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Impact

How To Preserve Marketing Intelligence and Attribution in the Wake of Google’s Shutdown of the Doubleclick ID

As part of its GDPR-compliance plans, Google announced that they will no longer allow partners to pull the Doubleclick ID when leveraging its data transfer service, which allows partners and marketers to export data from the Doubleclick Campaign Manager (DCM), Google’s buy-side ad server. Starting May 25th, the same day that GDPR goes into effect, partners will no longer be able to pull the Doubleclick ID from EU-based ad serving events recorded by the DCM ad server or Google’s demand-side platform, Doubleclick Bid Manager (DBM).

The shutdown of Doubleclick ID transfers will first roll out in the EU, but will eventually be extended globally. For campaigns who are using DCM to serve ads into YouTube, the shutdown of Doubleclick ID will be global.

Doubleclick Campaign Manager has a market share of 80%-90% (excluding video). Doubleclick Bid Manager has the largest market share among DSPs. Many marketers are highly likely to be impacted by this move from Google.

Does this affect Impact customers?

  • Most Radius events are tracked inherently by our own platform and do not rely on Doubleclick Data Transfer/our DCM Data Importers to run any of its payout logic. Radius is not affected by this change.
  • Forensiq has always relied on its own Javascript tags. Forensiq is not affected by this change.
  • We have advised new clients on Altitude who leverage DCM to adopt the Impact impression tracking pixel over the integrators.  Starting July 1, our preferred method will be a new mechanism for impression tracking – our Javascript tag. Since Altitude is the primary product impacted by this Google announcement, we’ll take an Altitude-focused lens for the rest of this blog post.

Who is impacted by the shutdown of Google’s Doubleclick ID?

Marketers who plan to import Doubleclick ad serving and tracking data from

  1. EU-based impressions or
  2. YouTube impressions globally

for use in Altitude journey analytics or attribution will be affected by this May 25th update. Altitude clients who rely on other buy-side ad servers such as Sizmek, AdForm, Celtra and Innovid should not.  

Note that YouTube stopped accepting 3rd party pixels back in 2017, so using Impact impression tracking will not work either. Without the Doubleclick ID in DCM data transfers nor an impression tracking option, clients will not be able to track impression level data on YouTube at all and will not be able to include YouTube in its path analytics. This is generally true for every Marketing System of Record or Attribution company out there.

How has Altitude ingested journey and attribution data from the Doubleclick ad stack?

The two most common mechanisms have been:

  1. Impact’s Data Importers – Advertisers can export data from the Doubleclick stack and import it into the Impact platform using the Impact Data Importer. This usually had a 24-hour delay since it’s a batch process. Google had been exporting Doubleclick ID along with ad serving data. This Doubleclick ID was used to reconstruct audience customer journeys. By eliminating the Doubleclick ID from their data exports on May 25th, Google prevents 3rd party attribution solutions from stitching together customer journeys for pathing analytics and attribution.
  2. Impact’s Impression Trackers – Impact users have long had the opportunity to generate code for either an image pixel or, starting July 1st, we will also provide the option to generate a Javascript tag for more robust tracking. We encourage clients to leverage impression trackers (before July 1st, that would be the image pixel, but after July 1st, the Javascript tag is preferred over the image pixel), as impression trackers allow us to conduct more robust tracking. Both image pixels or Javascript tags can be implemented as call-outs from the Doubleclick ad server or DSP.  The Impact Impression Tracker is able to execute logic to identify the user, and executes at ad runtime; it will therefore NOT be affected by Google’s removal of Doubleclick ID from data exports.

With this recent news, the Impact Impression Trackers becomes the recommended solution for tracking through Impact’s Altitude product and leverage DCM or DBM.  

What should our affected clients do?

We expect Google to roll this out globally by the end of the year, so even if you don’t have audiences based in the EU,we encourage users to simply use our impression trackers if they are on the DCM platform. Marketers who currently leverage the DCM Data Transfer integration should eventually migrate to our Impression Tracking Javascript Tag starting July 1st, when it becomes available.

Clients who need to start the migration sooner than July 1st can deploy our Impression Tracking Image Pixel. This should be deployed and trafficked within DCM.

Unfortunately, YouTube does not allow the firing of 3rd party tags, so we will not be able to track YouTube events along the customer journey for EU audiences after May 25th. If you had been receiving YouTube events through DCM’s data transfer service, this will no longer be available for export into Altitude. Since last year, YouTube has also prohibited the firing of 3rd party tags (like our Impression Trackers), which means that YouTube event data will be unavailable for any pathing or attribution analysis. This limitation is true for most other Analytics and Attribution vendors as well.

What are the benefits of using the Impression Trackers over DCM Data Transfer?

Speedy migration to impression trackers will ensure that Altitude’s journey analytics and attribution functionality remain intact as Google phases out the Doubleclick ID.  Marketers will also have the added benefit of real-time impression tracking, versus the current 24 hour delay seen in batch data transfers.

How can Impact help?

Impact is dedicated to providing marketers with solutions that allow them to grow trust in their marketing data, so they can make decisions that grow their business with confidence. Solutions such as Altitude let you capture your full consumer journey and provides you with an analytics suite to mine our up-to-the-moment data lake for general trends, KPIs to individual behavior.

Altitude’s proprietary machine-learning algorithms can be leveraged to optimize media across channels and devices. We arm our clients with trusted knowledge that is both deep and broad, so that they have the confidence to make the smart decisions that drive growth most effectively.

The digital landscape is in continuous flux. As a philosophy, we’ve architected the Impact platform to be as future-proof as possible to not only to absorb new and innovative channels and data sources, but to also have additional mechanisms in place to handle disruptive market events, so that marketing teams aren’t disrupted.

If you do have other questions about the transition from the DCM Data Transfer to the Impression Trackers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Customer Success Manager and Account Representative. Or you can reach out to us directly at support@impact.com.

How do I learn more?

To learn more about GDPR, check out our last GDPR blog post.

If you want to learn more about Altitude, please don’t hesitate to request a demo!

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