May. </p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em><strong>DF:</strong> </em>As with any change or update to laws or compliance requirements, industry has innovated and there are many tools now available to ensure compliance obligations. The reality is that not one solution fits all requirements. For the business we have secured Privacy Shield certification, our TRUSTe certification demonstrates our privacy and commitment to data management.</p> <p>We also follow groups like the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the DMA-UK to ensure that we keep up with the latest guidance on all compliance related issues.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How did you get into compliance, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em><strong>DF:</strong> </em>I entered into compliance in 2003 when the digital market here in the US was in its early stages, we were faced at that time with commercial email legislation (CAN-SPAM) to be implemented with our industry. I can tell you that the compliance market is rich with opportunity, as we become more data driven laws like the GDPR have created compliance career opportunities as a tenant of their overreach.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Which brands do you think are truly customer-centric?</h4> <p><em><strong>DF:</strong></em> I think brands that are transparent with compliance policies are more in tune with customer expectations. As not a day goes by without some brand disclosing a breech, it's the response to the incident that will ensure consumer trust.</p> <p>I am not convinced that we are there yet but the security and proactive management of consumer data should always be the top priority.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you have any advice for people who don't know where to start with the GDPR?</h4> <p><em><strong>DF:</strong></em> The GDPR is a herculean piece of legislation and many companies will struggle to understand and implement the requirements. More than anything, marketers should look to next May’s legislation as an opportunity, rather than a chore; a chance to ensure they have the technologies and processes in place to best serve and support their customers. </p> <p>If a business can’t be sure of how it collects, stores, secures, and uses data - the precise kind of data gathers, the methods it uses to gather data, the time it keeps data for - it faces many more challenges than any one law could pose.</p> <p>Short term, marketers need to review their existing practices for list consent and proactive management in relation to the data subject (areas facing the most scrutiny under the law). Longer term, they need to take stock of their policies for privacy and compliance, and see to it consent is prioritised in every interaction and transaction with buyers - written into contracts, third party relationships even, as needed.</p> <p>As the burden of proof of consent relies with the company, next May any data an organisation has will be required to be permissioned. </p> <p><em><strong>Further reading: </strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">More resources on the GDPR</a></li> <li>GDPR training is available <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/training/courses/gdpr-data-driven-marketing">face-to-face</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr-online/dates/3251/">online</a> </li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69613 2017-11-29T13:40:00+00:00 2017-11-29T13:40:00+00:00 Marketers & the GDPR: Don't panic, here's how to get started Ben Davis <h3>Don't panic, complying with the DPA is a good start</h3> <p>First off, it's important to find some perspectice when considering the GDPR. Those companies that already have their houses in order when it comes to complying fully with the existing Data Protection Act (DPA) will quite obviously have less to worry about than those who are not whiter than white.</p> <p>Even on the issue of 'legitimate interest' as a condition for data processing, which has caused some debate and may be confusing for marketers, the GDPR is only a reformulation of what is set out in the DPA. The GDPR mentions that such processing should not just be about preventing prejudices against individuals' rights or freedoms but their broader interests, too.</p> <p>Compliance and deliverability director at RedEye, Tim Roe puts it best in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69542-cutting-out-the-crap-the-truth-about-the-gdpr-consent/">a recent Econsultancy blog post</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>What GDPR relates to, is being able to process data for the purposes of direct marketing, which includes storage, segmentation, profiling, matching, sending direct mail, making marketing phone calls and electronic marketing in the B2B sector.</p> <p>Up until now, it’s likely that you have been processing this under the legal basis of legitimate interests of your business, complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 by presenting a detailed privacy policy and giving people the opportunity to object to direct marketing.</p> <p>It will be a balanced relationship too, with the use you put the data, compatible and relevant to the relationship you have with the individual. At least it should be. If not, you are breaking the law now; and you don’t need to wait until May 18 to have sleepless nights.</p> </blockquote> <p>What has changed is the meaning of words like accountability and transparency, meaning more documentation and greater consideration of the end user. Not too scary on the face of it. </p> <p>The GDPR of course carries high penalties for non-compliance (nothing like a big stick to grab people's attention) and supervisory authorities like the ICO have the support of the law – nevertheless, there is much that companies can do to show steps towards compliance. </p> <p>The last thing marketers should be doing is panicking and throwing data away for fear of their ability to use it (delegates were well aware of the high profile case of Wetherspoons deleting its email database rather than think about compliance).</p> <h3>Start sharing knowledge</h3> <p>In light of what I've written above, it's debatable whether companies should undertake an enormous overhaul of data governance and aim to change company culture. There are sectors, however, such as charities, where high profile news stories around assumed consent for data processing have led to nervousness.</p> <p>In other sectors, listening to marketers discuss the GDPR, there were some who had not yet had contact with their compliance teams, and this seems like a missed opportunity.</p> <p>If marketers are to design for privacy, to ensure that where they rely on individuals' consent it is active and fully informed, and to have consideration for balancing the company's interests in data processing with the impact on the individual – all these issues necessitate knowledge of the regulation and best practice examples.</p> <p>To develop this knowledge, it doesn't hurt to discuss awareness of the GDPR. Though <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/gdpr-data-driven-marketing/dates/3248/">training</a> may only be necessary for a few, a bit of reading should be encouraged in the marketing team. After all, demonstrating you comply "may include internal data protection policies such as <strong><em>staff training</em></strong>, internal audits of processing activities, and reviews of internal HR policies."</p> <p>Organisations that are particularly strong on interaction and service design may be getting the message out sooner. Co-op is using some simple posters to explain what rights the GDPR affords individuals, as well as an internal Slack channel.</p> <p><a href="https://digitalblog.coop.co.uk/2017/11/27/making-the-general-data-protection-regulation-easier-to-understand/">A blog post by the digital team</a> states the aim of the posters is "to make colleagues in Digital aware that the regulation is coming [and] to explain what it means in plain language."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0778/coop_gdpr.png" alt="co-op gdpr" width="615" height="434"></p> <h3>Appoint a data protection officer</h3> <p>Okay, larger companies will already have one. If you don't, and you have more than 250 staff, then you'll need to hire one.</p> <p>Smaller companies may assign the role to an existing and appropriate staff member, as long as no conflicts are evident with their current role.</p> <p>The importance of a data protection officer (DPO), partly speaks to the issue raised above about knowledge of practices across the organisation.  The DPO's role is integral to accountability, with privacy impact assessments (PIAs) a good example. These are done each time a company does something new with user data, such as changing CRM platform. Director of iCompli, Duncan Smith (leader of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/gdpr-data-driven-marketing/dates/3248/">Econsultancy's GDPR training course</a>) explains the role of the DPO in this instance:</p> <blockquote> <p>So how is that [PIA] going to happen? I don’t even know what new systems and processes are coming into place, such as marketing, HR, CCTV, badge scanning, IT – there’s all sorts of new systems coming into place, so whose job is it to remember to do an assessment?</p> <p>That’s where this accountability thing, all these horizontal management control processes, means you need somebody with the title ‘data protection bod/person/guru’ who is essentially cracking the whip and making sure everyone is doing the right stuff.</p> </blockquote> <p>Smith says there is absolutely the need to hire someone new, perhaps not at the level of a DPO (£60k-£100k a year), but that "you might be looking to hire someone at a £25k to £40k level, a lower-level manager role, whose job is compliance officer or something along those lines." </p> <h3>Start documenting and auditing</h3> <p>Start documenting the data that you have, the processing you are undertaking, and the conditions for processing.</p> <p>The majority of marketers I spoke to at our roundtable had begun this process. Again, take heed of some simple questions posed by RedEye's Tim Roe.</p> <ul> <li>What have you got and what do you use it for?</li> <li>Have you got more than you need? </li> <li>Do you keep it longer than you should? </li> <li>Is what you use it for likely to be reasonably expected by the individual, based on their relationship with you? </li> <li>Do you match data obtained from elsewhere?</li> </ul> <p>This act of auditing your data is evidence of moving towards compliance.</p> <h3>Ask whether your customer expectations are reasonable</h3> <p>Under the GDPR there are six lawful grounds for data processing, but the two most pertinent and most commonly relied upon for marketers are consent and <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69303-gdpr-for-marketers-five-examples-of-legitimate-interests">legitimate interests</a>.</p> <p>Consent looks a fair bit different under the GDPR – it needs to be via active opt-in, unbundled from other T&amp;Cs, to a named organisation, granular (for different types of processing), and easy to withdraw.</p> <p>Legitimate interests, as discussed previously, must be real and not too vague, with marketers balancing the interests of their company with the effect on individuals. Data processing that already happens on the condition of legitimate interests, and will likely continue to under the GDPR, includes direct marketing via post and digital personalisation (e.g. website and emails based on behavioural data).</p> <p>Individuals can object to processing for legitimate interests, and this is one of the things data controllers need to make clear.</p> <p>But the bigger question for marketers thinking about legitimate interest assessments (<a href="https://www.dpnetwork.org.uk/dpn-legitimate-interests-guidance/">read more here</a>) is 'what does the customer expect?' Marketers may find that if they cease a particular activity covered by legitimate interests and seek to gain consent that those who do not consent go on to suffer an inferior customer experience as a result.</p> <p>Of course, customer expectations are influenced by your marketing communications, so there is some degree of chicken and egg here. Conducting a legitimate interest assessment is important where marketers are unsure.</p> <h3>Make the word 'clarity' your mantra</h3> <p>The first of <a href="https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/individual-rights/">the eight rights</a> afforded individuals by the GDPR is the right to be informed. Whether relying on consent or legitimate interests, telling the individual and providing some clarity on processing, as well as linking to a longer privacy policy is key.</p> <p>Likewise, clarity on objecting to processing or withdrawing consent is important.</p> <p>However, emailing customers who have already opted out of electronic marketing to tell them about processing under legitimate interests is not allowed, so don't let a mad dash for transparency lead you down the wrong path. </p> <p>Read up on the <a href="https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/privacy-notices-transparency-and-control/privacy-notices-under-the-eu-general-data-protection-regulation/">ICO's guidance for privacy notices</a>, and heed the advice of Sticky Content's Daniel Saunders, who has some practical tips on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69546-the-role-of-copywriters-in-a-gdpr-ready-world/">what GDPR means for your copywriting</a>.</p> <p>One of the issues marketers face is that their mantra has previously been 'collect more data', when the GDPR, in mentioning <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69376-gdpr-requires-privacy-by-design-but-what-is-it-and-how-can-marketers-comply/">privacy by design</a>, dictates that marketers should only collect the very minimum amount of data required to achieve their aims and ambitions.</p> <p>Roundtable delegates were quick to mention this conflict. Duncan Smith comments that privacy by design is a nebulous concept:</p> <blockquote> <p>If you’re a data-driven marketer the concept of minimum data is a complete anathema. I want to know everything about you.</p> <p>How will it impact the Internet of Things? The idea of the quantified self, where every bit of your personal data is collected and potentially shared with other devices, how does this adhere to privacy by design? The same applies to anything to do with location-based marketing or omnichannel profiling.</p> </blockquote> <p>The answer is that where marketers are collecting and processing data they will have to say so, and as Tim Roe points out, if that means signs indicating the presence of bluetooth beacons, then so be it.</p> <p>Smith comes back to the idea of writing all this down in the right way. "A lot of work needs to be done to create privacy notices that clearly and concisely explain how businesses plan to use customers’ data. The privacy notice has to explain all that in a way that my mum understands."</p> <h3><em>Further resources</em></h3> <p>We didn't cover everything GDPR-related in our roundtable discussion, with each marketer at a slightly different stage in their journey to compliance. While the steps in this article are important, there's more to consider, and readers should consult the ICO and its 12 steps to take now (see below). </p> <p>As well as <a href="https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr">ICO guidance</a>, you can also consult <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">Econsultancy's GDPR articles and training course</a>, for an accessible entry point. Good luck.</p> <p><em>(Click to enlarge, or download the PDF <a href="https://ico.org.uk/media/1624219/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf">here</a>)</em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0745/ico_guide.jpg"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0745/ico_guide.jpg" alt="ico prep gdpr" width="615"></a> </p> <p><em><strong>Note that this article is not intended to construe legal advice or offer comprehensive guidance.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69604 2017-11-24T14:24:00+00:00 2017-11-24T14:24:00+00:00 The best digital marketing stats we've seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> is still ready and waiting to download as always.</p> <p>So, on we go.</p> <h3>Cart abandonment rates increase to 78.4% for Q3</h3> <p>SaleCycle’s <a href="https://blog.salecycle.com/featured/infographic-remarketing-report-q3-2017/" target="_blank">remarketing report</a> has revealed that the global cart abandonment rate for Q3 2017 is 78.4%, which is a 1.5% increase on the previous quarter.</p> <p>Fashion sites are doing the best job at converting visitors, with the lowest abandonment rate at 68.1%. In contrast, finance and travel brands generate the highest, with travel consumers typically abandoning bookings to continue their research and compare prices.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0656/SaleCycle.JPG" alt="" width="779" height="452"></p> <p>I recently wrote about <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69561-why-online-shoppers-abandon-their-baskets-and-how-to-stop-them" target="_blank">why online shoppers abandon their baskets</a>, which also highlights how consumers across all sectors are increasingly using sites for researching purposes. While it might be impossible to prevent this behaviour, perhaps well-timed communication or relevant retargeting can be effective for luring consumers back at a later date.</p> <p><em><strong>More on cart abandonment:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69318-how-do-we-find-a-solution-to-the-great-shopping-cart-abandonment-problem" target="_blank">How do we find a solution to the great shopping-cart abandonment problem?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64680-six-tactics-for-reducing-cart-abandonment-rates" target="_blank">Six tactics for reducing cart abandonment rates</a></li> </ul> <h3>Reader relationship with publisher impacts ad effectiveness</h3> <p>According to Inskin Media, the effectiveness of online ads has more to do with the relationship the reader has with a publisher than the surrounding editorial content.</p> <p>This comes from a study of the conscious and subconscious reactions of 4,370 people who were served ads on branded publisher websites and elsewhere. </p> <p>It found that ads on the branded publisher sites increased awareness by 60% compared to the ads on other sites. Meanwhile, among readers with a close relationship to the publisher, awareness of ads was 152% higher than among those who saw the ads elsewhere.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0655/Publisher_relationship_ad_effectiveness_chart.PNG" alt="" width="760" height="413"></p> <p>The implication is that as good as audience targeting can be, the context for advertising will always be one of the most powerful factors in generating awareness.</p> <p><em><strong>More on online ads:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69485-the-single-best-way-to-improve-your-online-advertising" target="_blank">The single best way to improve your online advertising</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69558-ask-the-experts-what-s-the-best-way-to-target-programmatic-ads">Ask the experts: What's the best way to target programmatic ads?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Four in five consumers have seen a fake review this year</h3> <p>BrightLocal has revealed that consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family, but that many are still failing to spot fake reviews.</p> <p>From a <a href="https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/" target="_blank">survey of 1,031</a> US-based consumers, it was revealed that 79% of consumers have seen a fake review in the last year, but 84% admit that they can’t always spot them.</p> <p>Interestingly, more consumers now look for businesses responding to reviews, with 30% seeing this as a key sign of trust compared to just 20% last year.</p> <p>It’s not just an issue for local retailers either. Interestingly, even the biggest retail giants have a fake review problem. <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmawoollacott/2017/09/09/exclusive-amazons-fake-review-problem-is-now-worse-than-ever/" target="_blank">Forbes recently reported</a> that there has been a marked increase in fake reviews on Amazon lately, with data suggesting that the average review weight for Amazon (which is the measure of how trustworthy reviews are) has almost halved since Amazon <a href="https://www.amazon.com/p/feature/abpto3jt7fhb5oc" target="_blank">banned its incentivised scheme.</a> </p> <p><strong><em>More on online reviews:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69227-how-to-attract-lots-of-quality-online-reviews-to-your-ecommerce-store" target="_blank">How to attract lots of quality online reviews to your ecommerce store</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65779-how-to-deal-with-fake-online-reviews-2/" target="_blank">How to deal with fake online reviews</a></li> </ul> <h3>UK SMEs have spent 600 hours preparing for GDPR in the past year</h3> <p>A new survey by Data Compliance Doctors has revealed how small businesses in the UK have been preparing for the impending GDPR deadline.</p> <p>Speaking with over 500 SME owners, it found that the average UK SME has spent over 80 days (or 600 hours) preparing for the legislation over the past year, and 44% have reorganised operational responsibilities as part of the process.</p> <p>It also found that over a quarter have hired new staff to help prepare for GDPR, with an average of £13,300 being spent on new salaries so far. Meanwhile, half have also invested in expert guidance, costing SME’s an average of £8,000 on fees.</p> <p>Despite this spend, a worrying 73% do not have detailed documentation to evidence their GDPR compliance and 64% of business have no plan in place for customer data breaches.</p> <p>Naturally, GDPR has been a hot topic for Econsultancy of late. Head on over to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/" target="_blank">our GDPR hub</a> for a shed-load more blog posts on the topic and information on our training course.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0657/GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="404" height="318"></p> <h3>User numbers increase while time spent online decreases</h3> <p>A new report by Verto Analytics has uncovered an interesting shift in online consumer engagement. Over the course of a year, it found that the total US user numbers for social media, communications, and mobile gaming apps had increased, while the average time spent with this content had decreased.</p> <p>It appears that consumers are shifting their attention away from news content to other categories such as lifestyle and ecommerce apps. This declining trust in digital news media is also apparent elsewhere, with <a href="http://mediashift.org/2017/11/trust-news-survey-reveals-risks-publishers/" target="_blank">a recent Kantar study</a> finding that printed newspapers, radio, and rolling broadcasts are much more trusted than news websites or apps.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0658/kantar.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="478"></p> <p>One UK publisher than has placed an increased focus on gaining consumer trust is the Guardian, striving to balance consumer privacy with a data-driven approach.  If you’re interested in finding out more, check out our sister brand <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/06/15/why-transparency-in-data-is-key-to-building-trust/" target="_blank">Marketing Week’s coverage</a> on the topic.</p> <h3>8% surge in mobile visits as early Black Friday shoppers buy on the go</h3> <p>Black Friday is currently in full swing, but here’s an early indication of UK purchasing behaviour from Salmon.</p> <p>Fresh data suggests that 26% of all visits between midnight and 6am took place in the first hour, before traffic once again peaked at 6am. Early morning has been the busiest period so far, with 81% of visits coming from mobile devices – an 8% increase from 2016. With 74% of transactions also coming from mobile devices, this suggests many shoppers were tempted while on their commute to work.</p> <p>Finally, Salmon is predicting that the day will contribute £20bn in online spend in November, with more than 50% of transactions expected to take place on mobile.</p> <p>You’ll have to check back next week for a full run-down of Black Friday stats, but in the meantime, here’s more analysis to wet your whistle.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69534-ask-the-experts-black-friday-ecommerce-strategy" target="_blank">Ask the experts: Black Friday ecommerce strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69603-game-shows-risks-of-black-friday-downtime-despite-impressive-strategy/" target="_blank">GAME shows risks of Black Friday downtime despite impressive strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69528-uk-black-friday-landing-pages-the-good-the-bad-the-ugly" target="_blank">UK Black Friday landing pages: The good, the bad &amp; the ugly</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69546 2017-11-06T09:30:00+00:00 2017-11-06T09:30:00+00:00 The role of copywriters in a GDPR-ready world Daniel Saunders <p>There are some obvious consequences, like <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69253-gdpr-10-examples-of-best-practice-ux-for-obtaining-marketing-consent">opt-ins</a> becoming the norm, consent being required for any marketing data or a ban on <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69267-gdpr-six-examples-of-privacy-notice-ux-that-may-need-improvement">exchanging access for consent.</a></p> <p>But what about your tone, language and content? Here are a few things for copywriters to consider.</p> <h3><strong>Be clear, honest and transparent</strong></h3> <p>Underpinning the GDPR is the idea that a person has the right to know how a company uses and processes their personal data.</p> <p>This has implications for many different parts of a business, from product to marketing. However, in content, it means doing a couple of things:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Plain English</strong> – don’t hide what you’re doing behind jargon and complicated sentences. This is a no-no for the GDPR.</li> <li> <strong>Active voice</strong> – make it clear who is doing what by using active not passive. Eg ‘Customer data is used by the marketing department’ to ‘The marketing department use customer data’.</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Go easy on personal pronouns</strong></h3> <p>During a project we worked on, we had customer insights that showed many people were concerned by the use of ‘we’ instead of the company’s name in data privacy messaging. </p> <p>The reason was it suggested a human element that didn’t really exist – that someone, somewhere had their information and knew their name, what they liked and where they were.</p> <p>When talking about how your company uses data, it may be better to be more impersonal – ‘Company X uses…’ rather than ‘We use…’</p> <h3><strong>Demonstrate a clear exchange of value</strong></h3> <p>Disclosing what information you have on someone and how you use it is an opportunity to explain the benefits. Does knowing about your customer make their experience better? Does it save them time or money? If so, say it.</p> <h3><strong>Make it easy for someone to change their mind</strong></h3> <p>When you ask customers to consent to their data being used, make it clear they can change their answer later. It’s more likely people will give consent if they know it’s not forever. While you might think this is advertising something we don’t want customers to know, the effect is the opposite – it reassures them and makes them more likely to give you permission.</p> <h3><strong>Admit your imperfections</strong></h3> <p>One thing customers are wary of is when they think a company has a comprehensive view of them based on their internet history. In reality, this kind of data can be unreliable and can’t tell a company <em>exactly</em> what someone wants to see right now. It’s likely you’ll get it wrong sometimes.</p> <p>Adopt a more humble tone of voice when presenting targeted or personalised content – ‘Here’s something you might like’ versus ‘Here’s something you’ll like’.</p> <h3><strong>Take responsibility for your content</strong></h3> <p>Even if you’re making changes to your data consent forms because of GDPR, don’t say it. It can appear as though you only care about customers’ data because someone made you – it’s passing the buck and not very appealing to customers. Instead, talk about what you need and why, without shirking responsibility.</p> <h3><strong>Practise patience when asking for information</strong></h3> <p>A classic lead generation tactic: ask for information in staggered steps, so as not to overwhelm customers. Once GDPR comes into effect, that’ll be more than just a tactic but a requirement. </p> <p>You won’t be able to get your customers to hand over all data in one fell swoop. You’ll have a responsibility to properly explain each type of information and what you’ll do with it. It may mean you need to prioritise the information you want most.</p> <h3><strong>Find out your customers’ attitudes to personal information</strong></h3> <p>Your customers’ feelings towards personal data will influence the type and amount of content you need to produce to reassure them.</p> <p>Of course there’s a minimum amount of disclosure and explanation to meet GDPR. But if you’re in an industry where personal data is a more sensitive issue, or your customers have stronger views on data use, then maybe you need more educational content.</p> <p>MasterCard break down <a href="https://5personas.mastercard.com/en/personas/privacy-management#/passive_users">five types of privacy personas</a> which can help you group your own customers.</p> <p>Culturally, attitudes vary significantly – residents of the former East Germany are understandably wary of the idea of people keeping a big file on them, whereas it’s been seen that those in China are more willing to give over data in return for a better digital experience. </p> <p><em><strong>Those are just a few things copywriters should consider ahead of the GDPR. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">Check out the Econsultancy landing page for more resources</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69544 2017-10-30T15:00:00+00:00 2017-10-30T15:00:00+00:00 AdWords Conversion Linker: What is it and why do you need it? George Slokoski <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/9977/picture2-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="54"></p> <p>This is related to an email AdWords sent out at the beginning of September regarding the upcoming Safari update which introduces the Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP). </p> <p>The new technology intends to improve people’s privacy by using machine learning to determine which domains can track people across sites. It works by limiting tracking for the <em>allowed</em> domains by only letting cookies act in a third-party context for 24 hours. This article will explain what the Adwords Conversion Linker is, why it came about, and how you can implement it to avoid losing out on essential data.</p> <p>To better understand the issue Google is trying to solve and also why you need to implement the new Conversion Linker we first need to cover a basic understanding of how cookies work. </p> <h3>Cookies and how they work</h3> <p>A cookie, besides any other data it contains (name, expiration date, content etc.), would always contain the domain it has been written for. Below is an example of a google advertising cookie:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9978/Picture3.png" alt="" width="450"> </p> <p>The cookie can only communicate the data it holds (for example, whether a user has clicked a link) to the domain it has been written for. Therefore, the above cookie can only communicate its contents to googleadservices.com.</p> <p>If you are visiting Bill’s Shoe Website, then a cookie written for <em>www.billsshoewebsite.com</em> would be considered a <strong>first-party</strong> cookie.</p> <p>If there is a cookie on <em>www.billsshoewebsite.com</em> which sends data to another website (e.g. a Facebook like button sending data to Facebook.com, then it is considered a <strong>third-party</strong> cookie. </p> <p>Note: Cookies are not intrinsically first or third party – this is decided by the browser at runtime.</p> <h3>How does this relate to AdWords?</h3> <p>Let’s get back to our AdWords tracking point, and the point of this article.</p> <p>To date, AdWords cookies have always been <strong>third-party</strong> cookies (since they send data from any domain to <em>www.googleadservices.com</em>). </p> <p>Safari and Firefox are taking steps to <strong>block</strong> third-party cookies (to varying levels). By default this means that often people converting on these browsers <strong>aren’t tracked</strong> by the regular AdWords conversion tag. This is bound to only get worse with the coming ITP update to Safari mentioned in the beginning of the article. </p> <p>In essence, it means that essential AdWords conversion data is becoming lost, as it cannot be tracked from these browsers.</p> <p>Sometime in September, Google announced a new AdWords conversion tracking option which replaces the <em>www.googleadservices.com</em> cookie with an additional Google Analytics cookie. That is significant because the GA cookies are written against the domain they are tracking. Essentially, this circumvents the above limitation as these cookies will now be considered a <strong>first-party</strong> cookie on your website.</p> <p>The new Google Tag Manager (GTM) Conversion Linker tag works in a similar way. It simply reads any Google Click Identifier (GCLID) and Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) URL parameters relating to AdWords clicks, and sets them in a cookie on your own domain. Then later, if a conversion occurs, it can be properly tracked, even in browsers that block third-party cookies. </p> <p>Both these options would allow you to track users of browsers that block third=party cookies by default, as well as users that have chosen to block these cookies. Considering the ease of implementation of the new Conversion Linker tag it’s a no-brainer if you have GTM and use an AdWords conversion pixel currently.</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong> You only need to do this if you haven’t linked your Google Analytics with AdWords (more information: <a title="How AdWords tracks website conversions" href="https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/7521212?hl=en-GB" target="_blank">https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/7521212?hl=en-GB</a> )</p> <h3>How to setup the GTM Conversion Linker Tag </h3> <p>It is simple to setup the GTM Conversion Linker tag, but if you manage your GTM setup in-house, here are the steps you need to follow: </p> <p><strong>Step 1:</strong> Select to add a new tag and choose ‘conversion linker'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9980/Picture4.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p><strong>Step 2:</strong> Set the default trigger of all pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9981/Picture5.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p><strong>Step 3:</strong> You are all done. Put your feet up and feel smug!</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out Econsultancy’s range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/data-analytics/">Data &amp; Analytics Training Courses</a>.</em></p>