During the past few years, online advertising has gone through many changes when it comes to privacy – Adblockers, GDPR and deprecation of third party cookies. During this time, the app advertising space has been spared from a lot of these changes because of differences in the technical foundation. Instead of cookies, the app environment utilises Mobile Advertising Identifiers, MAID, which is a unique identifier in each device. Both Apple and Android have their own brand-specific MAIDs, which are persistent over a user’s different applications. For example, Apple’s MAID, IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers), makes it easy to follow a user journey from an ad impression to an app installation.
Now, apps for iOS will also undergo privacy updates to give users more control over their own data. Apple wants to help protect the consumers by implementing a new app tracking framework called AppTrackingTransparency (ATT). This framework is supposed to help consumers with two things:
- Understand what data an app is collecting about them and for what purpose.
- Force apps to ask for explicit consent from the user, to be able to track the user with Apple’s MAID, IDFA – Identifier for Advertisers, and share this information with a third party.
The rollout of the update started with the beta version of iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5 and tvOS 14.5 on April 26th 2021.
How will this affect your app developers?
- New ways of working to be compliant with Apple’s ATT.
- App developers will see a data loss since opt-in rates are estimated to be lower than they are with the current solution.
How will this affect your marketing?
Measurement and attribution:
- The use of Apple’s measurement and attribution tool (SKAdNetwork & Private Click Measurement) will lead to more aggregated data and fewer insights on user level for marketing campaigns.
- Due to expected low opt-in rates, we will most likely see a decrease in target audiences.
“Overall, this means it will be harder to target, optimise and measure campaigns on Facebook.”
How will this update affect your overall marketing on Facebook?
- The majority of Facebook Advertisement is done through app traffic on Facebook apps and Audience Network, which is why Facebook opposes this update.
- Many of the changes to the app ecosystem will also be implemented on desktop, which means this will affect all types of campaigns, not only app campaigns.
- Overall, this means it will be harder to target, optimize and measure campaigns on Facebook.
- ATT limits the number of conversion events that we can use, which will affect optimisation and measurement.
- As opt-out rates are estimated to be high, we can expect all first-party data audience segments, such as retargeting and lookalike audiences, to decrease.
- Facebook has a number of actions they urge advertisers to take. If you need help, our Paid Media experts are ready to help you.
Recommendations for advertisers
The impact this change has on your business will vary significantly depending on the media-, identity- and measurement strategy. Overall, we recommend a four-step process:
- If you own an app, follow Apple’s regulations to implement ATT.
- Work with your performance agency to evaluate how this affects your marketing strategies.
- Evaluate how much of your marketing spend is dedicated to app ad networks that are affected by this change.
- Evaluate how your remarketing audiences are affected: How much smaller is the audience now compared to before?
- Isolate your iOS 14.5 campaigns to see how much it affects conversions.
- Evaluate and adapt your paid media strategy based on the effect.
- Adapt your strategies and partnerships to the new changes:
- Discuss with your AdTech/MarTech partner how they are working with this change.
- Re-validate your KPIs to ensure they can still be reported and acted on.
- Discuss with your Mobile Measurement Partners to see how they are adapting to this change.
- Future proof your data-driven initiatives:
- Invest in a robust identity strategy based on your own data with, for example, a Customer Data Platform
- In a broader perspective, check your consent management processes and decide if a Consent Management Platform is needed.
“Evaluate how much of your marketing spend is dedicated to app ad networks that are affected by this change.”
- MAID: Mobile Advertising Identifiers.
- iOS 14.5: Operating system update where Apple will require app developers to include the ATT.
- ATT: App Tracking Transparency.
- IDFA: Identifier for Advertisers. The unique identifier provided by Apple and used by most apps for targeting and attribution in-app campaigns.
- SKAdNetwork: Apple’s attribution system.
- PCM: Private Click Measurement
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