Monthly Brandtech Blend – March-April 2021

Home Blends & Trends 21 April 2021

What happened recently in the brandtech ecosystem? And what’s the latest news shaping the digital marketing industry? 

  • Life after cookies: ad tech companies are rallying around identity tech, but some progress is still to be made in collecting user consent
  • FLoC is not the only element in Privacy Sandbox and everything you need to know about FLEDGE
  • TikTok follows in the footsteps of fellow social media giants and increases its walled garden status
  • YouTube is entering the short-form video social media game with YouTube Shorts
  • Find out why digital content commerce is the leading marketing strategy for brands in China, and how to make the most of it.

Ad tech companies are working on a unified user ID to replace third-party cookies… but failing to include user consent

Advertisers and publishers have joined forces to work on identity tech such as Unified ID 2.0 and find an alternative to third-party cookies. Their intent is to replace cookies, but also to modernize the programmatic advertising industry into a future-proof, transparent and content-based ecosystem. However, this identity tech still collects user information such as email addresses in order to build encrypted IDs — without asking for user consent. Although there is an attempt to update the way users are tracked, there is still work to be done regarding obtaining consent and notifying users. 

Read more in this Digiday story.

Privacy sandbox: FLoC might be the most famous acronym, but definitely not the only one

The ad tech industry is talking a lot about FLoC when it comes to Privacy Sandbox. As we recall, Privacy Sandbox’s mission is to establish a framework to replace most use cases of third-party cookies. FLoC is one of the initiatives developed by the Google Chrome team in order to build a privacy-safe measurement ecosystem, and FLoC specifically provides an alternative to third-party data for targeting ads to cohorts of users based on interest groups… but that’s all it does.

For instance, the FLEDGE initiative solves many more issues than FLoC does. If you are looking for a concrete cheat sheet of elements included within the Privacy Sandbox, you’re in the right place.

Read more on this AdExchanger.

TikTok personalized ads is now mandatory – everywhere but in the EU

TikTok surprised its users by announcing last month that they will no longer have a choice but to have personalized ads based on the content users engage with on the platform. Until last week, users could choose whether or not they wanted to be shown ads based on their app activity. The new social media giant claims to be committed to respecting the privacy of its users, as the change only reflects the content users engage with in-app and not on other websites or apps, which is already the case on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Users can still opt out of ads coming from cross-site and -app tracking, as required by the upcoming rollout of iOS 14, which will require developers to get user permission for such tracking or risk suspension or removal from the app store. 

Although this does not concern the GDPR-protected European Union, it does reflect the global evolution of user behavior regarding the tracking of their data, and the rising awareness of automatically opting in for cookies, which could soon become a distant memory.

Read more on The Verge or on Vox.

YouTube shorts has launched in the US, and wants to take on TikTok

There’s no doubt that TikTok reigns supreme in the short video world. But for how long? YouTube Shorts has just launched, pulling out all the stops for its arrival. The new feature enables content creators to record, edit and share short videos using popular music, for which YouTube made deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and many others.

Although a lot of TikTok’s classic features can be found on Shorts, the product is still in beta and there is still a lot of room from iteration and improvement. What’s more, most of these features are not yet very intuitive, while accessibility is one of TikTok’s biggest strengths. 

The new YouTube format has been testing in India for the past several months and has reached 6.5 billion daily views globally. But India is not representative of Shorts’ potential success elsewhere, as they banned TikTok last year, which gives more space to new short-form video apps and products, such as Shorts. 

Read more on the TechCrunch.

Content commerce in China: what brands have to learn

Jing Daily presents a five-part series on what global brands should learn from the way content commerce has evolved in China since the beginning of the pandemic. Although revenge spending in China was a big contributor to getting the e-commerce numbers back on track – especially in the luxury industry – some studies reveal that a major factor of China’s quick recovery – in the luxury sector but also in beauty and wellness – was brands’ rapid pivot to digital content commerce as part of their marketing strategies, and the fast and positive user response.

From unexpected collaborations to gaming and virtual idols as well as emotional brand films… Here is a recap of some of the best digital content commerce strategies from the point of view of the leading market on the topic. 

Read the series on Jinq Daily here: part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five.

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