5 ways your brand must adapt to the EU Digital Markets Act

The web has no borders, which means brands with any online presence must always be aware of the changes taking place across them. Is your company prepared for the latest sea change in user privacy and online competition?

The European Union’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) comes into full force March 6 of this year. With it come a string of do’s and don’ts for what are being labeled “gatekeepers”, the tech giants like LinkedIn, Meta, Google, and Apple. The aim is to create a fairer environment for business and a more protective and transparent one for consumers. It’s a significant, positive step. But as with any major change in regulation, its impact ripples outward.

You’ll have already felt its effects playing out over recent years. Apple was on the front foot, launching its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) allowing users to opt out of cross-app data gathering. This set off a domino effect – Firefox and Safari began deprecating third-party cookies critical for ad targeting and analytics. And Google has stated it, too, aims to phase these out through its Privacy Sandbox initiative.

As of March, there are a whole host of new rules these giants must adhere to, spanning data portability, interoperability, transparency, and so on. You can read the full act here. But the real question is, what does it mean for your business?

Even if it’s not based in the EU, you’re going to feel its effects. The DMA will impact UK businesses, D2C and B2B alike, because, despite Brexit, many UK companies operate within the European Economic Area (EEA) and must comply with its regulations when conducting business in these territories.

As we see it, these changes will manifest in three main ways:

  • More competition: Tighter regulations might level the playing field, allowing smaller players to compete more effectively. This means B2B companies may need to up their game to stand out amidst increased competition.
  • Clearer insights: With stricter transparency requirements, businesses can expect better insights into their ad performance and audience targeting. This can help refine advertising strategies for better results.
  • Data privacy focus: The DMA places a strong emphasis on data protection and privacy, which means businesses must ensure compliance with regulations when collecting and using user data for targeted advertising.


So what do we do?

As a B2B marketer, you’re likely relying on LinkedIn as one of your primary channels for advertising. Facing a potentially fragmented user data landscape, we’ll need to make some adjustments to our strategy. This will likely involve rethinking targeting and personalisation tactics, where user data might become less accessible or comprehensive. Here’s our top five tips on how to do just that:

  1. Adjust targeting strategies
    As users gain more data control, explore context-based targeting through content resonance rather than relying on personal identifiers alone. Build audience insights through signals like reading patterns, site behaviour, and interests.
  2. Enhance ad content
    As personalisation may be impacted, focus on creating more engaging and high-quality ad content that can attract attention without relying heavily on personalised data.
  3. Diversify channels
    Remember the saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”? The same applies to ads. We would also avoid over-reliance on walled gardens by diversifying across channels. This ensures visibility through an integrated omni-channel approach. Additionally, advertisers might need to invest more in first and zero-party data strategies and explore alternative advertising channels that may not be as affected by the DMA.
  4. Leverage conversion API
    Many of these gatekeepers have adjusted their in-platform tools so that they operate within the new privacy framework. LinkedIn’s Conversion API, for example, surfaces consent preferences while managing compliance on behalf of advertisers. This can provide compelling new ways to understand and target your desired audience.
  5. Continually monitor performance
    Closely monitor campaign performance for changes in user behaviour due to the new DMA options provided to them and adjust campaigns accordingly.

The DMA poses a significant shift. While we’re yet to see the full extent to which these gatekeepers modify their services, staying informed, proactive, and nimble will pay dividends. We remain dedicated to providing our clients with actionable insights, strategies, and platform expertise to guide them smoothly through this transition. If you feel like you could use some support too, why not get in touch?