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5 keys to a successful TCF v2 transition

July 3, 2020byYannig Roth

On August 15th, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) will end its support for the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) v1.1, paving the way for the entire industry to adopt TCF v2 as its new standard. Are you wondering what this means if you are a publisher in the online advertising space? 

Well, it means that TCF v2 will now guide how you collect user consent in compliance with GDPR. It also means that you will have more control over which vendors have access to your users’ information. This framework is particularly useful since the online advertising ecosystem cannot operate without a standardised way of communicating user choices between stakeholders. For this reason, all players need to transition at the same time. 

With the clock ticking towards the end of TCF v1.1, and the complexity that comes with switching to a new framework, we thought we’d write a blog post to help you plan for a smooth TCF v2 transition.

If you would like more information, feel free to download our full TCF v2 readiness checklist, or watch our recent webinar on the 10 steps to get ready for TCF v2: 

But, for now, here are our 5 key pieces of advice for a successful TCF v2 transition: 

1-Think about your desired outcomes

With the announced end of third-party cookies and the increase in ad blockers, establishing user trust is becoming not just a GDPR requirement, but also an integral factor to the survival of the online advertising industry. 

The great benefit of TCF v2 is that it provides more transparency to the users and a better picture of what their personal data will be used for. It does this by clarifying the purposes of data collection, and allowing users to customise their choices. It makes the requirements for consent collection stricter, to the user’s benefit. 

This represents an opportunity for publishers to understand the possibilities that the framework provides and apply them to their business in order to build trust with their website visitors. Now is the time to decide how you can make the most out of this new framework, not see it as a new constraint but rather as a chance to gain and maintain the trust of your customers, therefore growing your business.

2- Decide who needs to be involved

There are several stakeholders with whom you will need to engage throughout your transition journey. Here are the main ones we have identified based on our experience:

Internally, you need to work with your monetization and marketing teams, who should be able to describe how they engage with website visitors and how data is currently being collected. Understanding how the business is run will help you decide which purposes and stacks better applies to your situation. 

Second, it’s a no brainer – your legal and privacy team needs to be involved. They will be able to advise and validate the purposes and stacks that are better suited for your business based on the information provided by your monetization team.  The role of the legal team is to make sure you are fully TCF v2 and GDPR compliant. 

Next, you need to involve your IT team, who will help you build a consent management platform, manage the transition from a technical standpoint and make sure everything is up and running before the deadline. 

Finally, you will need to work with your vendors to align transition timelines. The new framework can only be useful if vendors are ready to receive consent signals. 

3- Choose the right CMP

After you have made all these decisions and involved the right stakeholders, being successfully TCF v2 compliant ultimately boils down to the CMP tool you choose. The first step is to make sure your CMP is in the IAB list of validated CMPs.

Some of you may already have an in-house custom Consent Management Platform. However, the introduction of 5 additional purposes and 42 different stacks may add enough complexity for many publishers to consider switching to a commercial CMP in order to free up their time to focus on their core business instead. In addition, you will have to pass the IAB TCF v2 validation, which has more stringent requirements than before. That should also lead publishers to weigh up the pros and cons of an in-house CMP.

 If indeed a commercial CMP is the right solution for you, or if you would like to discuss your TCF v2 transition in more depth, schedule a free 30 minute readiness assessment call with our team at a that suits you. 

4- Configure your CMP 

Once you have defined how TCF v2 applies to your business and selected the best tool for you, it is now time to configure your CMP. TCF v2 provides guidelines on how a user interface should look, and how to customize your first- and second-layer information, whilst also leaving some flexibility for applying your own branding. You can work closely with your CMP provider to make these changes and to configure the vendor list.

5- Test and re-test

While technically possible, backward compatibility from TCF v2 to TCF v1.1 can be tricky to manage. Performing thorough testing before switching over is a number one priority we cannot recommend enough. Test your integrations and check with your vendors that they can receive the consent string, to make sure everything works properly within the new configuration.

Don’t forget, there is a direct link between your consent rates and your revenue. Therefore, it is worth allocating time for testing and monitoring user behaviour even after the transition.

How can Didomi assist your TCF v2 transition?

Didomi is already working with customers to make the transition as smooth and efficient as possible. Our team is here to help you assess your current situation and prepare to switchover to TCF v2. 

This is why we have organised 2 webinar sessions to go over the necessary steps to comply with this new framework before the August 15th deadline:

Download our checklist to keep track of the different steps to manage this transition. If you would like to discuss this further, set up a call with our team for a free TCF v2 readiness assessment.

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