Grég Pantaine joined Marin in May 2016 as a search consultant and now leads the Customer Engagement Department. A father of 2, he enjoys sharing his love of nature with his young family while trying to stay fit by running and cycling in deepest darkest Essex.
Everyone in search advertising is aware it’s coming, and trying to figure out where the pieces will fall. How will it impact the industry and more importantly, you and your business ?
As tracking is a complex, granular topic, I’ve asked Aleks Nikitina, Senior Solutions Architect here at Marin Software, to go through this topic in more detail and provide suggestions on what to do next.
Aleks Nikitina (AN): Google is no longer going to use individual browser history on Chrome to target ads to users. Instead it will use what it calls and I quote “privacy preserving APIs, like the "Federated Learning of Cohorts API" (FloC), to deliver relevant ads.”. In a nutshell, Google will group users by interests instead of identifying them individually.
AN: Historically, Google used third-party cookies to target ads across websites. Now, they are moving from this cookie-based approach of targeting to instead target wider audiences and provide more privacy to individual users. Google moving away from third-party cookies is the next step in the trend the industry has been following over the last few years. Similar to Apple’s Safari ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention), Google is moving to what they call, the Sandbox approach.
Browsers are shifting the industry tracking to a new path that is all about user privacy. However first party tracking will be allowed. In itself, the cookie remains very much alive.
First party data is the data that is tracked directly on brands’ domains. Some of our clients have their own internal tracking solution or use tracking vendors as a first party tracking solution, which will continue to work, however there are restrictions on the conversion window available to cookies in Safari.
AN: The first step is to make sure that your measurement system is using a first-party approach. The latest version of the publisher tracking pixels and Google Analytics are all first party. Even better is to consider a server-to-server approach that avoids some of the conversion window restrictions.
For advertisers relying on third party cookies for ad targeting, you should look to diversify your ad buys to account for potential lost opportunities as these options go away.
AN: It looks like Chrome will turn off third party cookies in some time in 2022, but the Privacy Sandbox will make its way into Chrome in April 2021. And of course Safari already blocks third party cookies, so I would recommend looking into alternative solutions as soon as you can.
AN: Marin Software users should reach out to their platform representative to start the conversation, who will bring in the help of the Professional Services Team where I work.
To give you an idea of how the different integrations will be affected, I cover below the main 3 tracking setups:
These industry breaking changes are right around the corner, are you ready? Get a deeper understanding of these changes and learn about Marin’s privacy focused solutions here.
Shopping campaigns and managing the feeds that power them is often cumbersome, time consuming and resource intensive. To help with these challenges, Marin has developed an innovative solution called Smartfeed which manages your feed and also updates your account’s structure -- the Marin platform serves as an intermediary which automates the build based on your feed.
So, what is it? How does it work? And how to use it to the fullest?
Marketers are always looking to improve their feed and shopping activities’ performance, and most solutions available are expensive and solely feed-focused.
By including Smartfeed within your Marin account, marketers not only have the ability to optimize, create and maintain their feed automatically based on their business’ needs, but they are also able to do this in combination with optimizing, creating and maintaining their own shopping structures, with the aim to maximizing reach and efficiency.
While having all this activity in one place saves marketers’ time, Smartfeed also tailors optimizations for each channel’s requirements (such as Google Shopping or Facebook Marketplace). This allows marketers to use rules and other optimizations to apply to the feed at scale, before they are submitted or scheduled to multiple shopping platforms on an automated and recurring basis.
Marketers will also be able to analyse their feed’s structure and performance, report on those numbers and receive alerts based on product performance to understand when and where optimizations are desirable.
Many of the challenges faced by marketers today revolve around time consuming setups and maintenance of low quality feeds, which also then need to be maintained and optimized in each shopping or marketplace platform.
As seen before, Smartfeed deals efficiently with the time consuming piece as everything sits under the same platform, while low quality feeds can be enhanced by using multiple and new sources to upgrade your feed’s data. Finally, building out and managing your shopping structures will happen straight within Marin on a daily basis, allowing you to tweak your feed’s information and see this change reflected into the Shopping campaigns shortly thereafter.
Maintaining a clear and consistent shopping campaign structure can be tedious and time consuming. Marketers need to spend a lot of time creating all the different objects, only to then spend additional time optimizing the structure itself, as well as maintaining it and removing and adding objects as relevant in order to improve performance.
With Smartfeed, Marin Software takes the heavy lifting out of a marketer’s day to day workflow by automating the build and edition of shopping campaigns as well as automating their optimization.
Smartfeed can use a feed to build out entire shopping structures to include all or specific SKUs in the feed. Multiple level objects can be built, such as campaigns, ad groups, product groups and creatives. Building out the campaigns, for example, can be as simple or complex as required, with Smartfeed’s ability to adjust settings such as budgets, device modifiers or status to name a few.
In addition, Smartfeed integrates fully with Marin’s dimensions feature. This allows marketers to assign dimension values to specific objects, such as ad groups or product groups, with a view to adjust the bids via our Dynamic Actions feature or simply run a granular report across multiple publishers such as Google and Bing.
Finally, ad groups and product groups can be automatically assigned to bidding folders based on information within the feed such as custom labels or product categories. Smartfeed can be set up so that if these are modified, the changes are reflected automatically in the structure in order to make optimizations as precise, custom and easy to implement as possible.
Ready to know your best-performing tactics across the consumer’s journey and optimize every marketing dollar? Schedule a demo and learn more about Smartfeed!