In this series, brought to you by FiveStones and our Google Marketing Platform consultants, we explore digital marketing and the GMP from different perspectives of our industry, to provide actionable insights to help you navigate these uncertain times.

Over the past couple of years, privacy has quickly become one of the most important issues affecting marketers and organisations on a day-to-day basis. Earlier this year, following safari’s blocking of 3rd party cookies (which we discussed in this post in 2019) and firefox following suit, Google announced that Chrome would also be phasing out 3rd party cookies meaning that marketers will need to be looking at other ways to target their audiences.

“90% believe the ways their data is treated reflects how they are treated as customers.”

Source: Do You Care About Privacy as Much as Your Customers Do?, Harvard Business Review

Why has privacy become such a big concern now? It’s all about trust

Particularly with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) having rolled out across Europe back in May 2018, privacy has continued to become a priority for consumers, this has already partially been fuelled by advancements in the capabilities of technology.

According to Harvard Business Review, “32% of respondents — who said they care about privacy, are willing to act, and have done so by switching companies or providers over data or data-sharing policies” which means that brands must respect the privacy of their customers or risk losing them. This is further personified by the fact that “69% of CEOs said it is becoming much more difficult for businesses to earn and keep trust in a digital world” (according to PwC’s 20th Global CEO Survey).

“47% of consumers would sacrifice privacy to get a better deal”

Source: Pew Research Centre

Additional considerations need to be taken into account

While privacy is a growing concern among consumers and marketers alike, it is always important to take a holistic view on your Data-driven Marketing strategy and campaigns. According to research from Pew Research Centre, “47% of consumers would sacrifice privacy to get a better deal” which raises the question, ‘how do you fulfil your privacy obligations (both legally and ethically)?’

“When asked if individuals were willing to provide their purchase history in exchange for personalized products and services, 62% of privacy actives were comfortable with the trade-off versus 32% of non-privacy actives.”

Source: Do You Care About Privacy as Much as Your Customers Do?, Harvard Business Review

Privacy within the Google Marketing Platform

The Google Marketing Platform provides advanced options for targeted, personalised 1-to-1 interactions that respect consumers privacy. Organisations that have achieved multi-moment maturity (only 2% globally and 0% in APAC according to stats from Google in 2018) are already doing this type of privacy-incorporated targeting and are seeing the cost and revenue benefits.

FiveStones provides a number of services that allow advanced targeting, serving your programmatic and search ads in a privacy safe way. For more information on the services we provide on the Google Marketing Platform, please get in touch with the FiveStones team today.

6 Privacy Best Practices*

Here are some practical tips and best practices to ensure you and your organisation are following both your legal and ethical privacy considerations:

  1. Use de-identified segments – privacy is an important part of Google’s Data philosophy and Google’s Privacy Policy Guidelines. This is why within advanced solutions of the GMP like Ads Data Hub, when consolidating data across your media platforms within Google’s cloud-based data warehouse, Big Query, you can only create segments with a minimum of 50 people instead of looking at personally identifiable information within your data. This protects individual’s privacy but also allows advertisers to create consolidated data for audience activation and reporting purposes.
  1. Include a privacy policy on your website – while browsers like Firefox and Safari have already blocked 3rd party cookies (and Chrome to block them from 2022), there is still valuable use that can be found in the tracking of first-party cookies in building your organisation’s first-party data. Importantly, if a user is visiting your site, Google’s Privacy Policy Guidelines say you must include a number of mandatory requirements before you can start using remarketing cookies. To find out more read our blog article: Dynamic Remarketing: 7 tactics to maximise your conversions.
  1. Double Opt-ins – Creating a double opt-in when capturing lead details from a landing page from any of your media or search spend ensures that anyone who receives communications from you, has provided explicit intent to receive those communications. Importantly, if you are looking to activate audiences in Google Analytics 360 (GA360) from your CRM (such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud), this is also a consideration if they have not previously been captured within your Floodlight activities.
    1. Use consent-based data from 3rd party DMP – this can be achieved from a number of different avenues, including using a 3rd party DMP like Alike Audience which provide consent-based data attributes to enhance your GMP targeting abilities and can enhance your ability to target B2B audiences.
  1. Privacy & Security – this ensures that firewalls and security measures can keep anyone who shouldn’t have access to you or your client’s data does not gain access. The Google Marketing Platform is built within Google’s secure infrastructure with logins to your Google account to authenticate and access your product licenses. Importantly, product licenses within the Google Marketing Platform also have the ability to manage the access and permissions of different users in the platform, following the links below for details how to manage the access and permissions within the GMP.
  1. Update your internal security procedures – when was the last time you updated your data & security policies? Having up-to-date policies is crucial in ensuring that you or your client’s data remains secure and reduces the risk of a data breach. Involving the C-suite and getting their buy-in to a privacy culture is key in driving a focus throughout the organisation.

*The information in this article does not constitute binding legal advice, for legal advice on privacy please speak with a lawyer.


Has your organisation prepared its marketing strategy around the blocking of 3rd party cookies? With GDPR having rolled out a number of years ago, many organisations have increasingly added levels of de-identification and consent-based strategies to ensure they are not only compliant with the law but also with the expectations of their customers.

For more information on creating personalisation in the age of privacy, speak to one of the experts at FiveStones for consulting and technical advice on how the Google Marketing Platform and our partners can drive results in a privacy conscious way.

Stay tuned for additional insights from our Data-driven Marketing in Uncertain Times series including step-by-step guides, deep-dives, practitioner tips and useful information. Feel free to contact the FiveStones team anytime to chat about the Google Marketing Platform and our services.

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