Click Through Reads #77: Microsoft Ads Cash Back, GDPR vs. UK

Welcome back, Click Through Readers!

Some big shakeups are happening in the digital world, and we have everything you need to know this week.

Microsoft Ads is launching Cash Back promotions, aimed at providing customers rebates while they shop on Bing.

Possibly the biggest shake up of the week comes out of the UK. GDPR was introduced a few years ago to protect user data online. But now, a new bill is being introduced that would make GDPR obsolete.

TikTok launched a new Attribution Manager aimed to help advertisers track ad performance over custom periods of time, and Instagram is introducing new ways to verify users’ ages.

And finally, Twitter is still moving forward with new features despite their pending sale. The latest feature has been dubbed “Product Drops”.

We’ve got all the information you need on these new industry trends, so sit back, relax, and let’s jump right in!


Microsoft Ads Launches Cash Back Promotions Program

Last week, Microsoft Ads introduced their new Cash Back promotions program for US product ads. With the Cash Back promotions, customers can earn rebates while they shop their favorite stores on Bing. According to Microsoft, it can work on campaigns with product ads and search ads for retail. 

The primary goal of this program is to help drive sales and increase ROI for online advertisers and retailers with Microsoft’s optimization criteria and algorithm. Microsoft’s algorithm will automatically optimize the promotions and determine how many cash back promotions customers see, when and how often they see them, and the offer amount they see -the cash back promotion. The program is a part of Microsoft Cash Back and is fully owned by Microsoft, which will handle all of the customer engagement and interactions within the program. The Cash Back offer will appear during an ad delivery like the below example.

Screenshot of a Microsoft Ad in search results with a Cash back rebate offer.

There’s no additional setup required for an advertiser to serve Cash Back promotions; however Microsoft noted that there are some eligibility requirements that are needed:

  • Campaigns are using the conversions type “Purchase”
  • Campaigns use a compatible bidding strategy optimized for growing conversions and values
  • Budget amounts must also be able to support Cash back promotions
  • Active campaigns have good campaign performance metrics


GDPR May Be Gone For Good in the UK Soon

Since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was set in motion in the UK a few years ago, advertisers have had to get creative when leveraging data in their campaigns, but this may be changing soon. GDPR has been seen as a complex system that burdens startups and scaleups since its implementation.

The UK’s new “Data Reform Bill” seeks to enhance data protection while minimizing unnecessary burdens felt by businesses. The bill aims to challenge the current GDPR model, increase cost savings, and influence business growth, providing a boom for the economy.  

Possible effects of this new bill include:

  • More data partnerships with the UK.
  • Users determine if they want to share cookie data within browser settings instead of checking a box on every website they visit.
  • User privacy will still be valued while keeping businesses’ best interests in mind.

Long story short: massive changes are coming from legislation in the UK, and advertisers targeting users within the UK may not need to worry about staying within GDPR’s parameters for their upcoming campaigns. It’s also possible the EU will crack down on the UK’s new legislation making it more difficult for advertisers and data sharing.

One thing for sure is that GDPR remains a hot topic and may look a lot different by the end of the year; whether that new look is better or worse for advertisers remains to be seen.


TikTok Launches a New Attribution Manager

In the fight to further prove itself as one of the top advertising platforms, TikTok launched a new Attribution Manager aimed to help advertisers track ad performance over customized periods of time (from 1 to 28 days), depending on how many touch points it takes for your product or service to convert.

The new tool allows advertisers to set custom attribution windows at the campaign level allowing for more flexibility in measuring the results of individual campaigns or promotions. The data then links to the determined actions taken over a chosen window of time after a user sees your ad.

This data could be helpful when promoting different products or services with different price points that may require longer consideration periods before converting than others. This could also be particularly useful when evaluating performance of campaigns at various stages of the funnel - a cold audience will most likely take more time or touch points to convert than an audience already familiar with your brand and interested.

On TikTok Ads Manager, you can find Attribution Manager under the Assets menu.

GIF of the settings for TikTok Ads Manager's Attribution Manager.

This is a very exciting move on TikTok’s part that will allow for more insight and customization to how advertisers see and evaluate campaign performance on the platform. 


New Ways to Verify Age on Instagram

On June 23rd, Meta began testing new options for people to verify their age on Instagram. Meta believes that knowing a user's age allows them to provide appropriate experiences to different age groups, specifically teens. There are already certain safeguards that Instagram has set up to help protect teens, like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know, and limiting advertisers’ ability to reach them with ads. 

Now, when a user under 18 tries to change their date of birth on Instagram to 18 or over, Meta will require age verification. There are three ways to do this; upload their ID, ask mutual friends to verify their age, or record a video selfie. 

The first two options are pretty straightforward. Upload your ID or ask mutual friends to verify their age. Both seem effective as long as their friends are honest. The third option of recording a selfie video involves AI and is raising more questions. 

Meta partnered with Yoti, a company specializing in privacy-preserving ways to verify age. Yoti’s technology estimates your age based on your facial features and shares the estimates with Meta. The image is deleted after generating the user’s estimated age. Yoti also claims that their technology cannot recognize your identity. While this technology isn’t foolproof, it seems to be making strides in the right direction. 

Instagram's 3-step verification for the video selfie method.


Product Drops from Twitter

The future of Twitter’s advertising and eCommerce functionalities remains to be seen in the upcoming months as the sale progresses. However, in the meantime, the Twitter team continues to launch new features. One feature they are adding to their Shopping capabilities has been dubbed “Product Drops.”

According to Twitter’s announcement, a noticeable percentage of users go to Twitter to discuss product releases before and after a new product launches. This new feature allows the merchants to be part of the conversations and gives users an opportunity to be first in line for the launch.

Simply enough, when a merchant Tweets about a new product, a user can click on the link that will show the product details, including price, specs, and a clickable hashtag to see what other users are talking about. The user can also click “Remind Me” on the Tweet, which will send the user a notification 15 minutes before and at the time of launch. This is especially useful for early adopter users and merchants/clients whose products have limited stocks at launch.

A preview of Twitter's Product Drop tools.

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