November 30, 2022

Digital Privacy
2021 brought about some major changes for data privacy, and brands now need to rethink their strategies in order to adapt to a new era of digital advertising, with no third-party cookies.
As we begin to settle into 2022, according to a recent Prosper Insights and Analytics Survey, over 47% of adults have said that they denied permission for mobile apps to track, drastically affecting how marketers are able to reach consumers.
Prosper – Protecting Digital & Online Privacy
I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Matt Woodruff, chief product officer and co-founder of Constellation Agency, one of the fastest growing digital marketing companies, to hear his thoughts on the impact that big tech’s recent privacy changes will have on the industry, and what marketers can do to succeed in a cookie-less future.
Gary Drenik: This past year has brought about some major changes for data privacy – what is the number one thing that brands should look to change about their strategies right now with those regulations in play? What can brands and marketers do to adapt and succeed in this cookie-less future?
Matt Woodruff: Now that the link between ad unit and website has been severed, the number one thing brands need to do is identify a replacement for the targeting data previously gathered through their website. The fastest and easiest way to do this is by shoring up your data strategy and securing new third party data sources. That way, meaningful brand awareness can continue to take place regardless of future data privacy restrictions.
The harder strategic adjustment that needs to take place is to put less of an emphasis on your website and more on your ad units. Brands need to stop thinking about digital strategy in terms of the fastest way to get customers to your website. Rethink the way that campaigns are structured by placing a more careful emphasis on the individual channels you’re advertising on. By building a more unique channel-based strategy that leverages each platform’s sequential messaging capabilities, brands will be able to retain the data they would have previously collected on their website, saving the website experience for the final purchase.
Drenik: What data should marketers still be trying to track to launch successful campaigns?
Woodruff: Each action a user takes on their path to purchase is the data every successful marketer needs. It’s the same key data that mattered in 2021 and it matters just as much, if not more, this year. Those actions have historically been best tracked best on websites through cookies or in apps through pixels. The future is cookie-less, and if Google and Apple are no longer going to support small businesses to collect anonymized data online and if as the 2021 Prosper Insights and Analytics Analysis by Generation notes that 34.8% of adults are actively turning on private browsing to avoid cookies, it is incumbent on us as marketers to find new ways of collecting and tracking that data.
Prosper – Protecting Digital & Online Privacy
Drenik: How is Constellation working to combat the issues brought on by big tech’s recent privacy changes?
Woodruff: Constellation has pioneered a unique approach for brands to maintain the connection with their customers in a cookie-less future through an ad type we call The Everything Ad™. Powered by our AdTech platform Alexia, this strategy enables your customers to do everything you want them to do without ever having to leave the ad experience. Explore? Buy? Reach out? Watch? Whatever your desired conversion action is, you no longer have to wait until your customers hit the website to make it happen. If you do, in the very near future that data will be siloed off in an inaccessible black box. With the Everything Ad™, your website becomes the ad unit. With consistent and reliable access to retargeting data, brands and marketers can focus their ad spend on their most valuable customer segments even after Google’s changes officially go into effect.
Drenik: What impact do you think these privacy changes will have on small businesses (if any)?
Woodruff: Small businesses are up against so much, especially in light of recent changes. We’ve already seen a glimpse of what the cookie-less future means for them when Apple’s iOS update effectively removed 96% of all users from the retargeting pool. When faced with an opaque prompt asking if iPhone users would like to opt-in to tracking, it’s no surprise that the majority chose not to considering Prosper Insights & Analytics also notes that the majority of every generation across the board is at least somewhat concerned about the privacy of their personal identity (i.e., name, zip code, age etc.) when shopping online.
Prosper – Privacy Concern Online
That iPhone user data didn’t just suddenly disappear though. Apple’s Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) data is still available, but only if you advertise on Apple’s App store. This is our future. Whether it’s because of the discontinuation of cookie tracking or policy updates, data in the digital advertising landscape is becoming progressively more siloed by the platforms collecting it. That’s great for big business. Not so much for the little guy.
Drenik: What are some of your predictions for the marketing and advertising industry in 2022 and beyond?
Woodruff: 2022 will be the year of marketing automation and independent data collection. Investment in creative automation platforms is quickly transforming from a competitive advantage into a vital tool. With the average brand’s media mix putting more of a priority on digital advertising than ever before, media buyers are left with no choice but to test multiple creative asset combinations to truly compete in the marketplace. And yet, hiring an army of creative designers to spend all day manually resizing digital assets is simply impractical and financially unrealistic, especially in the wake of The Great Resignation.
Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, I expect we will be hearing more about Dynamic Creative Automation. Through feeding systems, data such as reviews, user-generated content, inventory, and location can be transformed into thousands of stunning asset iterations automatically. Companies will find themselves investing in marketing tech because creative automation offers both workflow enhancements and performance increases.
Drenik: Thank you Matt for taking the time to connect and for sharing your insights on how big tech’s privacy changes have impacted brands’ marketing strategies and what they must do to stay ahead in 2022 and beyond.

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