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23 September 2021
Facebook outlines impact of privacy headwinds
Data protection & privacyFacebookSocial media effectiveness
A changing privacy landscape is expected to hit Facebook’s ad business and has presented challenges to campaign measurement, the company has admitted in a blog post.
Why it matters
The takeaway from the news as it has been reported is that the company will take a hit; however, it’s not the only ad company or brand feeling the effects of stricter privacy rules as imposed by popular platform companies.
Instead, the list of recommended actions for advertisers to take shows the need for a broader view of marketing activity, looking at full campaign performance rather than individual creative, and – crucially – to use a mixed measurement methodology beyond just Facebook. Now is not the time to have all your eggs in one basket.
The good news for advertisers, however, is that even with stricter rules and less accurate measurement, it appears that ads on Facebook are still working well.
The post from Facebook VP, Product Marketing, Graham Mudd begins with an admission of underreporting campaign performance, so while achieving results has become more expensive, many advertisers have found that the impact of their advertising spend on Facebook has been greater than expected. “Our estimate is that in aggregate we are underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 15%,” he said.
Like much of the online ad industry, Facebook is beginning to feel the effects of stricter privacy measures, especially Apple’s iOS 14 update which will now have been installed on most devices currently in circulation.
“We know many of you are experiencing this greater impact as we are.” It’s important to note here that these are usually small- to medium-sized businesses which rely heavily on Facebook for digital marketing.
What brands need to do
You can find a fuller list on the original post, but here are some key ideas.
Allow time before analysing performance. From a data perspective, it’s worth waiting a minimum of 72 hours for optimisation to take effect. From a marketing perspective, focusing on the short-term effects can obscure some mid- to long-term effects.
“Where possible, analyze reporting at the campaign level.”
Use systems (which are available from Facebook and other providers) to track conversions by linking marketing metrics to Facebook activity.
“You may also want to consider all measurement solutions available to you, on Facebook and off. During this period of transition, it’s prudent to review all measurement solutions to identify potential underreporting.” Now is a time to test and learn.