Cookieless is Coming – Is Your Audience and Targeting Strategy Ready to Go?

Published
  • July 27, 2022 |
  • 2 Min Read

Facebook’s pixels are in violation of HIPAA; Google’s pixels are in violation of GDPR; if the big names are already struggling, how will the smaller players fare?

In today’s data conscious world where cookieless is inevitable and pixel-limited is likely because it’s driven by the likes of Google, Apple and Meta, how do data strategies need to be adjusted to apply pixels properly?

A Third-Party Audience Marketplace Boom is Coming

A combination of data privacy regulations and inherent data compliance consciousness by most brands is driving the cookieless, pixelless future and creating a third-party audience marketplace boom. But, are marketers ready to combine these different data sources in-house to create a data management platform (DMP) or customer data platform (CDP) that will take the valuable few pieces of information on that 3% sliver of transacted audiences and build lookalike audience models to then push that back out to media publishers?

Reinventing the Employee Handbook

To only focus on which pixel we should and shouldn’t use is the equivalent to self-diagnosing a medical condition on WebMD about having a medical condition to begin with.  Most marketers and compliance teams are not ready for the cookieless future. How do we prepare them? The answer is for companies to develop data handbooks to go hand-in-hand with the old-school employee handbook, making the do’s and don’ts of handling data as a marketing employee just as important as knowing your benefits and workplace details. Advertising agencies, including Hylink Digital, have already begun developing data handbooks to detail data compliance, privacy protocols for clients, and everything from how to use a data cleanroom to onboarding third-party audiences and best practices on how employees should handle data are some of the data handbook contents. 

Data Protocols During the Work From Home Revolution

In a remote working world, location boundaries for handling data becomes an issue. In the past, it was very clear that an office needed to exist for data to be refined. Now, guidelines need to be set out for which remote employees can handle data, how computers need to be locked down to ensure that employees can work from anywhere in the world, and what aspects of data handling can be done remotely or whether some parts must be completed at the office to be SOC-2 compliant.

Standard Operating Procedure for Data Compliance

In heavily regulated industries, specific laws apply to pixels. Healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations need to be compliant with their industry regulations, such as HIPAA. Travel and tourism organizations may need to be regulated by SOC-2, as well as federal, state, or city CAIQ standards in IT security as part of their government or nonprofit standards. Multinational corporations need to be multi-compliant with multiple laws – GDPR in Europe, CPRA in the US, PIPL in China, etc. 

Once pixel compliance to rules, regulations, or transnational laws are clear, a standard operating procedure (SOP) can be developed. Establishing an SOP detailing which pixels are authorized, which require approval, and which are not approved for deployment will allow marketers, human resources, and agencies that service these marketers to be trained to understand how to apply data and pixels, and which pixels to apply. Pixels can then be implemented according to the SOP on websites, campaign pages, mobile apps, and all other digital properties of marketers – then, the data handbook comes into play to dictate how data should be handled, analyzed, reported on, and reused, all in a compliant way.

When thinking about pixels in the highly data conscious world, forget the “if you fear taxes, you simply will have no income” mentality and adopt the model of “we’re going to need to pay taxes; how do we do it in a compliant and efficient manner?”

(2.2 min read)