Are Your AdTech Vendors’ Data Practices Putting You At Risk?

Are Your AdTech Vendors’ Data Practices Putting You At Risk?

Trevor Testwuide, Expert in Business Strategy and Marketing Measurement

Published 09/27/2022

Over the past decade, data privacy lawsuits targeting large global tech platforms have become increasingly more frequent. So much so that now most of us just raise an eyebrow at the tremendous settlement amounts then move on with our day. However, recent events like the FTC’s decision to sue Kochava indicate that enforcement of data-privacy regulation will no longer remain focused on the likes of Meta and Google, who can pay these hefty charges with barely a bruise to their financial statements.

New legislation placing more restrictions on how companies manage consumer data is being reviewed in multiple states and also at the federal level. By suing a (relatively) small technology vendor over how it collects and monetizes mobile user data, the US government is sending the message that it's time to get serious about data-privacy. Even with the strictest protocols in place to protect customer data, brands could still be at risk if they work with vendors that use data in a questionable way or practice inadequate privacy protections.

Last year, when Apple introduced iOS 14.5 and Google promised an inevitable end to cookies, attribution providers old and new immediately began touting workarounds that allow advertisers to keep measuring and optimizing media - despite the new anti-tracking rules. Many vendors claiming to “solve the iOS 14.5 problem” are still relying on old multi-touch attribution (MTA) methods and tracking pixels to measure performance. As Adam Bluestein from Fast Company points out, they are essentially utilizing loopholes that keep them beyond the reach of policy enforcement.

The thing about loopholes is they eventually close.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) just issued a stark warning that if Apple and Google didn’t kill the dream of tracking individuals across channels and devices, then upcoming regulations definitely will. Consumers are demanding privacy, and the government is going to ensure they get it. What does that mean for the vendors still attempting to connect individuals to ads through click-path building and other outdated methods? What about the marketers who rely on them for insight?

As a marketer, you still need a way to understand what you are getting out of your media investments. You need to validate your media spend to the business and you need insight to improve your results along the way. Fortunately, Measured can help you do that, without tracking people and without the risk of your business being damaged when your attribution "workaround" collapses.

In 2016, we predicted that the data privacy movement would eventually prevail over the user-tracking economy - so we started Measured to develop a resilient approach for optimizing media, using the power of incrementality. Since then, we have executed thousands of in-market experiments to assess the incrementality of every critical marketing channel and tactic - by observing their contribution to actual sales transactions. All this testing has resulted in the industry’s largest collection of incrementality intelligence, which continues to grow more powerful as we update it with the latest results from ongoing experiments.

At Measured, we assess your business for key drivers of incrementality and leverage your actual performance data to provide you with valuable media intelligence that fits your brand. The resulting insights can be used for media attribution, spend optimization, scenario planning, performance reporting, benchmarking, and testing new channels or tactics. Our incrementality intelligence and optimization tools can deliver all of this - and things won’t go dark when more restrictions shut down another source of user data.

It’s undeniable that more policy changes, new regulations, and accelerated enforcement are on the way. If you aren’t already using the Measured platform, it’s worth looking into the data practices of your current measurement partner to determine whether their methods will still be valid in a future void of tracking.

  • Do they claim pre-iOS 14.5 levels of tracking?
  • Do they promise to reveal user-level paths to conversion??
  • Do they suggest they can account for click-through conversions?
  • Do they require you to serve their tracking pixels from your own domain, so Google sees them as 1st party?
  • Do they tout trailblazing machine learning technology for identifying all sources of revenue... but fall short of explaining how it works?

These are all potential issues veiled as benefits that could mean inaccurate insight, or worse, in an anti-tracking environment. Why wait it out when a future-proof solution already exists?

Don’t take my word for it. We work with more than 125 leading consumer brands, and some of them have been growing with us since the beginning. Check out their results and see how Measured helped them increase the impact of their media investments, despite all the changes to user level tracking over the past few years.

These brands know they are prepared for whatever lies ahead. Contact us if you'd like that kind of confidence in your future.

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