You might remember earlier this year, Apple announced key changes to their App Tracking Transparency, around:
- Using user data in the app environment
- Reducing location accuracy
- Requiring explicit consent requirements
The user privacy battle will present to be a challenging landscape for mobile advertising. So, gearing your app advertising efforts ahead, to minimise the impact and perform despite these changes, is crucial.
How iOS14 will impact your app advertising
There are two main changes you need to be aware of when ensuring your app campaigns comply and succeed with the new iOS14 regulations:
Reduced data sets containing Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) data
This includes 1st party sets which rely on device level information and means that you will have less information about the iOS audience pool.
An increased reliance on probabilistic attribution methods
Reduced data sets also mean that measurement options will not be able to rely on deterministic attribution capabilities – where the unique identifier can be cross matched throughout the mobile ecosystem via the Mobile Measurement Providers (MMPs) – and more on a probabilistic methodology.
Probabilistic approaches are prone to inaccuracies and makes publisher platforms susceptible to post-back discrepancies. Plus, you could also see inflated campaign cost metrics.
Even on ad networks opted into the Apple SKAdNetwork solution, your campaigns will lose granularity because results are aggregated at a campaign level rather than device.
Get ready for iOS14 in five simple steps
1. Optimise your consent messaging
Industry commentators estimate that consent levels will be between 10-20%. This will drastically reduce the availability of data compared with the current opt-out method with is estimated to be around 25%. However, even a sample of data will still feed the algorithms with the signals you need to create learnings and optimise.
Plus, developers can customise your consent messaging so you can promote a personalised experience. And, the more opt-ins you gain, the better the audience pool you have to work with.
2. Re-configure your lookback windows
Configurable lookback windows will help you hone in your targeting precision and combat the shift away from deterministic attribution techniques.
Consider MMPs like Kochava, who offer lookback times as low as one minute. The lower the lookback time the more accurate matching will be with estimations of 10-15 minute windows claiming to achieve 98% accuracy.
However, even with a reduced window, the reliance on location data – that will only contain “approximate” accuracy with the impending restrictions – will vastly reduce your campaign matching capabilities.
3. Bid with agility
CPAs will likely soar as iOS data is restricted in iOS14. Resetting your bidding so your app campaigns can adjust to the changing amount of data feeding through, is crucial.
Finding the new state of normality for your target CPA will be a gradual process. So, ensure your corresponding campaign budgets allow enough scope for the algorithm to work its magic.
4. Leverage platform SDKs
Reduced iOS data pools also mean features like in-app event optimisation will be compromised.
To offset this, ensure platform SDKs like Facebook and Firebase are integrated and up to date. Post iOS14, this will:
- Automatically implement the SKAdNetwork solution
- Streamline event tagging
- Retain 1st party data set capabilities
- Assist with targeting precision
- Improve app campaign efficiency
5. Measure holistically
The industry as a whole relies on logged in data for advanced targeting capabilities and faces increasingly walled gardens. Tools such as Google’s Ads Data Hub can help reduce budget wastage by matching according to the Google ID, though measuring cross channel campaign effectiveness from a macro level poses further obstacles.
Measure results based on the performance of campaign mix overall with an integrated, outcome-orientated approach (rather than in channel silos). This will ensure you sustain overarching business objectives despite the inevitably muddier path to conversion.
Final considerations for your mobile advertising
1. There will be a heightened risk of duplication and attribution fraud
This will be caused by reduced deterministic data matching within the MMP and multiple platforms attempting to claim the install or app event.
Apple’s SKAdNetwork will work to reduce discrepancies, but advertisers should still expect disruption and lean on measurement partners to mitigate risk.
2. A shift in iOS to Android campaign activity
Many 3rd party audience providers expect a shift to Android-heavy campaign activity. However, in key iOS markets like AUNZ, many are focussed on building the scale of publishers and driving awareness of pro-consent user benefits with pop-up messaging.
3. User uptake won’t move quickly
Past rollouts have shown user uptake to a new operating system does not happen overnight. It’s a gradual process over a number of weeks.
Plus, remember that iOS14 will ask users for explicit consent and with no way to predict the actual implication on your app advertising in terms of volume, patience and consistency, your approach is critical.
Rest assured, a state of norm will return for your campaigns, so ride the wave and remain agile.