To some commentators’ surprise, in recent times Meta has been seriously helpful to brands struggling with data loss. Their motives might not be so much out of the goodness of their hearts as out of a race with a major competitor—but either way, brands are benefitting.
What is the Signal Resiliency Guide?
In 2021 Apple released a guide to app-tracking transparency (ATT), which enables iOS users to opt out of data tracking across third-party apps. The ATT update had a direct impact on Meta’s ability to leverage user data to serve targeted ads on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. So, perhaps partly in response, last year Meta released a guide to empower brands that need to adjust their advertising strategies in response to Apple’s ATT update.
Meta’s 2022 Signal Resiliency Guide helps brands target their ads while using less data collected from third-party apps, and teaches social media marketers how to switch up their strategies in the face of increasingly stringent online data privacy regulations. After all, the data Meta uses to determine when and where users are engaging with ads has become much more limited in recent years—so much so, in fact, that the guide defines several previously widespread digital marketing tactics as ‘at risk’:
- cross-site tracking
- lookalike modelling
- frequency control
- targeting and retargeting
- measurement and attribution
- ad platform optimisation
- website and email personalisation.
Produced in partnership with Deloitte Consulting, the guide recommends shifting ad focus to organic search and enriching first-party data in the process, with a view to mitigating the future business impact of access to user data becoming ever more limited in years to come.
Furthermore, Meta also suggests advertisers ask themselves several fundamental questions to assess their preparedness for signal loss:
- Are we as an organisation aware of the coming changes?
- Do we understand what data we’re currently collecting?
- What tools and technology do we have to house data?
- How can we leverage data from our tech stack to enhance our ads and marketing?
- Does our present measurement strategy provide actionable insights, as well as the level of reporting we need to pivot in a landscape of unpredictable data protection laws?
- Overhaul your measurement strategy: Your present analytics probably rely on data that soon won’t be available anymore. If you don’t address this, down the line you’ll lack the holistic view any advertiser needs to ensure their content resonates with audiences.
- Offer value in exchange for customer data: Give users an incentive to share their data by outlining how doing so will improve their experience. You might be surprised by how open they are to doing just that.
- Adopt test-and-learn measurements to fill the data gaps: Building the most impactful ads takes some serious performance testing and analysis. By leveraging the data you currently have access to, you can identify precisely what’s making your highest-performing ads so successful. The deeper your understanding now, the less trial and error you’ll have to wade through later to optimise your content, at a time when a huge amount of that audience data will no longer be available to you.
- Make the most of privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs): Incorporating PETs into your tech stack ensures you stay compliant both today and way down the line. So take the time to check out providers of secure multiparty computation, homomorphic encryption, distributed ledger technology, and a raft of other privacy-enhancing technologies.
The digital marketing landscape is evolving at pace—but you can stay ahead
As the internet becomes an increasingly private realm, marketers must adapt their existing strategies right now if they want their tactics to continue working—especially since some simply won’t be available anymore in the near future. At my own performance marketing and web design agency, Pixated, I’ve encouraged numerous clients to recognise that, even if Meta doesn’t constitute a major part of their marketing strategy right now, implementing changes will pay them dividends later—and they can start by checking out the handy recommendations compiled in the tech giant’s Signal Resiliency Guide. With a stronger grasp of both their data and their industry landscape, marketers can mitigate the future impact of signal loss, adopt a robust governance model to ensure regulatory compliance, and establish a sturdy privacy-first foundation on which to build the future of their brand.
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