Google does a lot of things, not just search engine stuff that it did back in the day. It’s a marketing platform, a digital marketing company, and it even sells hardware, software, services and smart-home products as well. Despite this, Google is having to deal with the same privacy data constrained challenges that every digital marketer has to face: GDPR, CCPA, ITP.
The company wrote a post explaining how it is dealing with cookie-data and tracking challenges, trying to balance privacy and personalization. The post is meant to be instructive for other digital marketers.
Three fundamental challenges that Google outlined in this privacy-sensitive environment includes:
- Audience targeting and list creation, with greater cookie and third party data restrictions
- Ad frequency: ensuring that ads are not shown too many times despite the lack of cookie data
- Ad performance and attribution with less available data
Google says in response to these issues is that it’s relying more heavily on firs- party data. “When people show interest in certain products by visiting the Google Store’s website — and have given us consent where appropriate — we can use that data to inform the ads we show them in the future.”
Google is even using machine learning and predictive models in order to avoid exposing ads to users too often. According to another blog post by Google, it uses “traffic patterns where a third-party cookie is available, and [analyzes] them at an aggregated level across Google Ad Manager publishers . . . to create models to predict traffic patterns when a third-party cookie isn’t present.”
When Google isn’t able to “accurately determine someone’s interests and preferences to help personalize an ad,” the company will use context to match ads to content. But it says this isn’t like the AdSense of old, as it’s more complex than that
Google Home Mini was used as an example in the Guardian’s post. Ads were displayed in the food section. Google analyzed text in articles and changed ad copy in order to match or respond to page content.
Google has formed an internal team in order to focus on privacy, regulation and how future changes will be impacting company marketing capabilities and tactics. “This team’s focus is forecasting the impact of each scenario on our campaigns and developing a game plan for how we would respond.”