In this monthly post, we bring you the latest from all of the major platforms. 

Google Ads

What: Preparing for Apple’s iOS 14 policy updates

Details: As summarized by Google, “Apple’s upcoming App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy will require developers to ask for permission when they use certain information from other companies’ apps and websites for advertising purposes, even if they already have user consent”. As a platform, Google is compiling a series of resources to help partners and app developers alike prepare for the impact this has within their advertising landscape. 

Impact: If you have not yet, I highly encourage you to read up on Apple’s upcoming policy changes. They will impact every client and network with anything more than a negligible iOS footprint. While many variables remain in flux, Google’s working with all their partners to brace and prep as much as possible for this imminent change.

What: Alternative third-party cookies available to public in Q2 2021

Details: Back in October, Google announced tests of Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC). The system groups like audiences with similar interests in order to protect data privacy while still opening the door for advertisers to serve relevant ads. Advertisers can begin to expect potential tests of the tracking system in Q2 of 2021.

Impact:  The future of attribution and targeting within digital marketing are all tied to data privacy concerns. In the public and private space, digital privacy has become an increasingly prominent topic. Google’s testing of FLoC shows a glimpse of this future world and provides evidence of a forward thinking approach from the company.

What: Exclusion controls for Smart Bidding

Details: Google is introducing data exclusions for Search, Shopping, and Display campaigns. The tool can help ensure that Smart Bidding uses accurate data and proper value bids.

Impact: For every client, there are inevitable spans of “junk data’’. Whether from broken tracking (incorrect tagging, down website, etc) or non-representative seasonality, short-term data gaps can lead to long-term performance issues when utilizing Smart Bidding. The new tool allows data from a given range to be excluded thus increasing the accuracy and flexibility of automated bidding.

Microsoft Advertising (Bing)

What: Introducing Filter Link Extensions 

Details: Microsoft Advertising’s newest extension will enable advertisers to present product features categorized under specific headers. These will allow users to quickly navigate to their key products and offerings. Ads will include one header with between 3 and 10 interactive text values. 

Impact: With every new extension comes an opportunity for ad separation from the competition. Furthermore, this specific extension provides advertisers an opportunity to inform and quality their potential audience.  

What: Platform-wide brand safety protection expanded to Canada and the UK

Details: In September, a partnership with Integral Ad Science — a leader in digital ad verification — was announced. The aim was to help advertisers achieve goals while implementing the proper guardrails. The partnership has now expanded to Canada and the United Kingdom. 

Impact: Those advertising on the Microsoft Audience Network in the UK and CA receive an additional layer of brand protection at no additional cost. 

What: In-market Audience segments now available in new markets

Details: In-market Audiences are now available in open beta to all European markets. Additionally, the open beta of Customer match has been extended to all markets (except for the European Union, UK, and China).

Impact: Numerous international geos gain a boost for targeting action ready audiences. 

What: (coming soon) Target Impression Share Bid Strategy

Details: Microsoft Advertising will soon offer Target Impression Share as an automated bidding strategy. Advertisers will be able to select their target % in addition to where they want their ads to appear (anywhere, top of page, absolute top of the page)

Impact: Much like Google, Microsoft Advertising continues to diversify and improve their automated bidding offers. 

Facebook & Instagram

What: Facebook introduces Conversions API

Details: As noted earlier in the article, changes to privacy legislation and browser policies are likely to impact tracking events via a website pixel. To combat this, Facebook has introduced Conversions API. The product will allow advertisers to share data directly from their server with the Ads Manager. 

Impact: Every digital platform is laying plans for the potential of a cookie-less future. Facebook’s introduction of Conversions API pivots to a system where First-Party data becomes the driving force. 

General Note

If you missed the last update, turn to December 2020 Updates to Paid Media Platforms for all of the latest info. 

Did we miss any major monthly updates? Not covering a certain platform close enough? Feel free to let me know on Twitter @Will_Larcom