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Consent Mode v2 – what does it mean for you?

Executive Summary:

Google has unveiled a significant update, emphasising the need for strict compliance among website owners who use Google Marketing Products. This encompasses a range of tools such as Google Ads, GA4, Floodlights, and various other Google tags.

This change is particularly crucial for businesses that engage with users in the European Economic Area (EEA) & United Kingdom, as adherence to these new guidelines will become mandatory for effective retargeting and audience development within these regions starting 7th March 2024.

Taking action on these updates is critical; inaction will lead to a considerable reduction in data collection, efficacy of utilising Google’s marketing tools for media buying, audience targeting, and retargeting within the European Economic Area and United Kingdom.

Starting 7th March 2024, inaction will significantly disrupt conversion tracking, audience building and remarketing.

What is the announcement?

Google announced the launch of Consent Mode v2, a significant update to its web and app advertising framework. This new version is designed to ensure compliance with the latest privacy regulations and address users’ expectations regarding online privacy. Consent Mode v2 introduces enhanced features for managing user consent, particularly in relation to Google’s advertising and analytics services.

Consent Mode overview

Content Mode technical documentation

What is Consent Mode?

Consent mode is a mechanism introduced by Google for Tag management platforms to work alongside CMP’s (cookie management platforms) or gtags to respect a user’s privacy.

It’s a method that ensures the consent signals you gather are automatically conveyed to Google’s web and app advertising networks. As a result, Google’s tags change their behaviour to accommodate these preferences.

Google uses this data to enable conversion modelling to recover lost conversions.

This allows marketers to boost the quality of bidding algorithms and measurement capabilities.

What is new with Consent Mode v2?

Consent Mode v2 adds two additional parameters: ad_user_data and ad_personalization,

which are Google-specific and dedicated for audience building and remarketing use cases.

Without these two additional characteristics, it will be impossible to develop targeted

audiences, perform personalised advertising on Google Ads or measure performance in

the EEA and United Kingdom.

There are 2 versions of consent mode:

  • “Advanced Consent Mode” covers cookieless pings. Even if consent is not granted, data is sent to Google.
  • “Basic Consent Mode” blocks tags from firing altogether when relevant consent is not granted.

You will need to send the relevant consent signals if GA4 data is being used to feed Ads audiences through the GA4/Ads integration.

Google Consent Mode v2 is fully operational. If it is not implemented, the negative effects for advertisers will appear from 7th March 2024.

What does this mean for you?

Without Consent Mode v2, no data about new EEA users will be captured by your advertising platforms (Google Ads, GA4, etc.) after March 2024. This will affect measurement and reporting in this region, along with your audience lists and remarketing disabling the ability to run personalised advertising.

Your bidding algorithms will run based on inaccurate and incomplete data, and your budget will be spent much less effectively.

For example, if you’re running a Maximise Conversions campaign with a target CPA, it is important that conversions are measured as accurately as possible for the algorithm to function and bid effectively. When fewer conversions are registered (without Consent Mode v2), the strategy will under-evaluate some opportunities, leading to inaccurate bidding and budgets being used in less profitable ways.

Below is a visual representation of the impact of implementing different consent mode versions:

Which version of Consent Mode v2 should I implement?

  1. Recommended: for full ads / audience / remarketing capabilities, you need to use “Advanced Consent Mode” with all four parameters in place.
  2. If you want to block tags from firing when consent is not granted and still make something out of Ads, you need to use “Basic Consent Mode”.
  3. You may also decline to utilise consent mode entirely, in which case Ads will be restricted – no conversion or audience features would be available. GA4 will continue to function normally; the Ads integration will be constrained.

How do I implement Consent Mode v2?

The first step is to have a consent banner on your website that respects user choices. The

easiest way to get started with this is to choose a Google Certified CMP partner. Fabric Analytics preferred CMP is onetrust

Once you have a compliant consent banner in place, Consent Mode v2 can be implemented.

Update your tagging infrastructure in your tag management system to reflect the Google

Consent v2 requirements. Fabric Analytics can offer consent mode implementations and all

the support and documentation needed for you to start measuring effectively.

What to do next?

  • Audit how your tags are implemented on your website (e.g. GTM, Hard Coded)
  • If required, setup a CMP on your website (e.g. Cookie Bot)
  • If required, setup your tag management system to reflect the Google Consent v2
  • requirements

Developer Resources

  • App
  • Offline
    • For manual data uploads (not via API/SDK), a Term of Services consent attestation opt-in will be required (and will launch in the product UI in early Q1 2024).