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Brett Smoot

Digital Account Manager

Brett has been developing and managing digital marketing projects since 2012, and is Google Analytics certified. His approach for any project is to take a deep dive into data and find the key information to help optimize it. He also focuses his attention on possible risks associated with any short-term or long-term digital projects.

Rick Fessenbecker

Rick Fessenbecker

Managing Director

Rick is a Founding Member and Managing Director of Northwoods. He oversees the business development team and is a key resource for many long-term clients. Rick has been involved in website strategy and new customer acquisition for more than 15 years. 

5 Tips for a Successful Online Privacy Tool Implementation

October 1, 2019 | Brett Smoot, Digital Account Manager and Rick Fessenbecker, Managing Director

3 Minute Read

Implementing third-party online privacy tools involves more than simply adding code to your site. You must take several steps to ensure that everything functions properly. We recommend working with a partner experienced in implementing data privacy compliance tools.

Whether you take on a partner or go it alone, you will find these tips and insights useful. We learned them through first-hand experience, in the process of working with several clients on their online privacy projects:

  1. Implement a Robust Data Subject Request Procedure – You have a prescribed time period to respond to a Data Subject Access Request (DSAR). A robust DSAR portal will help expedite your responses to these requests and establish and enforce adherence to internal procedures for responding. In the early days of GDPR, companies were receiving requests but did not have a process in place. This led, in some cases, to improper sharing of sensitive information. 
  2. Not All Cookies Live in The Same Location – Third party tools are incredibly helpful because they scan your website to identify cookies that are in use. It’s important to keep in mind that not all cookies live in Google Tag Manager. Cookies can be hard coded into pages or served up via iFrames. Be prepared for some manual review of your code.
  3. Know How Your Cookie Manager Is Configured – Website analytic tools, such as Google Analytics, rely heavily on cookies. It is critical to understand how a cookie consent module will impact your analytics gathering. As you set up your cookie consent manager, be sure to  annotate your analytics tools with the changes. Test before deploying the consent manager to gauge its impact on your analytics. 
  4. Test All Website Features – Features such as marketing automation forms and auto sign-in can rely on cookies. What happens when a user disables cookies? Make sure you understand how features on your site function when that occurs. You  may need to remediate these issues with the 3rd party providers to both allow your features to function and keep your site in compliance. As always, test your site fully in both a development environment and after your cookie consent tool is live. 
  5. Style Your Cookie Consent Banner - Add your company’s branding to your cookie consent banner and determine placement and functionality on your site. You’ll also need to add a link for users to access and manage their cookie preferences at any time. Give some thought as to the placement of that link. The site footer is often a good choice.

It’s possible to set up online cookie consent and DSAR tools yourself. But unless you have very savvy marketing and/or IT teams (and a hotline to your CMS vendor  or digital agency), it might be best to work with an experienced partner. 

If you run into issues during implementation, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at 414-914-9100 or contact us online.

Follow the links below to more information and tips for achieving compliance with online privacy laws: